Apple and Google are engaged in a fascinating battle of mobile OS’s. Among other things, they’re duking it out on patent infringement, developer relations and carrier support. Lines are being drawn, and everyone’s taking sides.
That begs the question: what’s the difference between the App Store and Android Market for developers? And how does this affect their bottom line? Mobclix, a TC50 Company, just released a report comparing the Android Market to Apple App Store. They are a mobile analytics and advertising platform whose footprint includes over 6,500 publishers including ngmoco, SGN, and NewToy (creators of Words with Friends).
The data revealed that about 60% of Android apps are free of charge, compared with 20% for App Store applications. Furthermore, about 20% of Windows Mobile and Blackberry are free as well. It’s an intriguing phenomenon and a difficult one to decipher. Are Android developers more inclined to use advertising instead of direct payment to monetize? Or does the more democratic nature of the Android Market make free apps more successful?
Another potential explanation is that Android doesn’t even allow paid apps in many countries, including Canada, China and India. That may be scaring developers off from the platform.
Mobclix’s data also showed clear differences between average price of apps in the various stores. While Android and Apple have the largest number of apps, they are also the cheapest: the average paid Android app costs $4.10 and the average paid App Store app is $3.37. In comparison, WinMo apps average at $7.48 and BlackBerry at $8.58. That doesn’t necessarily translate into more revenue, but it does mean that the market dynamics of each store are causing different pricing options for developers.
Vishal Gurbuxani, CTO and Co-Founder, also shared that Mobclix is nearing profitability and has served over 3.5 Billion ad impressions. By comparison, advertising network AdMob (recently acquired by Google) announced in November that they had served 1.7 Billion impressions by that date.
Below is the full presentation, with more interesting data like a comparison of Android vs Apple across all categories (e.g. Books or News):