Android users are less inclined to download apps than iPhone users, which leads to developers having to charge higher prices for apps in the Android Market, according to Canalys.
Apple iOS users are
generally paying lower prices for apps than users of Android devices, according
to a Feb. 23 report from research firm Canalys
apps are the most downloaded apps
on both platforms, prices of the top
paid-for apps, says Canalys, are "dramatically higher" in the Android
Market than in the Apple App Store.
The top 100 paid-for Android
apps, for example, would cost $374.37more than 2.5 times the $147 it would
cost to buy the top 100 paid iOS apps. Even narrowing the selection to the top
10 or 20 apps in each category, said Canalys, showed a "striking disparity
"That developers can
apparently charge more for their apps on Android and make it into the top paid
list is clearly a positive, said Canalys Managing Director Rachel Lashford.
"But the reality is that, with fewer people willing to purchase apps on
Android than on iOS today, there is more of a necessity to do so."
While high download volumes
at high prices is of course the ideal scenario for developers, courting
consumers with more competitive pricing needs to come first, said Lashford.
"More aggressive price
competition around Android apps would help to encourage more consumers to make
their first app purchases, drive greater download volumes and ultimately be
good for the vibrancy of the app ecosystem," Lashford explained.
The report found the App
Store and Android Market to be very different environmentsthe former more
mature and closely controlled, and the latter more open but less secure and
less user-friendly. As such, said Canalys, publishers and developers have come
to use the stores in different ways and adjust their prices accordingly, and
apps that are "runaway successes" in the App Store don't necessarily
follow suit in the Android Market.
is crucial in Apples store, where the vast majority of top-paid apps cost just
$0.99, in a way that is not the case in the Android Market," said Canalys
Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd. "This leads to disparities whereby an app
such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market but is discounted to
just $0.99 in the Apple App Store."
Despite all that, Android
device sales now lead iOS sales, and according to analytics from app store
search company Xyologic, Android downloads in the United States are set to
surpass those of iOS apps by March or April. In August, this already became the
case in the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal, and by January, Brazil, Spain,
the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia had followed, Xyologic's Matthaus wrote
in a Feb. 22 blog
While developers are for now
having success with higher-priced apps in the Android Market, Canalys believes
that the iOS modelin which developers more often offer cheap or free apps with
in-app purchase opportunitiesis ultimately more beneficial.
That latter, added Shepherd,
"also underscores the importance of app store providers innovating and
being quick to implement new features, which can enable developers to build
robust and credible app business models and to make real money."
In order to make apps easier
to find, Apple bought Chomp, which should help people search within the Apps
Store. This can give Apple another advantage over Android.