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back to article One in 10 Brit smartphone owners 'can't afford' to pay for apps

Brits like smartphones, but half of them don't like paying for apps and two-fifths of those who've downloaded one say they'd never hand over cash for the privilege. The numbers come from MyVoucherCodes, which asked 2,611 British app downloaders what they thought the apps were worth, with only 27 per cent saying they regularly …

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Paris Hilton

I've got no credit

The number of times i've heard people say i've got no credit' - on their iPhone.

it's like having no petrol in the Jag.

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Re: I've got no credit

The article reminded me of this,

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/apps

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Silver badge
Stop

Re: I've got no credit

There's not a large number of pre-pay iPhone users out there (it's pretty expensive off contract, so if you can afford that you can afford a one month rolling contract), you probably confused it with a Samsung.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've got no credit

No petrol in the Jag, thats a good thing.. .Mine is a diesel, and the tank has fuel ;-)

Oh but I don't own an iPhone, I use an Android phone & tablet and I do buy apps on occasion, games usually, £1-£2 and its a real impulse buy, £4-£5 and I wonder if it will be good enough to be worth buying, with all the crap there is I am dubious all the time!

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Trollface

Re: I've got no credit

it's like having no petrol in the Jag.

it's like having no petrol in the Rover 2000.

there fixed it for you :-D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've got no credit

I'm finding it incredibly cheap to run an iPhone on PAYG. Admittedly it's mostly down to my provider not having charged me for their web access topup (I think it's now £10 per month, was £5 the last time I was charged) since the beginning of last year. Anonymous because I'd rather they didn't notice.

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Boffin

2,611 British app downloaders

…amounts to what, 0.1% of all App Store market share? Possibly an order of magnitude or two less, I don't have the numbers to hand.

We're talking about a microscopic scale survey here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2,611 British app downloaders

Ever notice how a lot of surveys are done with a relatively small sample size to the total population of X. It's almost like statisticians worked out that given the right conditions and distributions of a sample they will apply to the whole. E.g. Nearly every report, ever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2,611 British app downloaders

You would be surprised - that number of people (done properly - i.e. random selection etc.) would have a high degree of confidence / accuracy.

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Thumb Up

Re: 2,611 British app downloaders

That's because, with the right conditions and sample distribution, the results *do* correlate to the whole.

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Anonymous Coward

Paying for apps...

Why pay for something you can get for free?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Paying for apps...

I have yet to pay for any Android apps, and my iTunes purchases have all been via gift cards. I don't think I'm paranoid - the crazies never do after all - but I just don't like my credit card out there and ready to purchase with, effectively, no limits 24x7.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Paying for apps...

Android user?

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Silver badge

Re: Paying for apps...

"Why pay for something you can get for free?"

THIS FREE APP REQUIRES:

Your location (course)

Your location (fine)

Your phone state and identity

Network access

Services That Cost You Money (write SMS)

Read contact data

THIS PAID APP REQUIRES:

Network access

Enjoy your popups, billboards and targetted spyware. Really, people used to get programs to remove this stuff. They were like anti-virus programs. Ad Alert, Spybot S&D.. oh but hey, it's different on a phone, right?

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Re: Paying for apps...

but I just don't like my credit card out there

£25 and £50 Visa/Mastercard prepaid debit cards. Works for the vast majority of apps out there.

I have about £100-worth now.

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Re: Paying for apps...

"oh but hey, it's different on a phone, right?"

Disregarding your sarcasm, it isn't that different - there are plenty of apps (admittedly usually requiring root) that will counteract those bad permissions.

I expect there are even some that will deactivate certain permissions completely.

The Avast firewall and AdFree for example.

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Silver badge

Re: Paying for apps...

No I didn't downvote you, but I can see why somebody did.

If it requires me to root my phone, then it is a useless solution.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why pay for something you can get for free?

Because society breaks down if the strong just take what they want.

Because it's wrong to take someone's work and not reimburse them for the effort they put in.

Because the cheapest option isn't always the best.

Because you value the something.

You know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If someone took all your stuff would that be ok? If they didn't pay you it'd be alright, yeah?

