Android-based smartphones may have passed the iPhone in terms of market share, but developers of Android apps aren't profiting from that rise. iPhone users buy far more apps. "It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model," reads …
It's still not going to stop me...
... writing the worlds greatest Android app and monetizing it.
I'm working on it now, in fact, I'm going to call it 'Monetize' - it'll be an app which tells people how to monetize things. You just type in a word and the app will give you the low down on how to get your grubby mits on some greenbacks.
I'll throw in some extra bits like 'leverage economic understandability' and 'prioritise financial paradigms' (these will be icons)
Effectively, my application will be adept at stating the blindly obvious - stuff that is so obvious, most people don't think about it.
"How can a monetize this banana I'm holding?"
My app will help you do that. Just type in the word 'banana' and it'll tell you 50 ways you can monetize that banana.
"Sell your banana to a stranger in town for twice the amount you paid for it. Now go and buy two bananas. Sell these bananas to two strangers in town for twice the amount you paid for them. Now go and buy four bananas. Now brand your four bananas. Call them 'Happy Ethical Bananas' and sell them for 10x the price you paid for them. Now go and buy a banana plantation."
... and so on...
... shit, I just gave my idea away ... best get hacking ...
I have to deal with mixed platforms and their users every day. (Mac, PC, Linux) The Mac folks are vastly less computer literate than everyone else, and that also seems to translate into them overall doing less work investigating software. They simply follow the other Mac lemmings and buy whatever everyone else using a Mac bought. So I'm not surprised this applies to the App Store.
No profits on apps sold?
Fair enough. But just about every damn app is stuffed with adverts, how is the "monetisation" (ugh, horrid word!) of these adverts?
One thing is for certain for ads
Google takes much more than 30% commission out of those...
Impossible to buy apps
Maybe it's because it's impossible for many people to buy an app in the android market. To buy something you have to have a creditcard. I don't have one, so I am forced to get my apps somewhere else, for free.
Also, people under 18 can not legally have a creditcard, while those people are allowed to have a credit card or a PayPal account and would be able (and willing) to pay for their apps.
Have you considered...
Asking mommy for her card? Also, I'm not sure where you live, but I've had a debit card since I was 15.
6 years on el reg and my first post... I agree with some issues mentioned such as lack of standardization etc. After protesting for years I finally bought an iphone last year. it broke a few months later and i got the best rated android phone, the HTC Desire..
Here's the issue... I have 16Gb of free space, but I can't install more than 50Mb of apps. So I was out of space after a day. Now I'm a coder and have been for two decades. Ive coded on Symbian, C++ Delphi & Fortran, and I write my oen kernels. Yet even I could not work out how to install apps on the SD card. Yes I tried the apps availible to do that, manually going into settings and moving a few (maybe 10% of apps have the option) individually, but that was too tedious... i found an o0ut the box methods that involved flashing & jailbreaking the phone, but that took ME a couple of hours and it didnt work, presumuably due to a ROM update by HTC....Even WIndows mobile addressed these issues 10 years ago...
So WTF, 50mb on a 16GB phone? There are other issues, eg. I choose a photo I want to email, click Share... then I get taken to the "Sharing" program and have to choose the photo again... I also agree with the other comments there are minor annoyances that havent been sorted out, and I like the HTC Desire but to me it's like a comparison between my 1997 Nokia 6110 and it's more feature rich sucessor.... the Nokia 6110 was made in two tone brushed aluminium, and its simplistic interface belied its capabilities and hid its cutting edge tech... it was an object of desire, it was a joy to use....
Ultimately it comes down to this, the iPhone felt natural... my gran started using it immediately. On my HTC Desire I still have to think twoce that I have to click the "To" text space, then click "down" to hide the keyboard and click the "text" space, then click "down" to hide the keyboard before clicking "Send" in Android....
Couldn't tell you about 50Mb of apps, I have no idea how many I have, but I've a fair few, with Google Maps, Moboplayer and Firefox coming to around 25Mb, with the rest most likely adding up to more than 50.
I believe SD card support requires app compliance which is why some do it and some don't.
Windows Mobile sorted out jailbreaking? And Apple permits this how?
Sharing? I choose a photo, tap Share, get asked how (email etc), and them it's done.
Texting? Send button on screen beside the input box, with Swype keyboard below.
Not all Android phones are alike...
Sounds like you have an early version of the OS, early versions did not support installing apps onto the SD, which is a bit of a pain as HTC don't give the phone much storage. Froyo (2.2) supports apps on the SD out of the box, and before that there were applications available that could do this for you.
Surely you have 2.2 at least by now?
