How Prices Compare on Different App Stores

11 Comments

With an increasing number of companies launching mobile app stores, we decided it was time to compare them. We wanted to find out the average cost of a paid application on various stores.

We asked our friends at Mobclix, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup that offers mobile analytics and runs a mobile ad exchange, if they could help. They crunched some numbers and came back with some surprising findings. For example: BlackBerry paid apps are among the most expensive, followed by Microsoft (s msft), Android and the iPhone OS platform. Nokia (s nok) Ovi paid apps were among the cheapest.

appplatform.png
Data source: Mobclix

* Includes only the top 8,500 apps in the U.S. Android store.

** Includes only the top Ovi apps.

11 Comments

ASHOK KUMAR

1.

I don’t own an Android but the difference between the “including free” and “just paid” graphs is pretty spectacular. It means there are a ton of free apps for Android. Probably due to the “open” culture of the platform. Though quality is hard to quantify, it would be interesting to compare the overall quality of the apps on these platforms as well (or at least the quality of the top apps in each genre).
2.

Blackberry and Windows Mobile apps are comparatively very expensive and I doubt its because they are just that much better. I suspect it is because it is much more difficult to make a living selling cheap apps on those old platforms, where there is not a developed culture of app purchasing.
3.

The Android paid prices are only a bit higher than the iPhone’s. I wonder if there are really enough Android users to support those low prices or if they are artificially deflated because of people’s expectations from the iPhone app store (i.e. I heard you could get this kind of Twitter app for half the price on the iPhone! What is up with that?) If they are indeed artificially deflated, I think we can expect developers to raise prices soon, due to the necessity of making a living.
4.

As an iPhone developer, pricing is a big issue. The app store is, for the most part, a hit-based market and quantity is extremely important in getting exposure on the “store front”. For apps with general appeal and a chance at the top 100 (in general or in their category), it makes sense to minimize the price for impulse purchases to traverse the charts. On the other hand, if you have a niche app its a real struggle as you are expected to have a low price but cannot sell the quantity to make that a viable. As developers realize this, I think we will see app store prices going up a bit in general and only top 100 apps boasting the 99 cent price points we are seeing now.

Peter Farago

I believe the averaging pricing per app store makes perfect sense. Blackberry users are professionals whose companies pay for the employees phone bill in most cases. So, in effect, the purchaser is not using his or her own money. Further, the Blackberry App World has a mandate that all apps have to be priced at a minimum of USD $2.99. Like Blackberry, Windows Mobile also targets a business / enterprise segment. Android and iPhone are in the middle, more consumer targeted, and subject more to the laws of natural supply and demand and competitive pricing since no pricing floors exist and the consumer is paying with his or her own money. On the low end of the market, the significant majority of Nokia’s installed base is on feature phones, with a large share in the “Rest of World” part of the market. As a result, my assumption is that most of these users are not as affluent as one would find using smartphones and, more often, in western markets.

altrenda

As a developer, I want to develop for iPhone because Apple has its users conditioned to pay for apps,and makes it so easy to spend money on apps.

As a user I prefer to use Android. Apps are now coming sooner for Android i.e. Qik, Navigation, Google Voice, etc. And apps that cost on iPhone are often free for Android.

detailtag

Are these averages weighted, i.e. price per downloaded app? I’d expect weighted averages to be much lower.

Jeremy Olson

Four thoughts:

  1. I don’t own an Android but the difference between the “including free” and “just paid” graphs is pretty spectacular. It means there are a ton of free apps for Android. Probably due to the “open” culture of the platform. Though quality is hard to quantify, it would be interesting to compare the overall quality of the apps on these platforms as well (or at least the quality of the top apps in each genre).

  2. Blackberry and Windows Mobile apps are comparatively very expensive and I doubt its because they are just that much better. I suspect it is because it is much more difficult to make a living selling cheap apps on those old platforms, where there is not a developed culture of app purchasing.

  3. The Android paid prices are only a bit higher than the iPhone’s. I wonder if there are really enough Android users to support those low prices or if they are artificially deflated because of people’s expectations from the iPhone app store (i.e. I heard you could get this kind of Twitter app for half the price on the iPhone! What is up with that?) If they are indeed artificially deflated, I think we can expect developers to raise prices soon, due to the necessity of making a living.

  4. As an iPhone developer, pricing is a big issue. The app store is, for the most part, a hit-based market and quantity is extremely important in getting exposure on the “store front”. For apps with general appeal and a chance at the top 100 (in general or in their category), it makes sense to minimize the price for impulse purchases to traverse the charts. On the other hand, if you have a niche app its a real struggle as you are expected to have a low price but cannot sell the quantity to make that a viable. As developers realize this, I think we will see app store prices going up a bit in general and only top 100 apps boasting the 99 cent price points we are seeing now.

Comments are closed.