Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

Summary:According to the report, the top paid-for Android apps are typically "priced dramatically higher" than those made for iOS -- specifically for the iPhone -- within the United States.

If you're an Android smartphone or tablet owner, chances are that you're paying more for your mobile apps than your iOS counterparts, based on a new survey from global market research firm Canalys.

According to the report, the top paid-for Android apps are typically "priced dramatically higher" than those made for iOS -- specifically for the iPhone -- within the United States.

For example, top 100 paid-for apps in the Android Market would cost a cumulative $374.37, averaging – an average of $3.74 per app. Compare that to the top 100 paid iPhone apps, which would reportedly retail for $147 all together, or $1.47 on average per app.

That equates to Android apps costing roughly 2.5 times more than iOS smartphone apps.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd explained in the report how the different qualities and environments in the Apple App Store and the Android Market heavily figure into this:

Electronic Arts, for example, regularly offers discounts across its portfolio of games in the App Store to ensure they remain visible to customers by featuring in the top app lists. Price competitiveness is crucial in Apple’s store, where the vast majority of top paid apps cost just $0.99, in a way that is not the case in the Android Market. This leads to disparities whereby an app such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market, but is discounted to just $0.99 in the Apple App Store.

Shepherd added that in-app purchases encouraged more heavily "within the Apple ecosystem than on Android, giving iOS developers an advantage in this regard."

Canalys added that they found similar results when researching this topic in Germany, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

However, that doesn't mean that the top 100 paid apps for Android were the exact same 100 apps for iPhone. Thus, the types of apps being paid for and downloaded more frequently could factor into this stark difference as well.

Related:

Topics: CXO, Malware, Mobility, Security, Wi-Fi

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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