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Thread: Analysis: Android, the Land of the Free App

  1. DF News Team
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    Analysis: Android, the Land of the Free App



    In a world ruled by smartphones, what would a frugal consumer want most? Aside from free phones, I guess the next best thing would to have access to lots of free apps. And surprise surprise! Android leads all the major smartphone App stores in the availability of free apps. An analysis performed by Distimo in June found that 57% of the apps on the Android Market are free, compared to 28% for the iPhone App Store and 22% for the Windows Mobile Marketplace. Distimo also studied the average price per paid app, and found that Android provided the cheapest paid apps of the major smartphone platforms. The average app on Android is $3.29, compared to $4.01 for the Apple App Store, $6.97 for Blackberry, and $5.96 for the Windows Marketplace.





    These figures are stunning, and may or may not bode well for developers looking to make the move to Android. Having the lowest-price apps, and the most free apps available could mean that Android developers recognize the frugality of the Android consumer, especially in a down economy. So, instead of charging for apps, developers look to other options: one being the implementation of AdSense within their free apps to yield profit. Distimo's analysis may also show the impact of piracy on the Android Market. Some developers may feel that piracy is a war they will never be able to win, so instead of fighting, they just simply provide their apps at an inexpensive price point, or free of charge. Although this may seem like an extreme viewpoint, one cannot deny the ease of piracy and the wide availability of pirated apps for Android.

    Any way you slice it, Android is the best smartphone platform for consumers looking for the most bang for their buck. These findings are almost verbatim to what was found in Distimo's February analysis. As the Android Market continues to grow, as does its selection of free apps.

    A few more interesting findings (via Androinica):

    • 32% of Android apps cost $0.99 or less
    • 31% cost $1-$2
    • 37% cost more than $2
    • The highest-ranked paid app, based on Distimo’s findings, is Beautiful Widgets by Level Up Studio ($1.88 USD). Dataviz’s DocsToGo is the most expensive app in the Top 10 ($14.99), but it has had several sales that lessened the price to $5.55-$9.99.
    • Robo Defense is the most popular paid game ($2.99)



    Thoughts on these findings?

    via Androinica
    Source: Distimo
    Last edited by wuyanks; 07-05-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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  3. Droid Sensei
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    I think the sheer amount of totally useless junk and the number of totally crappy free apps skew the numbers, though. All those perverted "touching" games, plus a zillion crappy J2ME ports by me4android and a bunch others really mess up the statistics. Google needs to do SOMETHING about the sheer influx of crap in the marketplace, some of these apps have absolutely no need for existing.

    I think the biggest turn offs to developers on the Android side of things would be the sheer amount of crap the customer needs to wade through to find the good stuff. I've basicallly given up on the "just in" tab in the marketplace, it seems to belong to me4android.
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    I think the biggest turn offs to developers on the Android side of things would be the sheer amount of crap the customer needs to wade through to find the good stuff. I've basicallly given up on the "just in" tab in the marketplace, it seems to belong to me4android.

    Can we report this guy?
    I had a nice signature, but the mean ate it.
  5. DF News Team
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    Totally agree, Dave. The sheer amount of junk on the Market is disappointing. However, that is the price to pay for having an app market with no restrictions.

    So, you need to take the good with the bad. Unless you feel we need an approval process, similar to that of the Iphone App Store
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  6. Droid Sensei
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuyanks View Post
    Some developers may feel that piracy is war they will never be able to win, so instead of fighting, they just simply provide their apps at an inexpensive price point, or free of charge. Although this may seem like an extreme viewpoint, one cannot deny the ease of piracy and the wide availability of pirated apps for Android.
    I dunno about that, piracy is WAY more rampant on the iPhone/iPod/iPad - on a jailbroken iDevice you can actually download an app that acts like an App Store replacement and gives you VERY easy access to pirated apps. You don't have to do ANYTHING, this program does it for you.

    I haven't seen ANYTHING like that on the Android side, so i'd think devs would be more comfortable investing their time in Android. Not that I spend alot of time LOOKING for pirated apps, but i'd say they are much more widespread in the iOS world than in the Android world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuyanks View Post
    Totally agree, Dave. The sheer amount of junk on the Market is disappointing. However, that is the price to pay for having an app market that has no restrictions.