Unfortunately some apps were/are badly written and don't like being moved onto the SD, although in my experience those apps are usually pretty bad in other respects too, so you'll be dumping them before the no SD problem becomes and issue.
I believe the Android market is suffering from being as open as it is. Apple pace their store to a degree that would make an OCD sufferer blush, which does keep quality up. I've lost count of the number of Android apps I have tried and dumped because they were just completely incomprehensible, or obvious direct ports of the iOS version, with no support for the menu button amongst other faults.
My pet hate are apps that have no way of being told to quit (short of using a 3rd party to kill it). BT's FON app is one, as are several of the messenger app like WhatsApp. Nasty nasty nasty.
Having said that, I'm still more than happy with my 'droid. Firefox, K9 email, trillian instant messenger, an FTP server and client, remote desktop...
Even apps on SD is not necessary...
...because they will stop working as soon as you hook up on USB (mass storage).
Best thing to do (on 2.2 upwards), is partition your SD card into FAT (usual stuff) and ext 2/3/4 (best one is ext3).
Android will view the ext partition as native disk space and you won't even need to move anything anywhere AND will keep working when hooked up. And this pretty much negates the huge mark up of going from a 16GB version of an android device to a 32GB one. Why pay extortionate rates when 2.2 upwards will work with microSD's up to 32GB.
For the record I have about 380MB's on my little beauty. Tinker a bit and it's amazing what you'll be able to do :)
Help on that!
I wouldn't mind knowing what you did to partition the SD card, would any linux do or can you do it directly in the phone?
Partitioning an sd card is trivial yet I've only seen it on rooted phones. The easiest way is to do it using disk utilities in Linux. Failing that, there's a windows app to do it too. Search for it, you can't miss it (i'm on bberry now so can't tell you). The important thing is to back up your sd in case anything goes wrong. The easiest way would be by rooting your phone and using clockwork's free app to do this for you. Windows is messy because of MS's oblivous to any file systems other than fat or ntfs. Also visit modaco for step by step instructions
Don't forget to move all your apps back into memory in case you had moved them with a2sd. That's because the ext3 partition will function transparently as extra phone memory.
I've got an iPhone
That is all.
This is a post
Advice for Google's Android marketing department...
You need to devolop a strategy focussed on attracting customers in the MMTS category - 'More Money Than Sense'. A proven strategy here is advertising that focusses on form over function. People dancing and having fun with a pretty looking phone - good. People getting full access to the phone they paid for - bad. Heroes using them in big buget movies - good. Experts using them in at IT department - bad.
MMTS are the most profitable demographic and one of which Apple have expertly taken full ownership. If only Bose sold an Ipod dock. They do? Where do I type in my credit card number?
Probably more of a mindset thing
you know, fools and money being easily parted etc
'Smart' phone superfluous for many
Phone stores are pushing Android phones at *everyone*, whether they want a 'smart' phone or not (I can only assume there is some advantage in doing so). I know several Android owners who had intended to continue a contract with a 'dumb' phone but walked out with a contract bundled with an Android gadget at the same rate.
All they want to do is make phone calls, and are completely indifferent to its other functionality. One even told me that - although they had some kind of data allowance - they had gone back to the store to ask for all Internet connectivity to be turned off. There had been no Internet use that they knew of, but they had been warned their data allowance had been used up. They couldn't work out how or why it was happening, didn't want it, and asked for everything beyond ordinary phone functionality to be disabled.
I suspect there are many Android owners who were upsold the device, but aren't fussed about using it. Hence the software sales do not reflect the apparent market share.
Why buy a crappy fart app made by one person
Why buy a crappy fart app developed by one person when you can get a spectacular FOSS fart app made by lots of people for free?
Having FOSS available for android sets the bar higher if you want to make a profit whereas Apple blocks that so you won't have to worry about that kind of competition.
Echoing HTC Desire comments...
I'd just like to echo the comments made by someone else about the HTC Desire.
I've actually bought a ton of apps for my phone, I disagree with many of the anti-market comments in this thread quite a bit - i've found it easy enough to find what i want, dead easy to get the apps paid for and use them and I don't recall ever having paid for an app and regretting it in any way.
The big problem is that most of the apps i've bought are no longer installed - there simply is no room on this stupid phone. Whomever sized up the internal storage for this phone needs to be dragged out in an an alleyway and forced to watch Eastenders for a month non-stop or something.
The phone has pretty much now got to the point that it has the things I want, it has no free space, and there is nothing that can be removed without causing grief, so there is now no opportunity for me to install anything new.
