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Summary:

While the Android Market is on pace to overtake Apple’s App Store in overall apps later this year in terms of sheer volume, it is trailing far behind as a money-making platform for developers, according to new analysis from app research firm Distimo.

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While Android Market is on pace to overtake Apple’s App Store  in overall apps later this year, it’s trailing far behind as a money-making platform for developers. New analysis from app research firm Distimo found the Android Market is still dominated by free app downloads, and that paid downloads do much better on the iOS platform.

The latest Distimo report found that just two paid Android apps have ever eclipsed the half-million milestone, while six iPhone apps did that in two months in April and May. In a comparison of paid game downloads, Distimo found there are five games in Google’s Android Market with over 250,000 downloads worldwide, while the Apple App Store for iPhone had 10 games that hit 250,000 downloads in the United States alone in two months. This isn’t that surprising because Apple’s App Store has about three times as many paid apps as Android.

Overall, 79.3 percent of all paid Android apps have been downloaded less than 100 times, and only 4.6 percent of paid apps were downloaded more than 1,000 times. Among free apps on Android, only 19.6 percent of apps have been downloaded less than 100 times, and 48.2 percent were downloaded more than 1,000 times. Android users appear more likely to download free apps, something we’ve noted previously.

Historically, only 69 Android free apps have been downloaded between 5 and 10 million times, and 27 apps have been downloaded more than 10 million times. Only one, Google Maps, has eclipsed the 50 million mark. This suggests than even among free apps, there are few outright successes.

One of the issues appears to be that there is less turnover in the top rankings for the Android market. In April, in the App Store for iPhone, there were 843 distinct applications in the top 300 free rankings, and 584 unique apps in the top 300 paid applications. For the Android Market, there were only 388 distinct applications in the top 300 free apps, and 363 apps that appeared in the top paid 300 paid apps in April. Among top-10 applications, there have been only 26 free and paid apps in the top 10 rankings for April in the Android Market, while 94 iPhone applications were in the top 10 free and paid in the App Store in April. That lack of change in the rankings can be hard on developers, who look to the charts as a way to get attention and free marketing.

Free apps can still be monetized through advertising, but that works best when you have a lot of downloads, as does Rovio’s Angry Birds, a level of success many developers don’t achieve. Or there’s the potential for in-app purchase revenue, something Google has addressed by recently turning on its in-app purchase payment system. Google has been taking steps to improve the overall Android Market experience with more charts and better curation. It has also been tinkering with its ranking algorithm to reward more engagement. As I recently reported, Android is still a popular place for developers, especially those looking to push boundaries, and it’s growing as the primary platform for some devs. And with Android device sales soaring, it makes sense for developers to target the platform. But it will take some more time before the platform becomes a real money-maker like Apple’s App Store.

  1. How about the fact Angry Birds is making more profits on Android being a free app than being a paid app on iOS?

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    1. That’s a “fact” is it, Charbax? Would you care to provide proof?

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      1. Just look at the statements from Rovio on their Android Angry Birds income vs iOS. Rovio is making 2x more profits today each day from being free on Android compared to being a paid app on iOS.

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      2. The problem, Charbax, is that you are mistaking what you think with “facts”. You started this thread with the sentence “How about the fact Angry Birds is making more profits on Android being a free app than being a paid app on iOS?” when called on it your response is “go look it up”.

        Martin’s response to your original comment says: “Peter Vesterbacka, an executive at Rovio Mobile, the developer of ”Angry Birds,” in December 2010 said that Apple will be the number one platform for developers for a long time, calling the Android ecosystem fragmented.” which doesn’t jive with your statement or your latest response.

        If you say that “Angry Birds is making more profits on Android” then you have to supply the, er, facts to support your argument, not a cute “go and look it up” response.

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    2. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

      Rovio had sold 12 million copies of Angry Birds on iOS at a buck a pop making that $12 million dollars by Dec 2010 versus a reported $1 million per month in ad income since October 2010 so that is not a good example of Android income being greater than iOS.  

