iPhone App Store Beats Android Market 250:1

Sep. 01, 2009 3:24 AM ETAAPL, GOOG3 Comments
Joel West profile picture
Joel West

Matt Hall on his Larva Labs blog laments lousy sales on Android Market, both for his apps and those by other companies. For one application, the iPhone App Store is outselling Android Market 250:1, while (as a commenter notes) the iPhone installed base advantage is only 15:1.

The conclusions are based on AdMob data, which notes that iPhone/iPodTouch owners are 2x as likely to buy paid apps as Android users. (That would only suggest a 30x discrepancy between the two platforms.)

Hall laments several aspects of the Android Market shopping experience. It’s not clear whether these decisions are just implementation errors that are easily fixed, or systematic choices, perhaps (as Hall suggests) reflecting a bias towards free apps.

The latter point I don‘t quite follow: Google (GOOG) is making money off of Android (through increased use of its ad-supported online services), so what’s wrong with the software developers making money? Google has already so commoditized mobile phone software — and Apple (AAPL) has established a standard $1 price point for most paid apps — that smartphone app developers already face a considerable challenge in monetizing their creative efforts. Why force a zero price rather than a near-zero price?

This article was written by

Joel West profile picture
Dr. Joel West is professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Keck Graduate Institute, one of the seven Claremont Colleges in Los Angeles County. He was co-editor of the book Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm (Oxford, 2006). His consulting focuses on IP strategies and business models for software and Internet service companies. Before KGI, he spent nine years as a faculty member at the San Jose State College of Business, was president and co-founder of Palomar Software and also a columnist for MacWEEK. For more information, see Joel’s website (http://www.joelwest.org/) and the home page for his blogs (http://www.joelwest.org/blogs).

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