Roughly 70 percent of the 250,000 apps in Apple's App Store are paid apps. Conversely, 64 percent of the 95,000 Android apps in Google's Android Market are free, Royal Pingdom said.
Developers on the fence about whether to write mobile applications for
Apple's iPhone or smartphones based on Google's Android operating system could
find themselves jumping to Apple's side if their chief quest is making money.
Royal Pingdom crunched some numbers Aug. 27 and found that about 70 percent
of the 250,000 apps in Apple's App Store are paid apps. Conversely, 64 percent
of the 95,000 apps in the Android Market are free. This chart paints the picture
Why the discrepancy when there are more Android developers than iPhone
Pingdom speculated that fewer Android programmers are trying to sell apps
compared with iPhone developers. Perhaps.
Pingdom also postulated that the lack of an approval process for the Android
Market makes it more likely for hobbyist apps on Android. Maybe.
Or perhaps Android lures developers from the open-source and Linux world,
where apps are commonly made available for free.
eWEEK believes the chief reason is that Google's payment system for the
Android Market is woefully underdeveloped.
While consumers may buy apps from Apple's App Store in 95 countries, users
may only purchase applications
for their Android smartphones from the
Android Market in 13 countries. Worse, developers from only nine countries are
allowed to sell apps on Android Market.
Accordingly, Pingdom said developers in other countries may be likely to
release applications for free instead of trying to earn some money from selling
software at a modest price.
"Many developers are uncertain if Android is a lucrative enough market,
although there have been voices raised to the contrary recently," Pingdom
"The iPhone (and iOS), on the other hand, is an established platform
with a number of high-profile success stories and may therefore to a greater
degree be attracting developers wanting to make a profit."
One of the Android success stories Pingdom alluded to comes from developer
Arron La, who earned $80,000 from his Advanced Task Manager app in the Android
Market from 2009 to 2010.
"Android is a viable revenue stream," La wrote Aug. 20
. "Although $80,000 total isn't a lot compared
to some of the overnight millionaire stories you hear about on the iPhone App
Store (not sure if this is before or after Apple's cut), you are able to
generate good returns."