      Peter Vesterbacka, an executive at Rovio Mobile, the developer of  “Angry Birds,” in December 2010 said that Apple will be the number one platform for developers for a long time, calling the Android ecosystem fragmented.

      Chillingo who distributed Angry Birds also has another game that you might have heard of – Cut the Rope – which has sold (that’s sold not viewed for free) $6 million worth of copies on iOS in just 3 months. 

      -Mart

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      1. Pretty certain Angry Birds started at a much higher price than that on iOS…

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      2. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

        Good point Ratty, so Rovio has made even ore from paid iOS apps than Android than I calculated.

        -Mart

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      3. Angry Birds range in price from $0.99 to $2.99; iPhone to iPad. light versions are free.

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      4. I think it started and sold well at 6.99…

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      5. I think your underlying point is still true, but what an app costs in an app store is not at all the same as what a developer pockets. Apple takes a significantly higher cut of the profits than Google does.

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      6. “Apple takes a significantly higher cut of the profits than Google does.”

        A higher cut of zero is still zero.

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      7. It’s not fair to compare the total of 2010 numbers, Nexus One was just released at the beginning of 2010, the numbers you have to look at is today how much money is Rovio making on Android vs iOS, the profits from being free on Android for Angry Birds is MUCH higher than being paid app on iOS.

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      8. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

        @Charbax,
        Ok compare your Android Angry Birds ad revenue with Cut the Rope released by the same publisher at the same time October 2010 and you see it made $6 million in 3 months, angain far more than Android Angry Birds.

        -Mart

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  2. Those are interesting stats, but tough to make real sense of. I can’t recall the specifics, but my recollection is that Apple’s share of app revenues a fair bit higher than Google’s, which seems awfully relevant to this issue…

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    1. Not unless 30% is a fair bit higher than 30%. Developer takes 70% on each store front.

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  3. App Discovery on Android is indeed difficult. I read a lot of Android related blogs so I find interesting apps more often than a regular Android Market user would. One thing that should be said is there are a lot of shitty apps on the Android Market compared to iOS and I’m definitely not spending money on a shitty app. Second thing is that A LOT of older Android phones out there have only a limited memory to Install Apps. The MOVE TO SD CARD feature is a total bust and Manufacturers and Google should stop saying “OH its such a GOOD Feature so Buy Android”, Its total BS. I’m maxed out on the number of Apps I can install and there will be no more purchasing of Apps for me unless its extremely important to me. No more will i buy silly little games or silly little apps that I would have bought if i had more memory. So Until all the Older Android Phones get Upgraded = more memory to install apps (I got an Year more to go) I feel downloads and money making will still be lower to iOS. Lastly developers should grow some and not offer the App for Free. Have faith in their own App. Overtime more developers will start following this trend and Android users will have to pony up the money. If a free option is available no one will want to buy the App unless of course they will strongly about paying the developer for their hard work.

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  4. Does anyone know any company making a lot of money on Android? Like millions. Or even smaller than that, like a developer making a cool 100k with his/her app? We used to hear that from day one about iPhone apps.

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  5. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

     - Developer income (2010):  $1.782 billion from iOS App Store vs $102 million from Android Marketplace according the IHS Screendigest.
    - Apple captured 82% of the revenue from all app stores in 2010 compared to 5% for Android

    And Android devs aren’t making up the differences with lots of free apps supported by advertising either:

    - 71% of all app downloads were to iOS devices in 2010 according to ABI Research, 5% to Android.
    - iOS users are each worth up to twice as much as Android users to advertisers according to Mobclix

    -Mart

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    1. Who’s mobclix anyways? Ask AdMob what’s the income on Android vs iOS.

      Also, Google now can process 10x more payments thus get more from ads thanks to the Google Wallet.

