New Canalys Report Indicates Android Apps May be Too Expensive

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
3,966
Location
Austin, TX
lonely-Android-Robot.jpg

A new report from the marketing research firm, Canalys indicates that the top paid-for Android apps were priced “dramatically higher” than those on iOS for the iPhone. In fact, apps on Android reportedly cost two and a half times higher than they do on iOS. Their survey indicated that 82 of the top 100 paid apps in Apple’s App Store were priced at just $0.99, compared to only 22 in the Android Market. Here's their full press release with even more details on their study,

Android apps are too expensive

Apple’s more mature, controlled retail environment drives app price competitiveness

Palo Alto, Shanghai, Singapore and Reading – Thursday, 23 February 2012

Canalys today released the results of a recent App Interrogator survey of the top paid-for and free apps from the leading consumer app stores to clients of its App Store Analysis service. The survey reveals that the top paid-for Android apps are priced dramatically higher than those on iOS for the iPhone. In the US, to purchase the top 100 paid-for apps in the Android Market would cost $374.37 – an average of $3.74 per app – more than 2.5 times the cost of the top 100 paid-for iPhone apps. The top 100 iPhone apps would cost $147.00, or $1.47 on average per app.

A narrower focus on just the top 10 or 20 downloaded paid-for app listings reveals the same striking disparity in pricing. The top 10 or 20 Android paid-for apps cost, on average, $3.47 or $4.09 each respectively, compared with $0.99 or $1.04 respectively for the top 10 or 20 iOS paid-for apps. A similar picture was also seen in all five countries surveyed (Germany, India, Singapore, the UK and the US), though the Indian and Singaporean Android Market listings are not truly localized.

‘That developers can apparently charge more for their apps on Android and make it into the top paid list is clearly a positive,’ said Canalys Managing Director, Mobile and APAC, Rachel Lashford. ‘But the reality is that with fewer people willing to purchase apps on Android than on iOS today, there is more of a necessity to do so. Developers and publishers need to balance the iOS volume opportunity with a potentially greater value per download opportunity on Android, where more apps command higher price points. Selling more apps at higher prices is the Holy Grail for developers, but achieving big volumes of paid apps on Android is no small challenge. More aggressive price competition around Android apps would help to encourage more consumers to make their first app purchases, drive greater download volumes, and ultimately be good for the vibrancy of the app ecosystem.’

It was noteworthy that the top downloaded paid-for apps on Android and iOS had little commonality in any country. In the United States, just 19 apps appeared in the top 100 paid lists for both stores. Individual apps tend to be priced very similarly where they do appear in both stores, with the exception of apps that are subject to promotional pricing on iOS.

‘It is clear that apps or games that prove to be runaway successes on the iPhone do not automatically prove to be so popular with Android smart phone users,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Shepherd. ‘Apple’s App Store and the Android Market are very different retail environments. The former is now a mature but still very closely controlled retail environment, while the latter remains more open but also less secure and consumer friendly. As such, developers and publishers use the stores in different ways. Electronic Arts, for example, regularly offers discounts across its portfolio of games in the App Store to ensure they remain visible to customers by featuring in the top app lists. Price competitiveness is crucial in Apple’s store, where the vast majority of top paid apps cost just $0.99, in a way that is not the case in the Android Market. This leads to disparities whereby an app such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market, but is discounted to just $0.99 in the Apple App Store.’

The survey shows that 82 of the top 100 paid apps in Apple’s US store are priced at $0.99, against just 22 in the Android Market in the US. But with iPhone users increasingly familiar with in-app purchases, there are further options available for monetizing iOS apps beyond the initial payment. Having downloaded, installed and used low-cost apps, consumers will be more willing to pay additional sums for extra content, levels or add-ons for apps they like, than to pay a greater up-front sum for an app of unknown quality. ‘That in-app purchasing is a better established feature within the Apple ecosystem than on Android, gives iOS developers an advantage in this regard,’ said Tim Shepherd. ‘It also underscores the importance of app store providers innovating and being quick to implement new features, which can enable developers to build robust and credible app business models and to make real money.’

The Canalys App Interrogator, comprising snapshot surveys and analysis of the leading app stores, is an analytical tool within the company’s App Store Analysis service, which is new for 2012. It provides valuable data and insight on the top downloaded and purchased apps across different countries and stores, including pricing trends, top developers/publishers and user preferences for different app categories. If you would like more information about the App Interrogator, please contact us.

