August 27, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Hey, Android users, why so cheap?
Mobile advertising firm AdMob has published a new report showing that iPhone users are twice as likely to purchase apps as their Android-using counterparts. The report finds that despite relatively similar habits of downloading a total number of apps each month, iPhone users were twice as likely to open their checkbooks for the stuff they really want.
So why don’t Android users pay for apps more often? Cheapness? Since the most popular apps in the Android Market are free and dwarfed similar paid products (even some that may be superior), that’s an easy assumption to make. But I don’t really think Android users are cheap. Sure, there are plenty of cheapskates, but that’s more of a human issue than a platform issue. Besides, we’ve seen complaints from plenty of non-U.S. Android users who would gladly pay for the chance to get certain apps — or paid apps at all in some countries.
So what’s the real reason for the discrepancy? My guess is that it boils down to numbers – there are more iPhone users, more apps, and more time on the market to be established. The iPhone platform has a much bigger pool of users, meaning it probably draws from a more statistically diverse pool of people willing to spend money on apps. More potential buyers leads to more apps. Thus, there are thousands of more apps to choose from, so iPhone users see more apps that they deem worth a buck or two. Even with the Android Market’s indirect preview policy, there are far less apps out there to entice people to loosen their purse strings.
- AdMob says Android users download about 9 apps per month with a ratio of 1 paid to 8 free. On the other hand, iPhone users report 10 apps with 2.6 paid.
- Only 19% Android users buy an app each month; 50% iPhone users buy at least one paid app a month.
- The estimated number of Android users is 3 million compared to 26.4 million iPhone users and 18.6 million iPod Touch users.