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Re: Paying for apps...

I rooted my phone - you (presumably) pay for apps; "useless" works better for me than the alternative.

Having said that, the permissions thing wasn't why I rooted it. Dropping those inverted commas, I'd argue that it's the crapware present on unrooted phones that truly has little or no use (e.g. HTC Sense, UNuninstallable Facebook, etc. etc.); once I'd got rid of all that rubbish, the ability to fiddle with app permissions, block ads, and having a whitelisting firewall were just bonuses.

As with all things, it's a matter of opinion, neither yours or my situation is any justification for blanket statements.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Paying for apps...

You have to confirm the purchased on iTunes - sounds like paranoia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Paying for apps...

Apps for nookie?

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Pirate

YAARRR!!!

See title.

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Pint

Are they worth it?

I've only paid for two apps, ROM Manager, and Titanium backup (Could of just enabled the premium features without paying too, but I felt these two were worth it) most of the time I feel there is a equally good free alternative, or the price is just too much for me to justify paying for it.

Along with that some apps don't offer a free version to test it, so you could just be dumping your cash into something awful, or their free versions are just ad enabled which can be removed.

Beer, as it's what I spend my money instead of apps.

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Headmaster

Could HAVE just enabled the premium content....

Sigh.

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Unhappy

Re:their free versions are just ad enabled which can be removed

Yeah, wouldn't want some plebby engineer getting .005p every time you use the app they wrote.

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I don't begrudge paying a few quid occasionally

But on Android it is quite possible to go with just the freebies.

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MyVoucherCodes

So how did they target this cross section of British "App downloaders" ? If it was purely users of the MyVoucherCodes website then straight away you're dealing with people who like a freebie or a good deal, hence why they use that website. That isn't a representative cross section of people at all, you're deliberately targeting "savvy" (or "tight" if you prefer) people and asking them if they like paying for stuff!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MyVoucherCodes

He who is tight, is right. No debt, no cry.

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Re: MyVoucherCodes

Speaking as one myself, I couldn't agree more. I'm just saying that users of that particular site are in all likelihood not particularly representative of all smartphone owners.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MyVoucherCodes

especially not representative of Apple owners

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Anonymous Coward

Blame Mervyn King

The only people with any money left in this country are savers, and we're being pillaged by QE and zero interest rates. Damn right we're not going spend money on apps which are available free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame Mervyn King

Any thumbs down mean you're up to your eyeballs in debt. The prudent shall inherit the earth.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame Mervyn King

Nope, it means you don't understand why interest rates are low and QE is happening. It's to encourage spending, be it through making borrowing cheaper or discouraging people sitting on their savings. Although the latter rarely works in a recession because people want a cushion should they lose their job, but that's just how it goes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blame Mervyn King

No mate, I understand it fully. However, those of us militant savers who've tried to do the right thing and be prudent are being forcibly coerced into spending money through inflation and zirp. Well - sod that. We've decided that we're going to save even harder - and would rather see it burn than be forced into spending when we don't need to. It's a Pyrrhic victory perhaps, but its another unforseen consequence of insane monetary policy.

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71% of people prefer whiskas, 29% prefer dry cat food

"29 per cent ...said it was because they couldn't afford them, while the remaining 71 per cent said it was because the software was "overpriced"."

Presumably they were the only two options then or lots of people would have answered 'because there are plenty of free alternatives that work perfectly well' and given free-reign at least one out of 2,611 people would have answered with 'dickbut'

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Bod

Re: 71% of people prefer whiskas, 29% prefer dry cat food

Though whiskas is preferred because it's an additictive drug. Those on the dry stuff either have never tried whiskas or that stuff is like crack.

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Bronze badge

I pay for apps that are worth it. Currently, that's limited to a handful of games that have decent demos and that I couldn't put down and things like Torque (a car OBD app that works with a cheapy Bluetooth device I have that has helped me avoid MOT failures in the past by letting me see what's wrong without a mechanic asking me to pay for the privilege and so been worth its cost).