I could root the phone, put on a custom rom and then use one of the a2sd type things but, ugh, i'm sorry but that's just confused the heck out of me, multiple ways of doing it, this one works this way and that one works another way, and then this one is not considered good and not many roms seem to come with them out the box? And let's not forget the obvious risks with blowing a custom rom on the phone... I actually need it to work like a phone and take calls, not end up bricked so I could get some more free space via the sd card.
With the desire being one of the most popular android phones as far as I am aware, that must have had a significant impact on sales in app marketplace and should be taken in to consideration. The iPhone's obviously had someone who hadn't been smoking funny stuff coming up with their specifications and therefore their users are able to buy and install more fart apps than we are! :)
I'm not entirely sure I quite follow how Apple or Google can "rotate" the top x apps - surely it's top because it's top? Are you saying that Apple fudge the top listings artificially? Or is this referring to featured apps or something...
Must admit as with another poster - I rarely *find* apps on the market place, almost always found elsewhere (xda, the reg, cool smart phone etc) and then use market place to buy/install.
I also know a number of android phone users who don't even know you *can* install new things on to their phone and certainly have no desire (no pun intended) to, the fact it runs android is no more important to them than knowing what os their previous phone ran. Almost everyone who buys an iphone is specifically buying a smart phone. Not everyone who gets an android phone cares if it does anything more than make and take calls, do texting and so forth, because android phones naturally slot in at a much wider market from the iphone style top end smart phone down to cheaper "phone" phones, even DECT handsets, cheapo tablets and so forth.
Sounds like another apples and bricks comparison :) (referring presumably to comparing an iphone with a desire custom rom that's gone wrong, ahem)
Even apps on SD is not necessary...
As i wrote in a previous response, all you need is android 2.2 or newer and an SD card.
You can partition your SD card between FAT (its native format) and ext3 (linux file system).
Then whatever space is on the SD under ext3 will be transparently added to your storage size.
So partitioning off say 512MB of a 2GB card leaves you with 1.5GB for your pics etc. and doubles (if not more) the storage space for apps and your system data.
HTC Desire here too
"Whomever sized up the internal storage for this phone needs to be dragged out in an an alleyway and forced to watch Eastenders for a month non-stop or something."
or perhaps eternally locked in a room with whomever thought of having traffic lights on a round-a-bout
you tell that to the five guys in accidents when they turned off the light to re-align them at a large roundabout near me for two weeks.
Quality & Price across iOS and Android
I own both an iPod touch and a phone running android, there are two things that some of you have already mentioned about the possible reasons for the poor sales:
1) I've found identical apps from the same developer to be very overpriced on the android market compared to iOS, also EA/PopCap haven't released many games for the android system which I would prefer to see bigger developers porting their apps to android, not a crap "cant be bothered" quality style app coming across.
2) The apps in general are - generally - much poorer quality, not sure what it is, but even stupid time wasting apps on the iOS are made to a much higher standard than any on the android marketplace.
Oh and don't forget the chinese/japanese apps that flood the "Just in" section of the marketplace of the same app with a *slightly* different design.
One big thing
Quite simply the standard UI elements on iOS look nicer. Rounded buttons, gray and blue.
Android 2.x's standard UI is white text on a black background with yellow and orange focus/click highlights, and everything is rectangular.
Obviously they don't want to make it look like iOS, and it's good for readability, but it really needs some polish.
Each to his own
I rather like the look of white on black with yellow and orange highlights, it looks good. iOS standard designs look too Fisher-Price for me.
I've only bought 2 Android apps
I bought Robo Defence after playing the free version for a week. It was so addictive that it was worth paying for extra levels and the author really deserved my two quid. (Wow, reading that back I sound so tight!)
The other purchase was PDANet. Bought out of necessity because stupid Android doesn't natively allow a tethered laptop to use its 3G Internet connection. Maybe Android versions later than 2.1 support it, but this app was well worth paying for to plug a hole - something my old Windows 6 phone had done out of the box for years.
Back to the argument, I think more iPhone users have money to burn than Android users. My pay-as-you-go Android cost £99. It's crazy to spend any more money on a phone that goes out of season in 12 months.
Yes, Android 2.2 supports tethering.
I agree, that's an annoying omission by both Google and Apple. I've had a long line of Nokia devices which would tether straight out of the box, and I used them for that on several occasions when I had no other internet connection. I remember using an N70 in 2005. I think the 6600 I had before could do it too via irDA, but I don't remember using it.