      And, Android global market share is more than double compared to iOS and Android market share is constantly growing compared to iOS. So even if it was true that iOS user is worth double to advertiser, Android as a platform is already worth more than iOS since twice as many users are on it. And in terms of new users buying new Android phones, the number is more like 4x more to Android compared to iOS.

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      1. Funny that, AdMob show earnings from iOS being significantly higher than Android.

        Google Wallet doesn’t actually exist yet.

        Pretty certain your Android / iOS comparison is off too.

        It boils down to this. iOS users spend money. Android users not so much.

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      2. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

        @Chabax
        Nope, the iOS installed base is significantly larger than Android worldwide and in the USA.  iOS quarterly unit sales are close to Android unit sales with Android growth now starting to plateau.

        ComScore reported in April that active iOS devices outnumber Android devices by 59% in the USA and by 116% in Europe, and with total iOS devices sales tracking quite closely to Android devices for the last couple of quarters (32 million Android vs 33 million iOS in Q4 2010 according to Canalys) the gap is not growing smaller very fast.  

        In fact in Q1 2011, for the first time since Android began it’s break-neck growth, NPD reports that Android’s share of quarterly sales in the US smartphone market shrank quarter-to-quarter (by 6% in fact) to 50%.  

        In contrast Apple’s iPhone grew 47% to capture 28% of all smartphone sales in the USA.  IDC reports that Apple had the highest growth of any mobile phone vendor worldwide in Q1 2011 year over year of 115% with second place ZTE growing 45%, Samsung growing 9% and HTC and Moto not even on the chart.

        Google announced at I/O that 100 million Android devices have been shipped since October 2008.  However, 187 million iOS devices have been sold since mid-2007.  

        With only 17 million iPhones shipped in its first two years on the market, with the iPad being only just over a year old and with carrier contracts locking phone users in for 2 years, the vast majority of those 187 million iOS devices are still active.  

        -Mart

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      3. @Martin Hill

        It’s sad to see when Apple fan boys start quoting sales numbers that favor them at “that” point in time over and over again. A year ago it was “oh our IPhoone is out selling Android Phones by millions we are have nothing to worry about”, then 6 months ago, “Our Iphone still has the most usage share in the US” or “Our IPhone is just one phone compared to hundreds of Android Phones”, a few months ago it turned into, “Oh you can’t compare the Android OS to the Iphone, its like comparing Apples to Oranges”, or “OH Look We Still have the MOST IOS Usage Share”.
        Go read MG Siegler’s posts and you’ll see the perfect example of an Apple Fanboy fishing for examples to use to defend his pride in Apple’s Iphone being the Best. Stop Quoting different numbers every few months to prove your point.
        As an Android follower its getting quite tiresome (but entertaining) to see these arguments pop up every time and then Android completely destroying that argument. Now your saying oh its amazing IOS has had a growth to 28% sales compared to Androids 50%. Do you know 50% Is almost a 100% greater than 28%??? I don’t see your logic :S. This article might be true right now but lets see in a few months how the situation is.
        FYI in the future if you want to quote more statistics you can say Iphone has a greater mobile web consumption compared to Android or Iphone has better App engagement. I’m sure there are “Statistics” to help you prove your point. I hope you got an A in Statistics after all this number crunching.
        Just give it some time.
        If Apple does not change its “Arrogant” outlook on users, developers and Google’s Android OS, its going to fall behind. Its only a matter of time. I had my heart set on buying an Iphone 3Gs till I did some research and found how horrible of a Company Apple can be.

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      4. @Shiran,
        It has indeed been impressive how fast Ansroid has grown over the last couple of years.   I am not denying that. What I am pointing out is that Android growth is now quite obviously slowing down and plateauing even though Android fans desperately try to deny it.

        I have never denied that Android’s 50% share of last quarter’s US smartphone sales numbers is larger than the iPhone’s 28% share.  However, what I was highlighting is that for the first time ever, last quarter Android LOST market share (6% in fact) while the iPhone INCREASED its share by 47% to capture 28% of the market. This is a radical development that has received very little press. Are you denying these numbers?