Apps, generally, won't be bought. The whole app-store concept is, I feel, a short-lived one. Sure, I bought a couple of apps from the Wii Store a few years back but I haven't touched that store in ages. I bought a few apps for my first-and-only Android smartphone when I first got it but stuff that was useful or, literally, cost pence. Over and above that, everything I use is free and I actually get more value out of them than the pay-for apps.

I bought my 4-year-old (who lives with her mother) an Android tablet and loaded her up with freeware. Also gave a £15 Play store credit that came with it which I could have used myself but thought I probably wouldn't spend it (and thought there might be something she wants and pre-paid credit was better than my credit card on there!). To my knowledge, that money is still on the account and hasn't been touched but she certainly has a lot of new apps on there.

About the only "app-store" that works is Steam, because it's not so much an app store as a way to purchase commercial games. There's always a bit of freeware to do any job you might need and, on phones and tablets, there's not much you *need* beyond casual entertainment and the occasional basic utility (memo-writing or calculator or similar). Hell, my smartphone is mostly emulators and network calculators. About the only really-well-used app is an SSH client, and that's hardly the type of thing you go out and pay for. I'd probably pay for a bubble-popping game before that happened.

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Anonymous Coward

Useless unless they broke it down against OS - although suspect we probably expect the purchasers are the iOS users and the freeloaders are the Android users (in general).

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Silver badge

Useless unless they broke it down against OS - although suspect we probably expect the ithingy users are getting fleeced all over again, while the wise old android users get the same functionality for no cost.

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Anonymous Coward

IOS users will be bring that average up - it's probably 1% of Android users buy any apps and 90% of iOS users buy apps bringing the 'average' to 27%.

Almost all the Android users I know use their phones for no more than making calls, texting and taking the odd picture - some use for the odd bit of twitter, facebook - but almost all free apps - most had never bought an app.

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"it's probably 1% of Android users buy any apps and 90% of iOS users buy apps"

Just where does this myth come from?

Out of all the iWotsit-owning people I know, most of them either don't pay for apps, or have an app which tells them when popular paid apps are on a free offer.

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FAIL

The scathingly bad reviews of any app on the Google play store that has the temerity to charge a buck for the un-crippled version.

I never like the term "freetard" till I started reading Google Play reviews/

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Silver badge

Can't say I'd noticed many of those scathing reviews, unless they are quite rightly castigating a developer for putting adverts in a paid app, or turning a paid app into an adware app.

I do however, see plenty of people in reviews, saying that they'd love to pay for an ad-free variant of a free app that only has an adware variant.

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My favorite Snes emulator is fully functional and ad free. All he did was disable the save function. for $3 you can get the full version. There are pages of nasty one star reviews because it can't save. All kicking and screaming that unless it saves and is %100 free its a one star app and a "rip off" though how a free app is a ripoff I have no idea.

Pages of people screaming "THIS SUCKS!" and others who claim that since the roms

"that he does not provide" are not his that his emulator is somehow immoral. It was just pathetic.

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Silver badge

I see which app you mean.

Super GNES lite, right?

Yep, there's a few idiot reviewers, which won't be prevented by Google's idiocy either. Still has a 4.1 star average though, which definitely puts it into the "awesome, shame you can't please everyone" category.

I'd give them a good review myself if it works nice but, you know, Google+ requirement and all...

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Stop

Beggared themselves buying iPhones, now can't find 69p

Beggared themselves buying smartphones, now can't find 69p. There - fixed

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Re: Beggared themselves buying iPhones, now can't find 69p

Droid phones are about £50-£60 for a cheap one. It's no supermodel, but it's a smartphone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Beggared themselves buying iPhones, now can't find 69p

Well if you are happy to settle for second best.

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Re: Beggared themselves buying iPhones, now can't find 69p

You mean "happy to have a phone"?

Tell me, why is an iPhone better than a cheap droidphone?

This should be good.

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Happy

Apple vs Android

As an Android user, I rarely pay for apps because there's no guarantee that the thing will actually work properly once it's downloaded. I would assume iOS users can have a bit more confidence in marketplace apps.

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