I don't understand the more money than sense iPhone users either. I can see the 3GS being justifiable now that they're old stock and almost free with a pack of cornflakes, but the whole "must be at the cutting edge, here's my wallet" urge completely escapes me when it comes to mobile devices these days.
that the average iPhone user has more money than sense.
is whats putting people off, theres no universal payment it is localised so you end up paying £1.50 to your bank on top of te 59p or so for the app, in effect costing you 3 times extra. its a terrible system this is what most of us moan about, I have bought a couple of essential apps but had to pay £1.50 to my bank each time, so now I no longer buy and thats what put me off (like a lot of people!)
change this they may get more sales coming in..
idiots part with their money easier
the typical iPhone user throws money away like its out of fashion...therefore
they are likely to buy an App rather than look for a cheaper/free alternative.
Android users tend to be a bit more savvy - their Phone is likely to be 1/2 or 1/4 the
price of an iPhone - therefore they are likely to be more frugal....and more likely
to look for cheaper or free Apps to do the task.
I know of many people who have paid for an App when there are free tools
that do the same job (might not have as good an icon or name but still...)
Android release new builds too fast
I think opensource is just part of the problem on the Android market. Personally I would pay for an app which have support, open source or the not, if its useful with support.
My main beef with Android is the compatibility issue accross tablets. Android and older generation phones/tablets have people stuck on 1.6 Android, unable to upgrade, and google keep on releasing new builds for the more expensive newer models. At this rate most people keep on adjusting for the newer SDKs and olders ones get left behind.
Skyfire for one, left the 1.6 users to fend for themselves so they can utilize the new features in the newer builds. Problem is, a huge share of the market have older kit, and there is no way forward for them. Upgrading for older handsets is not possible without a kind dev building some custom builds of android, but its impossible to cover every single chipset out there on their unpaid own.
Don't blame Android for their prompt release cycles, blame the Handset makers and Carriers who drag their feet in releasing said upgrades in order that we all upgrade our phones, HTC are quite happy to pump out a new handset every month but cannot be bothered to update their previous offerings -- oooohhh that Samsung looks nice ;)
Another difference between iOS and Android
1) Tetherable Android phones don't seem to cost extra, iPhone can tether now, but it costs
2) Some iOS apps seem to exist to cover function of websites that Mr Jobs doesn't want people using, whereas on Android you can just use the site, hence no need for an extra app
So my kid likes Angry Birds and I decide to buy it, after seeing it on Amazon for around a dollar or a pound / whatever.
However Amazon only sells to Yanks, and I could not find the paid version on Google's Market.
I have since rooted the phone and installed Adfree, which dealt with the problem.
However I remember reading somewhere that Rio was making a million dollars a day from ads in Angry Birds ... why would they bother trying to sell it with that sort of income?
And so comparing sales of Apple and Android apps is misleading.... they should instead look at the total revenue stream to devs.
Phone vs Appliance
I suspect part of the reason more iPhone users buy applications is that iPhones are a device with a sub-standard phone attached as opposed to Android Phones which tend to be phones that can do some other crap.
Most the iPhone users I know love them for everything except making phone calls.
£1.83 being taken for a ride?
For goodness sake, £1.83 is nothing! What else can you get for £1.83? You can't buy a large coffee for £1.83.
£1.83 for a full fledged game is peanuts.
This is the trouble, people have got used to seeing a lot of crappy apps for pence and this has turned us into cheapskates.
This works both ways as well. I recently had a problem with an app. The developer told me (in typical geek fashion) "tough, if you don't like it, here's your money back". 69p. He just didn't give a monkeys about fixing the problem and 69p is no incentive. When I asked why he sold such a good app so cheaply he said "anything over a dollar just won't sell".
It's just not sustainable. We've cheapened mobile apps so much now that the words "software" and "quality" are becoming mutually exclusive. I'd rather pay $5 and have apps that don't crash and stuff my phone.
This should have been attached to the FIFA thread. Don't know what happened there...
I pay 80p for my coffee
Seems like you're beng taken for a ride on that too.
Look stores can have space for both types of products, if you look at apps by the OmniGroup the cheapest starts at £11.99. Lots of very expensive medical apps too. They still sell very well.
If you go for the general market price the app low, if it's specific price the app high. Simples and it works, well on Apple's market anyway.
I just knew someone would say they could get cheap coffee. Must be pretty ghastly stuff if a large one costs you just 80p
Look, I'm not saying there is no room for expensive apps, but I think you'll find they are pretty niche. I'm saying that the mobile app markets have cheapened expectations and led to a dramatic drop in quality.
FFS!! a title? i'll give you a title....
1)android phones are sold to poor people(statistically anyway), free(as in speech)tards, paranoid anti control freaks or techys or their friends.(I am in part all four of these)*
a)poor people cant afford apps or don't have a credit card.(you can BUY a phone from £60 FFS! how low does your credit rating have to be to not be trusted to pay back £2.50 a month.)
b)freetard would rather get the(usually)free open sourced based app*
c)techy (can) steal their apps.
d)the paranoid wont trust their credit card.
that's gotta dig into the number of people PREPARED to pay.