        It is you Android boosters who have always said, don’t look at the current numbers, look at the growth rates as they point to where the market is going. 

        Here is another blatantly obvious indicator of Android’s slow down calculated from the “activations per day” figures that you Android fans love so much.  Have you ever sat down and compared how that number has grown over the last year?

        Here is a breakdown of the actual growth rates of Android activations since mid last year (courtesy of bigmig):

        May-June 2010: +60% per month
        June-August 2010: +12% per month
        August-December 2010: +11% per month
        December-April 2011: +4% per month

        Part of the plateau is because total sales have grown larger. However, even in unit terms the growth rate has slowed considerably:

        May-June 2010: +60,000 daily units per month
        June-August 2010: +20,000 daily units per month
        August-December 2010: +25,000 daily units per month
        December-April 2011: +12,500 daily units per month

        It is only Android fans who have always concentrated on comparing just the iPhone to all Android smartphones and tablets and only ever looking at quarterly unit sales rather than installed base.  It is quite amusing how you have always refused to compare operating system with operating system or installed base with installed base.

        It is as if when comparing the Windows operating system versus Mac OS X or Linux you only ever considered laptop numbers.  

        What’s even more amusing is you are more than happy to include the Dell Streak, the Samsung Galaxy tab and other tablets in your Android “smartphone” numbers from Canalys and comScore (because they have cell phone hardware built-in and 2 year carrier contracts) but heaven forbid that the iPod touch or iPad are included in Apple’s numbers.

        However, of course developers want to know the total number of devices capable of running their software.  This means they are also very interested in the actual number of devices in use out there as well – installed base.  The fact that 100 million Android devices have been sold to date versus 187 million iOS devices is ABSOLUTELY vital data to know when comparing these two platforms.

        You are so ready to trumpet comScore’s quarterly smartphone unit sales figures, but you put your hands on your ears and go lalalala when comScore releases a report stating that the actual number of *in-use* iOS devices in the USA outnumbers the total number of Android devices by 59% and in Europe by 116%.

        Which number do you think developers make money on?  Which number do third party peripheral hardware manufacturers get their income from?  Which number do Content providers get their content purchases from? Which number do advertisers get their page views from? And which number tells consumers what platform do most other people have?

        Oh and we have always been comparing iOS web views and app engagement to Android – it is always you Android fans who have never wanted to hear it:

        Here are the latest April 2011 operating system web browser marketshare figures from Net Applications:

        iOS has surged 20% since March to 2.44% which is 3.4x greater share than Android on 0.66%. 

        iOS is third behind Mac OS X on 5.4% and Windows at 88.9%. 

        By comparison, Java ME comes in 4th on 1.01%, Linux is at 5th with 0.94% and Android is in 6th place.

        So, could you tell me again – who is being selective with their stats?

        -Mart

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      5. @Martin Hill
        You seem to really love Stats. I applaud you for the awesome research you’ve done.

        Let me share some numbers with you then. http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/26/nielsen-consumer-desire-for-android-grows-unlike-ios-and-blackberry/
        Here Nielsen shows that the Desire to buy an Android over the iphone is greater. I’ve seen this a number many times and till that it used to be the desire for an Iphone was much greater than Androids. This clearly shows that consumers going forward might opt for an Android over an iphone. Itouch on the other hand is clearly a different story.

