According to a report by Canalys, Android apps, when compared to the apps found in the iTunes App Store, are more on the expensive side. The survey was done by comparing the top 100 paid apps from both the marketplaces, and it was found that Android apps cost, on average, 2.5 times more than their iOS counterparts.
The survey was conducted by downloading the top 100 paid apps from the US version of Android Marketplace as well as from the iTunes App Store. In the Android Marketplace, the cost of the apps purchased amounted to a whopping $374.37 averaging at $3.74 per app. The iTunes App Store on the other hand averaged at $1.47 per app costing a total of $147.00 for the 100 apps purchased. Furthermore, 82 of the 100 paid apps in the iTunes App Store are priced at $0.99, while just 22 apps in the Android market can boast of that price tag. Even though anything pertinent to Apple is usually perceived to be on the costlier side, this survey paints a completely different picture as far as app pricing is concerned.
So, why this huge disparity between the two app stores? Isn’t Android the more economical of the two choices? The answer lies in the fact that the iOS App store is much more mature than the rising Android Marketplace. Firstly, thanks to the plethora of quality apps it provides, the Apple app store is much more competitive than any other app stores. Secondly, there are more people willing to pay for apps than there are in the Android Marketplace. This has resulted in more people buying apps from Apple thus providing a more profitable environment for the developers. Furthermore, the mature in-app purchasing system in iOS gives developers more ways to make money from their customers, giving it an edge over Android. That is one of the main reasons why developers often sell their apps at a discounted price in the iOS app stores and not in the Android marketplace. For example, Monopoly is priced at $0.99 in Apple’s app store and $4.99 in the Android Marketplace.
Though the issue is not as big as the patent blitzkrieg Apple and Microsoft have launched on Google, it’s still another entry in Android’s long list of caveats. If, for example, there’s a customer who’s investing in a phone just for apps, he or she would obviously go for Apple, because discarding the initial cost, the cost of apps is more than half of what it is with Android. That said, not many customers care about the price of the apps, and also, there are barely a few people who know about this disparity. So, in short, it isn’t an issue Google should be worrying about right now. Fragmentation and patent trolling are the two main problems Android should currently focus on. Once it gets an userbase that is much higher than Apple, the app prices will come down automatically.
So, what do you think? Will this price disparity hamper Android’s progress or will it be just a minor hiccup in Google’s road to market domination? Feel free to leave your responses in the comments section below.