2)the number of apps offering ad-supported versions far exceed the appstore(tm,Ptpend)
3)the number of free, "will do**" apps a to compete with the paid apps again exceed app(le)store
4)the search (considering it from the worlds number 1 search provider)is horrendous, it doesn't even support -(minus) .......FFS.
so if I am willing to pay, can find what I want, there is a good chance there's an app supported(thus effectively...free***) option available.
Its not surprising that sales are low.
*my coats the troll shaped one with its own bridge.
**as in its not perfect but for FREE it will do.
***yeah I know its not free but I get to pay with a comoditie I have loads off....free eye time.
the problem is supply, not demand
I think this analysis overlooks a rather important point: iOS has more high-quality software written for it. So of course its software gets more sales.
I'm not saying that accounts for all of the difference, but surely it's too big a part of the picture to ignore it if you're thinking straight.
I have an Android phone and have bought a bunch of apps and games. Some of them are very good. But there are still a load of other top-quality games I've seen for the iPhone which I would buy on Android if they were ported. They're not, so those sales don't happen. (I still don't want those apps enough to change platform and suffer iTunes, however.)
If you build it, they will come. I don't blame anyone for focusing on iOS -- it is a more tried & tested route, and Android Market does have its issues -- but there is decent money to be made on Android all the same, for people who put time into it. As a bonus your app/game will stand out more because it's competing with less.
Another thing I find odd about this article is the stuff about Apple's top ten promoting certain things. Android Market does something similar, and has done at least since I started using Android late last year.
Theres little incentive to develop apps
when linux already has just about everything you'd ever need for free and once Necessitas etc are a bit more polished it will be just a case of recompile and go.
I think you have all missed the point
Biggest difference between Apple and Google devices? Space!
I have the HTC desire, even with the latest updates and having used 'Apps to SD' and moving anything and everything I can accross to my SD card, despite this I ran out space for new apps months and months ago.
As a result I download very few if any apps compared to my i-phone owning GF.
Repetition, Deviation, Hesitation
At the risk of (thrice) repeating myself : you can get your android phone (2.2 upwards) to have as much as 32gb storage space given a big enough SD. card. That's native 32 gigs, No a2sd malarkey. Scroll back for instructions or research a bit.
Your phone's memory will show up as the sum of the phone's internal storage plus the ext3 partition's size on your SD card.
Once you do this, you don't need to move anything to the SD card, as the combined space will show up as one chunk of internal storage.
(Apps2SD is actually harmful imho as it confuses users, doesn't work on all apps, can't work with widgets and locks the apps when connecting in "mass storage mode").
To add on the previous posts, by far the least complicated way to do this is to use a Ubuntu LiveCD, boot into it and use partition editor. So what if your manufacturer allocated a measly 256MB in internal storage. Partition the damn thing to a 1GB ext3 and hey presto, your internal phone storage will shoot up to 1.2GB's.
The main problem I have seen with droid devices is that they are so badly pummelled by the manufacturers and resellers that they end up degrading in performance. If only rooting/reflashing/cleaning up was available as a one-off service charge to users instead of each having to do this on their own....
Everything I've seen with instructions for adding partions to SD cards suggests this only works with rooted phones.
As it's a work phone it's not going to get rooted either.
If you are absolutely certain this works on unrooted phones please reply again and let me know. If it is I and zillions of other Desire users will be greatful to you for ever.
The rooting bit is only needed if you plan to use your phone to do the repartitioning.
Connecting the SD card via USB and using Linux or a LiveCD and then gparted or some such utility will do this for you on the fly with no need to root anything at all. Again, this will only work on Androids 2.2 or higher. Earlier versions don't support this feature.
There are (obvious) RISKS which in fairness I must mention: a) As your SD will become part of your 'system partition' any damage to it will mean severe problems in the handset's function. Hence a good backup utility is strongly recommended. [It may sound like a no brainer but people have been caught out as SD's are nowhere as resilient as baked memory chips in the phone] b) Due to Linux's priviledges scheme, just copying the SD's ext3 partition contents to your PC will NOT make them functionable in case of a re-install, so don't rely on this method for a backup. c) Preferrably use a card reader for the operation and not the phone itself. If you insist on using the phone, go to USB options and tick the debugging option in your settings menu.
Just to clarify
Is this the same thing as creating an sd-ext partition in Clockworkmod? I made one and it didn't seem to be recognized by anything, but I still got "insufficient storage" errors.