        If you say that it is only “fair” to compare iSO to Android OS, I cannot agree with that at all. From a Developers perspective, yea iOS numbers might matter but in purely “fair” comparison of Apples to Apples, it is not. iOS usage share consists of ALOT of Itouch’s, I don’t have the numbers between iphone vs itouch’s in the iOS but I bet you do. The COST of owning an Android or Iphone is soooooooooooo much greater than the cost of owning an Itouch. So it is not a fair comparison just like apple fan boys love touting that Iphone to Android is not a fair comparison. When and If Android starts targeting the PMP market, (not just manufacturers building PMP using it), it can be called a fair comparison. The point is Android has clearly eclipsed the iPhone in the Smartphone race, even when consumers have to shell out ~$100 a month, where as the owner of an Itouch does not need to do that. Steve Jobs said once Android was nothing to worry about, now Android is outselling his Iphone. So now its iOS usage has nothing to worry about. We will see.

        If you have been following Android vs iOS or Iphone drama over the last two years, like I have, you cannot deny that fact that each and every month when statistics come out from comscore or neilson or ndp or mobilix, a Statistic that Once showed Iphone was dominating was slowly but steady being crushed by Android. My Point stands, If Apple does not do anything drastic, Android will continue to dominate and developers will jump ship towards Android.
        FYI opening up the App Store was Drastic move by Apple, one that it clearly opposed at having at the start of the Iphone, but later changed its mind on. (if what I remember is correct) It was the hacker community who showed Apple what an amazing phone it could be. So Before you go around touting Apples App Store is the Best, learn your history. If it werent for the hacker community, who Apple hates, your amazing App Store you love to defend would not exist.

        To refute some of your points
        “It is as if when comparing the Windows operating system versus Mac OS X or Linux you only ever considered laptop numbers.”
        This is clearly a horrible anecdote. Iphone vs an Itouch clearly has a phone part to it which carries a huge monthly expense. A consumer could easily buy an Itouch without worrying about paying more money every month. Iphone, an Android not so much.

        “I am not denying that. What I am pointing out is that Android growth is now quite obviously slowing down and plateauing even though Android fans desperately try to deny it.”
        We will see if it plateaus at all or not. It is way to early to say anything. In the same regard I could say Iphone is losing market share month to month and a developer would be dumb to put his hopes on it?

        “In fact in Q1 2011, for the first time since Android began it’s break-neck growth, NPD reports that Android’s share of quarterly sales in the US smartphone market shrank quarter-to-quarter (by 6% in fact) to 50%.”
        This was during the quarter that the iphone 4 was released on Verizon. Probably A lot of people bought it and it tipped the scales a little in Apples favor, Same will happen again when Iphone 5 is released. BUt Android phones are released year around and therefore you cannot argue that its plateauing from this number.

        “What’s even more amusing is you are more than happy to include the Dell Streak, the Samsung Galaxy tab”
        I don’t believe these sold that well and therefore would have minimal impact on the usage numbers.

        Unless you bring more valid points and useful information to the table other than stats, stats, and more stats, I’m done commenting. This was entertaining but now I’m bored reading All thos stats.

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      6. @Shiran, 
        I like facts, and actual statistics help to reveal the truth behind the hype.

        You make it seem that there are no Android competitors to the iPod touch when that is patently untrue.

        Archos for example has been one of the biggest Android challengers to the iPod touch to date and despite fielding a wide range of 2.7″, 3.2″, 4.3″ mini media player tablets has still only managed 7.8% of this market in France – their home market – and they were worse elsewhere.  Similarly Samsung with their Galaxy Player 50 has been a non-starter.

        The iPod touch, just like the iPad, continues to dominate the market no matter what competitors throw at it and crying “it’s not fair” makes no difference to developers whose apps run just as well on that and the iPad as well as the iPhone.  This article is about app platforms not smartphones.

        If you want to talk smartphones only, then compare the iPhone against Samsung or Motorola or HTC’s smartphones.  

        If you want to compare operating systems and app platforms then compare all of Android with all of iOS. 

        You can’t have it half one way and half the other way just to make sure your favorite platform wins.

        As far as Verizon sales are concerned, do you really think sales on that carrier will stop now?  Haven’t you seen AT&T’s iPhone sales numbers which each quarter keep growing in leaps and bounds?  Why would that not continue on Verizon as more customers come to the ends of their contracts as well?