    So, you need to take the good with the bad. Unless you feel we need an approval process, similar to that of the Iphone App Store
    I'm actually starting to lean that way, maybe not as strict as Apple's draconian policies; but there needs to be SOME control. The me4android games are basically a form of piracy, and if I see one more sex-based app i'm going to scream. Google needs to get a grip on this problem, if only to prevent kids from seeing some of this crap.
  8. DF News Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave12308 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wuyanks View Post
    Some developers may feel that piracy is war they will never be able to win, so instead of fighting, they just simply provide their apps at an inexpensive price point, or free of charge. Although this may seem like an extreme viewpoint, one cannot deny the ease of piracy and the wide availability of pirated apps for Android.
    I dunno about that, piracy is WAY more rampant on the iPhone/iPod/iPad - on a jailbroken iDevice you can actually download an app that acts like an App Store replacement and gives you VERY easy access to pirated apps. You don't have to do ANYTHING, this program does it for you.

    I haven't seen ANYTHING like that on the Android side, so i'd think devs would be more comfortable investing their time in Android. Not that I spend alot of time LOOKING for pirated apps, but i'd say they are much more widespread in the iOS world than in the Android world.
    i'm with you there. but... here's some food for thought: you don't need to "root" a device to pirate apps on Android. you need to do so on the iPhone. Oh, and most iPhone apps require them to be cracked/modified, while on Android, no cracking is necessary (for the most part)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave12308 View Post
    I think the sheer amount of totally useless junk and the number of totally crappy free apps skew the numbers, though. All those perverted "touching" games, plus a zillion crappy J2ME ports by me4android and a bunch others really mess up the statistics. Google needs to do SOMETHING about the sheer influx of crap in the marketplace, some of these apps have absolutely no need for existing.

    I think the biggest turn offs to developers on the Android side of things would be the sheer amount of crap the customer needs to wade through to find the good stuff. I've basicallly given up on the "just in" tab in the marketplace, it seems to belong to me4android.
    QFT. Maybe 1 in every 15 apps is actually a real app when I browse the "Just in" section. The rest are all pointless ebooks, soundboards, skins, half naked Asian women etc.

    Google really needs to add filters for market searches, and let users classify apps as "spam". It can't be that hard for a company like Google to implement this..
  10. Droid Sensei
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuyanks View Post
    i'm with you there. but... here's some food for thought: you don't need to "root" a device to pirate apps on Android. you need to do so on the iPhone. Oh, and most iPhone apps require them to be cracked/modified, while on Android, no cracking is necessary (for the most part)
    Well, you're right in that respect, but with the easy "one-touch" jailbreak programs out there, that's hardly an issue for most folks. I'd venture to guess that anyone truly interested in piracy would be jailbroken anyways. In the end, this is perhaps ONE positive side-effect of the closedness of the iOS platform.

    The cracked/modified thing is hardly an issue these days, anyways. With the iOS app that I spoke about, almost EVERY app in the app store is available in cracked form anyways. It's unfortunate that it's that rampant, but the reality is that it has become that bad. Heck, if you can't find a cracked version of a certain IPA, there's an app in Cydia that will convert the "lite" version into a full version for ya - no work needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nphil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave12308 View Post
    I think the sheer amount of totally useless junk and the number of totally crappy free apps skew the numbers, though. All those perverted "touching" games, plus a zillion crappy J2ME ports by me4android and a bunch others really mess up the statistics. Google needs to do SOMETHING about the sheer influx of crap in the marketplace, some of these apps have absolutely no need for existing.

    I think the biggest turn offs to developers on the Android side of things would be the sheer amount of crap the customer needs to wade through to find the good stuff. I've basicallly given up on the "just in" tab in the marketplace, it seems to belong to me4android.
    QFT. Maybe 1 in every 15 apps is actually a real app when I browse the "Just in" section. The rest are all pointless ebooks, soundboards, skins, half naked Asian women etc.

    Google really needs to add filters for market searches, and let users classify apps as "spam". It can't be that hard for a company like Google to implement this..
    The day i launched my app it was recognizeable for about 5 mins the amount of soundboards are killing the maret and it'sreally NOT good to have a cheap market place for apps... over 50%free is absolutely ridiculous.

    Android customers have become or have been cheap and rude... what they want or expect for 2 or 3 bucks is crazy to me...

    I've gotten 1 star because my app didnt do what he wanted it to... but it does what it says it does. That's fine but it hurts the ability to move up the rankings when people are being nreasonable...

    The Android market is not very developer friendly... it does look like it will improve but the return policy and the inability to respond to irrational buyers needs to soom be implemented.
    Make sure you check out the HOT NEW RAP APP ::Free$tyle King:: search Freestyle or Rap in the Android Market www.freestyleking.net

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