Android Users Don’t Buy Apps

The iPhone versus Android.

Those are the mobile phone superpowers that the world has been discussing for two years now.

Who has the better features?

Who has more apps?

Which platform will win!?!

Clearly both are successful, but it may be the developers — not the consumers — who decide the winner.

An interesting report from AppleInsider today confirms what I’ve been hearing from mobile developers in the past few months: Android users aren’t spending money on apps like iPhone users do.

Speaking to “anxious app developers” at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Android platform manager Eric Chu said Google is actually “not happy” about the limited number of apps actually being purchased.

This is a big concern for anyone developing mobile applications.  Quality apps can often take hundreds of hours to develop, and most are created by very small teams with limited resources.  If the customer base of Android phone aren’t purchasing apps frequently, that may be too big of a risk for many companies.

Worse yet is the state of the Android marketplace:

Many of the tens of thousands of apps in Android Market are just ringtones, wallpapers or simplistic “apps” designed just to fill space, a situation that drowns out legitimate developer’s work under tons of copyright infringing junkware.

Ouch.

Analysts are quick to predict the rise of Android as the dominant mobile OS of the future — and they may be right.  Carriers love Android because it’s free, and it’s easy to compare to the iPhone.  That ensures there will be lots of Android based phones flooding the market.  Without quality apps on those phones however, Android will be relegated to a “me too” device.  The Hydrox in a world where the Oreo reins supreme.

Google should be very concerned.

Updated:  Looks like the news just keeps getting worse for Google:

“We estimate that Apple’s App Store drove close to nine application downloads out of 10 in 2010 and will remain the single best-selling store across our forecast period (through 2014)” said Gartner Vice President Carolina Milanesi.

9 out of 10?  Yikes.

Source: Wall Street Journal / All Things Digital

Posted in Mobile