Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

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.

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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.

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33 comments
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  • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

    It's something i've noticed for a while now. I'm surprise this is now coming to light.
    dave95.
    • Are Android mobiles apps too expensive?

      Cheaper and better..sounds like a win-win situation for Apple.
      global.philosopher
  • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

    No, they are not... the fact that these are the top 100 Apps on Android where as the iOS Apps are lesser priced just says more about what the Android user values compared to the iOS users. If you look at Apps that both stores have in common, the prices are the same.

    Now, things like Monopoly, they're likely that high because they are selling.
    slickjim
    • Canalys does a study and you give your opinion

      Give it a rest Petey, only you care about your opinion.
      @Peter Perry
      GoPower
      • Not that this is in agreement with Peter Perry

        but on a side note, Canalys is hardly an entity that I would value their survey and read it as Gospel.
        John Zern
    • I went looking.

      @Peter Perry

      [i]"If you look at Apps that both stores have in common, the prices are the same."[/i]

      Well I went looking at app both stores have in common and look what I found. Are you not tired of being wrong?

      Fruit Ninja:
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $1.26

      Backbreaker 2
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $2.99

      Reckless Racing
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $1.99

      NFL Flick Quaterback
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $1.99

      The Adventures of Tin Tin
      iOS: 4.99 Android: $6.99

      Homerun Battle 3D
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $4.99

      MONOPOLY
      iOS: 0.99 Android: $4.99
      dave95.
      • how about an accurate list first and consider Amazon as well.

        Fruit Ninja 99 cents on Amazon App Store.

        EA Games are presently 80% off for the 25 Billion App downloads celebration so they are typically, $4.99. This includes pop cap and afew other brands as well, as these fall under the EA Umbrella.

        Homerun Battle 3D has a free version on Android.

        Backbreaker 2, Reckless Racing, and The Adventures of Tin Tin are not in the top 100 paid appson the devices I am looking at.

        You know what is though, Paper Camera... It is free on Android and $1.99 on iOS (I will look through the Apple list when I get my wife's iPhone later on.
        slickjim
    • I wonder how they value the new Android App

      "HoboHunt"?

      From what I understand, Apple rejected the App 3 times. Google, not so much.
      I guess they feel that Android users see a real value in this.

      www.vice.com/en_uk/read/hobo-hunt-is-appaling
      John Zern
  • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

    100 randomly picked apps from one app store are more expensive than 100 randomly picked apps from another store. Time to write an article.
    paul2011
    • Pretty much this

      In another article on PC World today it's "Android users more likely to be app freeloaders." Well, they're overpaying skinflints then. Which is it?
      symbolset
  • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

    Its amazing how this becomes a real research report at all. There are only 19 common apps in both stores top 100. They are comparing different apps. <br><br>Why don't they do a real comparison and take the top 100 from the apple app store and see how much they cost in the android market (if they exist) and vice versa. Throw out any apps that don't exist in both and then compare total cost.<br><br>It's like they intentionally created a controversial report due to the apple vs android fan base wars to get clicks and noticed.
    jwc3642
    • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

      @jwc3642 <br><i>It's like they intentionally created a controversial report due to the apple vs android fan base wars.</i><br><br>Yes you are right. But, but, he writes for food. He needed to post something today.

      PS. See how easy it is to get clicks/comments.
      Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

        No controversy at all. Just common knowledge. Grin!
        kenosha77a
    • Exactly!

      Adding the "Top 100 Apps" together to get a "per app" price is bogus unless those apps are the exact same (i.e. Monopoly vs Monopoly) or have similar functions (i.e. Box vs Dropbox).
      athynz
  • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

    Meanwhile, the 174 apps I've collected since Amazon started their Free App of the Day program didn't cost me a dime. And my list includes some pretty awesome apps, too:

    Office Suite Pro, Splashtop Remote Desktop, Age of Zombies, Grave Defense HD, Plants vs. Zombies, Fieldrunners, Days Left Widget Pro, and about 140 more (mostly games).
    dsf3g
    • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

      @dsf3g .
      dsf3g
    • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

      @dsf3g This is also, a very good point!
      slickjim
  • I Have to Wonder

    This doesn't really take all factors into account. I have to wonder if the top paid apps for iOS are not the top paid apps for Android because Android users get similar apps for free. Since this leaves out the question of free apps altogether, it doesn't really cover all the bases.

    Of course, when free apps are supported by ads, they are not necessarily a bargain. So that should be taken into account if a person is doing comparison shopping.

    Also, a single example of an app that cost more for Android doesn't tell us much. A survey of what all the apps cost that are common between the two systems would be much more meaningful.

    I can't help but think that this survey as it is published is probably misleading. I'd need more information to know if what it implies is actually true.
    CFWhitman
    • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

      @CFWhitman <br><br>Here is a hint. If the headline has a question mark, ten time out of ten, the author doesn't know what he/she is talking about. It's an alert for junk post.
      Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

        @Return_of_the_jedi That and, most media have rules against making their paid sponsors look bad as they Don't want to hurt advertising revenue. Google, will always be attacked more because, they sell their Ads and Don't typically buy spots on sites like this... so, they bully them hoping for a slice of the pie.
        slickjim