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Summary:

The iPhone store is processing about five times more downloads than its Android counterpart, and according to sentiments from mobile gaming…

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The iPhone store is processing about five times more downloads than its Android counterpart, and according to sentiments from mobile gaming company *Gameloft*, it’s a trend that will continue, because there will be fewer games — specifically — for Android users to buy.

At an investor conference, Alexandre de Rochefort, Gameloft’s finance director, said the company had “significantly cut” its investment in the Android platform for two reasons: *Google* “has not been very good” at enticing users to buy mobile content through the Android store, and Gameloft (EPA: GFT) — as well as other developers — haven’t been making “significant revenue” as a result (via Reuters).

Gameloft’s overall revs were up nearly 15 percent to $44.2 million (30.1 million euros) in Q3; the company said 13 percent of that — or roughly $5.7 million — came from iPhone games. “We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android,” de Rochefort said.

Fair enough, but for Rochefort to say that “many others” were cutting back, without offering an inkling of who, seems a bit premature. In terms of other developers, Glu Mobile (NSDQ: GLUU) says it plans to invest in new social games for both the iPhone and Android, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) shut down mobile service Yahoo Go, and will be building apps for smartphones running Android as well. Publishers like CBS (NYSE: CBS) have also recently launched Android apps, signaling a gradual shift toward the platform, not away from it.

Rochefort also limited his critique of the Android store to a simple statement: “It’s not as neatly done as the iPhone.” That also seems more like just spouting off than offering real market insight. The iPhone’s App Store has about a year over the Android store in terms of streamlining the payment process — not to mention market penetration — and people can also buy apps through their PCs. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has also had to upgrade the App Store interface multiple times (at the behest of developers) to make it easier to find games; perhaps Google would benefit from doing the same with the Android store.

There’s also one big carrot that Android can dangle for developers — a virtually non-existent app approval process. Companies can pretty-much make a game, a streaming video app, or whatever, and get it into the market sans hassle from Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Apple’s App Store approval process has proven so difficult, that it’s driven high-profile developers like Facebook’s Joe Hewitt to actually quit working on future projects.

  1. "“We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android"

    That is crux. The story goes over and over like this. Developers hear "open source" and they think freedom to do what they want. Users, on the other hand, hear "open source" and think "free apps".

    The lack on $$$ being earned in the Google Market Place needs to be addressed before it will be considered a real challenger to the iPhone.

    So you have a choice. Rules with prosperity. Freedom and starve. Even Hewitt's "quitting" work on iPhone Development may have had more to do with the finding that his public library was using private APIs (AKA sloppy programming) then other issues.

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  2. To me, 'open' means smartphones with 4.3 inch screens, better game controls and eventually nvidia GPU's. There's a reason why the PC has all the latest games and very few for the mac. It wasn't always that way. The PC used to have dinky cga ports of amiga/atari games.

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  3. Developers are obiviously looking to monetize their apps.

    Advertising just isn't providing enough $$$ so developers are looking to charge. Google market and Blackberry have launched with platforms that simply aren't suitbale for mobile…PayPal and the current Google check out.

    They need to find a solution that is designed for mobile that will drive a high conversion for the developer community or people will start to focus their attention where they can make money.

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  4. The reason more developers work for the iPhone app store is simply because its more lucrative. When Google realizes they need to help make their developers money (rather than help make Google MORE money) then they will see a huge influx in creative apps made by developers!

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