Hmmm... I wonder what is causing this big disparity. Share your thoughts in the forums on this topic.

Source: BGR
 

kodiak799

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
6,148
Reaction score
828
Hmmm....Well, I don't have many paid apps, so for a paid app that is really good and that I really want, I'm willing to pay more than $0.99 for it. Intuitively this makes sense - more apps on Android are free, so all else equal that leaves a bigger pot for the fewer apps people will pay for.

Also, this comparison might be deceptive. Some of the top apps for $0.99 on IOS might be free on Android, so it's a different pool. In particular, might be a higher % of games in Android's top 100 which typically cost more $$$. Actually, the survey did show there was little commonality between the top 100 apps, and when there was prices were very similar.

Very interesting study though.
 

SpeJ3435

Active Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
190
Reaction score
44
Location
Raleigh, NC
Current Phone Model
64GB White Nexus 6
I agree with Kodiak799; more apps are free on Android, leaving a bigger gap for paid apps. Also, wouldn't this be a good thing that app developers can get more for their apps because they have created something worth paying for? That's almost like criticizing Apple for how much they charge for their tablets, yet their tablets still sell very well or the people who buy expensive cars when cheaper ones will do the job. If people see the need to have something, they will pay more for it if they really want it.
 

xeene

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
1,039
Location
detroit, usa
there are always alternate ways of getting apps for free. so on ios you'd still spend $147 on top apps, while on android it would cost $0.
 

combatmedic870

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
56
Location
Portland OR
there are always alternate ways of getting apps for free. so on ios you'd still spend $147 on top apps, while on android it would cost $0.


:blink::blink:
Heck yeah! DancingNexusDancingNexus

Them game loft games are spendy!!!!!!!!!!! :icon_ devil::icon_ lala::D

heh....im eating capt. crunch right now.

Most people will complain about supporting a dev and all that stuff.....most of the really useful stuff you arent able to pirate....so calm it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
141
Reaction score
1
I don't agree with this study. Just because the top 100 apps on android are more expensive doesn't mean all apps on android are more expensive. Now if they were comparing the same apps and the were more expensive on android then I would be okay with it, but they aren't. This whole study just makes me think apple is finding studies and companies that will make it seem like they are superior. Its just like all the ad campaigns for trucks, if you pay attention they are comparing the towing of V6 trucks to their big bad a** diesel hauling machines and then saying they are far superior because they can tow more.
 

MissionImprobable

Silver Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
2,040
Reaction score
142
They did mention that a few of the same apps are more expensive on android, though basically some of Apple's apps are "subsidized" to keep them lower. Some of the prices are strange on the Market though, like TiBu for $6 something. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the pricing scheme on the Market.
 

metalspring

Silver Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
24
Location
hermitage, pa
there are always alternate ways of getting apps for free. so on ios you'd still spend $147 on top apps, while on android it would cost $0.


:blink::blink:
Heck yeah! DancingNexusDancingNexus

Them game loft games are spendy!!!!!!!!!!! :icon_ devil::icon_ lala::D

heh....im eating capt. crunch right now.

Most people will complain about supporting a dev and all that stuff.....most of the really useful stuff you arent able to pirate....so calm it.

yes...please, no one can stop you from pirating the apps but DO NOT discuss it here....:excl:
 

pyro6128

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
8
Location
NYC
In all fairness he could have been talking about promotions, or getting the free app a day from amazon. But then he platantly said he was pirating haha. Gotta keep that on the low
 

xeene

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
1,039
Location
detroit, usa
I got 100 top apps from market for $10. Beat that ios! And you are right about amazon app store and daily free apps. There are also other places that do same thing.
 

Xplorer4x4

Active Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
1,004
Reaction score
4
Location
Evansville,IN
extremetech did a great break down and debunk of this study. To sum it up, there are alot of Office Productivity type suites in the Android Top 100 which any one who has bought these or looked in to them know they are usually expensive compared to your more common apps and games. For example Docs To Go is $15. It is apps like this that tilt the scale to make it seem Android apps are generally more expensive. Using the Top 100 apps vs Top 100 apps was a very way to judge the average cost of Android apps.
 
Top