        Regarding Galaxy Tab sales, we all know Android boosters like to crow about Samsung shipping 2 million tablets.  Don’t change your tune just because it destroys your argument of “we should only count smartphones”.

        -Mart

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    2. Bohdan Ganicky Monday, May 30, 2011

      Guys, really, why are you all so passionate about who earns how much. You act like Google or Apple were your companies and their money your money. It’s just ridiculous. ;)
      For the end users it’s totally unimportant and they all play their Angry Birds no matter what platform they are on and how much developers earn.

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      1. Martin Hill Monday, May 30, 2011

        @Bohdan,
        You’re actually 100% wrong.

        Unless *developers* make plenty of money on Android, chances are users *won’t* be able to play the next Angry Birds on their Android phones.  

        Angry Birds itself took more than a year to arrive on Android after originating on Apple’s iOS and if the income is not there developers will hold off even more or not develop for Android at all as is the case with many apps.

        It’s not a question of whether Apple or Google themselves make money or not (although that does have implications long term), 

        -Mart

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  6. The base facts that the iPhone is a specific purchase choice resulting in a high revenue audience. The android market is sustained by a mobile fanboy before the price of the phone drops to $.01 so 99% of android buyers have no vested interested in spending any more money. They got a phone with minimal functioning apps supplied by their telco as with OS “choice,” good enough. And unlike iOS, even if they liked their OS, can you even transfer an htc app to a moto phone later with a different telco skin, OS version and screen resolution? Android isthe new symbian. It’s market share is a free giveaway market share which is fine as an ad platform but not muchof anything else.

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    1. “And unlike iOS, even if they liked their OS, can you even transfer an htc app to a moto phone later with a different telco skin, OS version and screen resolution? ”

      Um, yes you can. Is it fun just making stuff up?

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      1. So fragmentation is myth Dianne, all Android apps work on all Android phones? Like, oh, I don’t know, Netflix? Please stop lying, or at least come up with better lies.

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      2. @ Ted T.

        Fragmentation is a problem only for those who make it a problem. If you want to run all Apps without hiccups, the buyer should be smart enough and buy a high end Android phone. (comparable to an iPhone) then your case is a non issue. If you buy a cheap Android phone, you should be smart enough to know that you won’t be able to do everything with that phone. Its like buying a Pentium 2 computer and expecting it to play high end games, its not going to happen. If you really want Netflix, Android easily allows you to run a Custom ROM and get access to it. With Android If you REally want something, you most likely can customize your phone to get it. If you really want to watch videos you can download flash, get a browser and visit a website and stream it through that. Which BTW Iphone doesnt Allow. I’ve watched plenty of Anime episodes and Movies using this. Stop bitching about things you don’t know and IF your Android phone user, use your brain a little and find out how you can do things with your phone. Its not going to think your baby and make things easier for you like the iphone does. Google could make things easier with the upgrades and removing the skins but unfortunately they are preoccupied with other things. Hopefully they will address this issue soon and also focus more on making the Android Market better for users and developers.

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  7. It sounds like this study is only looking at paid applications. With the growth of in-app-billing on both platforms, this may be a mistake. For example fully half of the top grossing apps on the Android Market are free apps: https://market.android.com/details?id=apps_topgrossing

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    1. Problem is that devs are having problems selling apps on Android. Which is why Angry Birds is Ad supported.

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      1. @ RattyUK

        That is not the reason. Angry Birds was free because at the time you could purchase Applications from the Android Market only from a few select countries. So Rovio made the choice to make the App free so that people from all over the world could get it and play the game. Not because No one would have bought it.
        This is another point I forgot earlier in my post. Till Recently you Could only “Purchase” Apps from a few countries. Google Checkout wasnt available in the other countries. (if I’m not mistaken) Or the developers in those countries without Google Checkout couldn’t list their Apps for a price because they couldn’t get paid. Hence the App HAD to be Free. Things might change going forward since Google as of this year’s I/O extended App purchases to 99 more countries to a total of 131 according to an Android Blog. So people in only 32 countries could purchase Apps till May 11 2011. This makes the whole comparison a little off

        @Ryan Kim
        I think you should note the fact that Paid Apps on Android were open to only 32 countries in your blog post to give a little perspective.

