Angry Birds Creator Talks Android Fragmentation and Strategy

December 28, 2010
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If you own an iPhone or Android device, then you definitely know what Angry Birds is. For Android, the game has been made available free with ad support which may not be a favorite of users but it's all part of the strategy. Peter Vesterbacka, creator and developer of Angry Birds, has sat down and talked about Android and it's strategy for the OS.

First off, we learn that the game has been played a whopping 200 million minutes a day globally, that is favorably compared to primetime TV viewing hours. He goes on to mention that Apple will be the number one platform for a long time, partly because of its early market share and how they have "gotten so many things right." However, he also comments on Android and its fragmentation:

"Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android."

Later in the interview, he is asked why to company chose GetJar over the Android Market and if they are happy they did. His response follows:

“We didn’t really pick one over the other, but we liked the attitude of the GetJar team, they really worked with us to make the launch a success and a big deal. Not just another game to them. We have been very happy with our results on Android and the fact that we decided to have a multiple storefront strategy. And most of all that we decided to go with a free, ad supported model. 15M+ downloads is a good start too.”

“Free is the way to go with Android. Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. We will offer a way to remove the ads by paying for the app, but we don’t expect that to be a huge revenue stream.”

So it's good to know the company still has plans for the Android OS, even though it may not be their number one focus. If you would like to read to entire interview with bits about Apple, Nokia and Palm/HP head over to Tech N' Marketing.


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  • Jarcikon

    Rovio wants to make you buy their little “Birdie” points or whatever so they keep saying the payment system on Android is a failure. It’s not a failure, it is just a simple model. An app is either free or not. You pay up front once and have it (with upgrades) for life.

    I (as a customer) don’t want to have complex payment models. I want to buy an app or get it for free and that’s it. I’m sure Rovio can make plenty of money either way, but they went the free route with advertising. They really need to stop complaining about something that is designed to be simple and easy for the CUSTOMER.

  • Storm14K

    This actually confirmed a thought that I had earlier today. The bigger dev shops really don’t like Android. Its not over any technical reasons. I think they got drunk on the idea of this single omnipresent platform (the iPhone) that was going to keep the consumer in check and make it easy to pull in big bucks. The consumer would move in any direction they were told or they’d be out of the smartphone market. Now the consumer has the power to drive with their pocketbooks and many independent devs help make sure that theres choice. The big shops simply can’t stand this.

  • GreenLeaf

    @storm14k

    Couldn’t have said any better.

  • Lee

    I’d use alternative Android app stores if I could buy and install apps through an app (web browser doesn’t count), just like the Android Market app, and apples app store app.

    And the other thing is, Android device fragmentation is an issue. I mean when I look at most of the 1 star ratings/reviews for an app most of the time it is by some one complaining that an app doesn’t work with their phone. At some point there needs to be quality assurance, instead of everyone releasing beta software.