Android users spurn paid apps say researchers

May 27, 2011
12

New stats seemingly confirm anecdotal evidence that Android users are less likely to download paid applications than their Apple-using counterparts. According to researchers Distimo, 80-percent of paid applications in the Android Market have been downloaded less than 100 times.

In the competitive gaming segment, only five titles in the Android Market have been downloaded more than 250,000 worldwide. In contrast, ten iPhone games in the App Store were downloaded in excess of 250,000 times in the US in the past two months alone. It's a trend that's seemingly shared across app segments, too:

"It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model. We found that only two paid applications have been downloaded more than half a million times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date, while six paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone generate the same number of downloads within a two month timeframe in the United States alone." Distimo

Distimo suggests that Google's slow rate of change of the top ten charts - which incorporates long-term performance and as such varies at a slower pace than Apple's charts - is a significant cause of the download scarcity. That means there's less fresh meat for users to see and be tempted by.

You can download the full Distimo report here [free registration required].


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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bertie-Bassett/100002237358041 Bertie Bassett

    What about in-app purchases and in-app advertising revenue streams? Seems this research is rather lacking.

  • http://www.apexcarpentryinc.com/blog/ Craig

    If you had more than fifteen minutes to try out an app, you would be more likely to buy it.

    • http://twitter.com/cyberb0b Bob Autrey

      Perhaps, but there is ZERO try time on an iPhone app and that’s not deterring purchases there. Perhaps iPhone users trust the apps quality over the hit and miss of the Android market. In general. Before I get flamed, I realize that both marketplaces has it’s fair share of crap. 

      • Andyhlim

        Completely agree… At least thats why im weary to shell out cash for apps. Make apps as polished and elegant and ill be more than happy to support.

      • Andyhlim

        Completely agree… At least thats why im weary to shell out cash for apps. Make apps as polished and elegant and ill be more than happy to support.

      • Anonymous

        The people who use i-devices are typically those who “follow the leader” (i.e. fashionable, etc)  A handful of key persons in your life will make people buy apps without trying.  A friend of mine got a voice distorter for 99 cents (the only app she’s ever paid for) because her sister was gushing about it.  Another friend specifically said that “Whatsapp” on FB seemed to duplicate IMs and they were free, so why bother.  It seems that the “OH COME ON, IT’S 99 CENTS” from someone further down the comment thread convinced him to buy it.

        Meanwhile, the common Android user seems to be one that looks for free apps, because… well, if it does the same thing, why wouldn’t you get the free one?

  • http://trueacu.com acupuncture

    I think it’s more, Android user spurn low quality paid apps. Good paid apps seem to do very well.

  • http://twitter.com/dtg295 Jon

    I think there are a variety of factors at play. For instance the 15 minute window never helps, the fact that Android doesn’t have a built in system to backup app purchases makes users feel like they don’t actually own the app and for that reason they are a bit more skeptical to buy. Also I’m guessing a lot of Android users didn’t have Google Checkout accounts when they started so they just don’t set them up while most Apple users probably already had an iTunes/Apple account. Finally I just think Apple users are just the type of people more likely to spend money given the fact that they buy Apple stuff to begin with.

    • Jon Garrett

      you’d be surprised at how many iPhone users dont buy their apps. I have 1,206 apps and all but 3 or 4 are paid for, the rest are pirated.

       

      • Anonymous

        Your sentence doesn’t make sense there.

        “1,206 apps and all but 3 or 4 are paid for” implies that 1,202 / 1,203 of your applications are paid, while 3 or 4 (“the rest”) are pirated.  This contradicts the point you tried to make.

        You’ve been drinking too much koolaid, come back down and join the army ;)

      • http://profiles.google.com/dynk206 Denny Kingsley

        Wow GOOD ON YOU! Hard devs make apps and you pirate. WELL DONE YOU SIR.
        GREAT ACHIEVEMENT TO BE BOASTING AROUND ON THE INTERNET. ESPECIALLY ON A DEV COMMUNITY SITE. FREAKING AWESOME.

  • http://twitter.com/dtg295 Jon

    I think there are a variety of factors at play. For instance the 15 minute window never helps, the fact that Android doesn’t have a built in system to backup app purchases makes users feel like they don’t actually own the app and for that reason they are a bit more skeptical to buy. Also I’m guessing a lot of Android users didn’t have Google Checkout accounts when they started so they just don’t set them up while most Apple users probably already had an iTunes/Apple account. Finally I just think Apple users are just the type of people more likely to spend money given the fact that they buy Apple stuff to begin with.