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      2. @Shiran
        Let’s hear what Rovio, the actual developers had to say shall we?

        Rovio released the Android version of “Angry Birds” as a free ad-based app ealier this year, calling it “the Google way.” According to Vesterbacka, “paid content just doesn’t work on Android.”

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      3. “That is not the reason. Angry Birds was free because at the time you could purchase Applications from the Android Market only from a few select countries.”

        You seem to be saying that App developers can’t sell apps on the Android platform. Which is what I said. You have a different reason but it amounts to the same thing.

        The point is that developers are having problems selling their work on the Android platform. Free stuff, no problem, valuable apps, not so easy.

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      4. @Martin Hill
        You may be correct in what you said, I don’t know. I haven’t come across that statement yet. From what I’ve read on Mashable, (which I’ve come to realize is a little pro Apple) says what I said. http://mashable.com/2010/10/15/angry-birds-android-2/. Plus you can’t argue that, if what mashable is reporting is right, that rovio released it free because Android users wouldnt pony up the money . It makes perfect sense that Rovio would opt to release it for free for 131+ countries rather than a paid app for 32 at the time. I’m only going by what I’ve read. So please if I’m wrong, correct me. Also you can’t argue with my logic that developers in the countries that didnt have paid apps HAD to offer their app for free (ad supported) because otherwise they couldn’t get paid. If I remember what I’ve read correctly it was Google Checkout limitations.

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      5. @RattyUK
        You are correct. haha I jumped to the conclusion that you meant We, Android Fan boys were too stingy to pony up the money and thus Develops had problems selling apps on Android. :D My bad. But in my defense any reader would assume you meant what I thought, without knowing all the other reasons.

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      6. @Shiran
        http://technmarketing.com/iphone/peter-vesterbacka-maker-of-angry-birds-talks-about-the-birds-apple-android-nokia-and-palmhp/

        Peter Verterbacka, the “Mighty Eagle” of Rovio, makers of Angry Birds on 27th of December said:
        “Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective, they have gotten so many things right. And they know what they are doing and they call the shots. Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android.”

        -Mart

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      7. @Martin Hill

        Thanks for the link. It seems my article and your article contradict each other. As for “but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models.” I Believe competition is always good. Now that Amazon is in the business of Selling Apps as well, Google can’t sit back and relax and neither can Amazon since it wants to make money. End of the day consumers have a greater choice and developers will slowly get more bargaining power. Fragmented eco-system? All I see is potential. Consumers have been trained to be babies by Apple and have the one-stop-all shops but with Android we will be able be Smart Consumers and shop around. whats wrong with that?

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      8. @Shiran,
        That’s exactly the problem – users will have to shop around to find particular apps because Amazon, Carrier stores and others are already lining up exclusives. Developers are having to go through the hurdles of multiple payment systems, multiple fees, multiple stores as well as multiple devices.

        This is the bad old days all over again. And people complain about a difficult to discovery process on the iOS app store.

        Oh and Vesterbrock is a bit disingenuous saying “Device fragmentation not the issue” considering only one month earlier Rovio had issued an apology for poor performance of Angry Birds across a variety of Android devices, explaining that, “despite our efforts, we were unsuccessful in delivering optimal performance.”

        The company added, “So far, we have hesitated to create multiple versions of Angry Birds for the Android platform. But judging by the feedback we have received, we feel that by providing a lightweight solution, we are doing a favor for our fans. We are currently developing a lighter solution to run Angry Birds on lower-end Android devices.”

