11 Comments

Summary:

Mobile app stores are popping up like mushrooms after the rains, making life difficult for app developers. We wanted to know the average cost of a paid application on different platforms. Folks from Mobclix crunched some numbers and came back with some surprising findings.

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, Android and the iPhone OS platform. Nokia 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.

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  1. pathetic. i hate my blackberry. i can’t wait to go Android next year!!

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. BlackBerry App World Still Leads in Most Expensive Apps | BlackBerry Cool Thursday, December 31, 2009

    [...] GigaOM and Mobclix have put together a nice chart showing the average cost of a paid application on …. We have talked a few times about how App World has the highest priced apps relative to the other smartphones, and to date, it still leads by over a $1 compared to the next highest Windows Mobile. RIM should be much more active in helping developers drive these prices down. At the very least, App World needs a better promotional system similar to the BlackBerry Cool Store, so they can offer a Deal of the Day, BOGO campaigns and MobileHeist sales. [...]

  7. And Palm isn’t even worth a mention. Brutal.

  8. BlackBerry App World Still Leads in Most Expensive Apps | Blackberry Software Friday, January 1, 2010

    [...] GigaOM and Mobclix have put together a nice chart showing the average cost of a paid application on …. We have talked a few times about how App World has the highest priced apps relative to the other smartphones, and to date, it still leads by over a compared to the next highest Windows Mobile. RIM should be much more active in helping developers drive these prices down. At the very least, App World needs a better promotional system similar to the BlackBerry Cool Store, so they can offer a Deal of the Day, BOGO campaigns and MobileHeist sales. [...]

  9. Craze for mobile apps to reach new heights in 2010 | Going Cellular Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    [...] 8,500 apps, BlackBerry App World has over 3,462, and Noka Ovi has over 2,213, according to a recent Mobclix survey. Verizon also has its own App Center, which would change the playing field from platform to [...]

  10. Mobclix and Nielsen Ink Mobile Ad Targeting Data Deal – GigaOM Monday, February 8, 2010

    [...] offers mobile analytics that provide developers with information about how consumers use their mobile applications, and the [...]

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