        -Mart

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      9. @Martin Hill

        So Basically what your saying is “Choice is bad and a Monopoly is Good?” That is the exact reason why I don’t like Apple and its App Store. It can and is bullying Developers to sing to its tune. What Happens if in the future Apple says “oh wait, we want a 50% cut of sales?” The developers have to suck it up and live with it. Where as on Android they have the option to ditch one App Store and Migrate to the next. Now please don’t try to defend Apple on this issue since it has already enforced rules like my example but not as bad.

        Yes it creates more complexity to consumers and developers but its not bad as people try to say it is. Angry Birds issue you mentioned is right, but they have the choice not to go after those phones and develop for it. Same thing will happen or has happened on the iphone. Older Iphones can’t run the latest apps due to hardware limitations. Its just more prominent on Android due to the faster release cycles. This is not a bad thing since the technology is pushed forward at a faster pace. When the retina screen was introduced I believe apps had to be rewritten to support it.

        I understand we have different mind sets. I like choice where as you like everything straight forward. We will not agree on the subject but you can’t deny that Choice is Good.

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      10. Martin Hill Sunday, May 29, 2011

        Actually Shiran I am very glad that Android exists as a strong competitor to Apple. I am also glad that it isn’t Microsoft as that particular monopoly was damaging in its own right itself in the desktop market. Having Mac OS X as an alternative to Windows has been very important to the health of the computing world.

        Choice is certainly good from that perspective, but what I felt was bad was the triumphalism that wanted to place the crown on Google itself and have Android win completely.  That would also be bad in it’s own way and I think it far better that we have a market with strong competing ecosystems and not have a single winner.

        With the amount of pro-Android hype out there, I’ve felt it important to redress the balance and highlight the disadvantages of “open” and fragmented vs “closed” and integrated.

        For Apple to win, I don’t believe Google has to lose and vice versa.  This is not Highlander.  :-)

        -Mart

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    2. Martin Hill Friday, May 27, 2011

      @Dianne,
      To make more money from in-app purchasing (or ads) you need more people downloading those free apps. However with 71% of downloads of all apps (free and paid) being to iOS devices in 2010 with only 5% to Android devices according to ABI Research, iOS is winning that war as well.

      -Mart

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  8. One factor is that you can use an Android phone without ever needing to sync it with a desktop PC. I believe using iTunes on an iPhone requires an iTunes app install on a PC/Mac where one is prompted to enter credit card information. Google should prompt you to set up a Google Checkout account with payment info when first logging into a Google service (Gmail, etc) from a new Android phone. This will get users use to the idea of buying things from their phone.

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    1. “I believe using iTunes on an iPhone requires an iTunes app install on a PC/Mac where one is prompted to enter credit card information. ”
      You believe wrong, sir. I have tons of iOS devices and have never been prompted to make such a transaction.

      Wow, that is the most childish excuse for Android’s failure to take money I have seen. The point, Mark, is that people who buy Android mostly buy it because it is on offer and don’t want to spend money. Plain and simple.

      For heaven’s sake. I can walk into any pharmacy in America and buy Facebook credits. Same with iTunes cards. Google payments, not so much. You would think that if Google thought they could make money selling credit in corner shops and garages they would be in that market by now.

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  9. Fred Wilson called, he wants his meme back. http://bit.ly/lLmjWp

    Also, to the rest of you, while you are letting facts get in the way of your cute arguments, both Apple and Google take 30% of whatever the app costs. That’s reality, not some made up nonsense. So if an app costs $1 on the App Store, the developer gets 70 cents. If it costs $1 on Android Market, the developer gets 70 cents. The problem is that people on Android Market aren’t paying.

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  10. Something I didn’t see mentioned in the article… Some Android devices-older devices from Archos running older Android OSes and some other really low-$$ Chinese tablets, can’t access the Android Marketplace. While it may not be a lot of devices, I’d imagine some people like my good buddy at church would if he could.

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