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Android Market Sales, Are Those Tears or is it Raining in Here?

There’s been a lot of speculation lately about the size of the Apple App Store, most recently based on some numbers from AdMob which are summarized over at GigaOM. They came to the conclusion that the app store is worth $200M monthly, whereas the Android market is worth a paltry $5M. As sad as that comparison may be, from our experience the total is probably much lower.

To back that up a bit, we’re going to release our latest Android sales data. Before we do, let’s list some of the shortcomings currently plaguing the Android Market:

  • No screenshots (Totally insane. No idea why.)
  • 325 character application description maximum (Why do I get 4.208 × 10-8 of my free GMail storage to convince people to buy the app I just spent months developing? That number is correct because I used Google to calculate it, they have hundreds of computers and usually store huge amounts of data.)
  • Google checkout only way to buy (Lots of users don’t have credit cards, or don’t want to use their credit card to make an impulse buy. Google checkout really isn’t set up for selling apps on the market, it basically treats everything sold like a sofa. They notify you of every cancelled order, you provide first line purchase support, etc.)
  • Hard to find paid apps (We suspect Google would rather just have everything be free since they default most views in the catalog to free apps, or top downloaded apps which means free apps. The option to show paid apps is buried in a submenu.)
  • Various intermittent problems like failed or stalled downloads, credit card verification delays that look like stalled downloads, and other problems. These problems have been improving since the launch of the catalog, but they still make up a good percentage of our support email.

Our two best selling games have been ranked and are currently ranked pretty highly on that hard to find list of paid apps. RetroDefense was #1 for a while and is currently around #12 with a perfect 5 star rating. Battle for Mars is currently #5 overall with a 4.5 star rating. Both of these games are selling for $4.99, which is on the upper end of the price range. Finally, both of these games have been featured by Google in the market app and on the Android website. So with all this in mind, here’s our daily Android sales for this August (these numbers include sales from our other two apps, but they barely register):

androidsales-aug09

That’s a $62.39 daily average. Very difficult to buy the summer home at this rate.

It appears this isn’t just our problem. To see examples from other companies just look in the market, a sales range is listed right in the summary of the app. A good example is the well known game Trism, which sold over $250,000 in it’s first two months on the iPhone. On Android it has sold, to date, less than 500 copies. That’s $1,046 total earnings, max. How psyched are those guys that they ported a huge hit to Android and can’t even cover a party sub for the release dinner? By comparison, if you were an iPhone developer with a game in the #5 spot, you’d likely be earning around $3,500 a day (based on recent numbers from tap tap tap). Here’s what that comparison looks like in a gratuitous graph:

androidvsiphone-aug09

So let’s imagine for a moment that we’re a typical Android developer in terms of earnings, even though I think it’s more likely we’re on the high end of the curve. Assuming we are the average though, there would need to be over 2,500 other Android developers to get to $5M total sales. The last estimates I heard put the number of applications at around 12,000, so there’s probably around 4,000 developers total. That means over half of the developers need to be earning what we do to reach $5M a month. However, we know from experience that below position 25 on the top selling games the earnings drop off to almost zero so it’s very unlikely that anyone below that position is earning much money at all.

I should add that even though these numbers are pretty disappointing and currently don’t represent a viable business, we’re still excited about Android in the medium to long term. There’s been some talk from Google of improvements to the market, including more payment options, so that will definitely help. We’re also going to see some big phone releases from Motorola among others, but the main issue just seems to be the market itself and it’s low purchase rate (19% vs. 50% on iPhone). I’m sure Android will be on a lot of phones at some point in the future, whether it’ll be possible to target it profitably as a small developer I’m not sure.

  1. 1
    Mark Murphy on 08/31/09 at 18:25:39

    Two statistics pretty much sum up the differences:

    – The AdMob reported 19%/50% purchase rates of paid apps, as you cite above
    – iPhone+iPod Touch have sold around 15x the number of devices at this point (also from the AdMob report)

    Combined, that’s about a 37x difference, which eats up a good-sized chunk of your revenue gap.

    So, in terms of “whether it’ll be possible to target it profitably as a small developer I’m not sure”, I’m hoping that won’t be a huge problem. Between hoped-for improvements in the Android Market, alternative markets with same/better capabilities (some interesting ones are on tap), and more places to promote your app, I’m hoping the 19%/50% gap can be narrowed. Then, it’s a question of device unit sales, rising tides lifting all boats, and all that.

    Developers investing in Android today are hopefully doing so for experience and first-mover advantages. As you point out, revenue isn’t going to amount to much today, but outside of land-rush environments like iPhone, that’s par for the course.

    If you can think of ways, beyond changes that only Google can do, that the developer community might improve its lot in life, please write!

  2. 2
    Andrew Mason on 08/31/09 at 18:40:46

    First of all, thank you for sharing your sales data and giving an insight into the current state of the Android market place.

    I think you’re right when you hold out optimism for the “medium to long term” future. Android is late to market, has fewer desirable handsets and Apple owns the mobile application mind-share. However, with around 18 Android handsets planned for release before the end of the year and the ongoing ill-feeling towards Apple’s approval process, Android as a viable applications platforms looks set to grow.

  3. 3
    me on 08/31/09 at 20:08:42

    wow, you’re so dumb
    ‘lot’s of people don’t have credit cards’
    that’s how the hell you buy from the app store too! ever opened iTunes before in yourlife!!???

  4. 4
    Ted T. on 08/31/09 at 20:32:20

    “…and the ongoing ill-feeling towards Apple’s approval process, Android as a viable applications platforms looks set to grow.”

    Unless you are supposing that fellow developers will be the ones buying Android apps, don’t count on problems with the Apple approval process to help Android, because the people actually BUYING apps could care less about the approval process. Unfortunately, anyone who has played with an iPhone and a G-Phone strictly from the user standpoint thinks that the G-Phone is a bad joke in comparison.

  5. 5
    Brookr on 08/31/09 at 20:53:26

    I’ll second that thought from Andrew: Thanks for sharing your numbers. Very insightful.

    But, Andrew, what do you mean by “has fewer desirable handsets”? Apple has 1. Ok, maybe 2, if you count the previous generation. Does that mean Android has 0?

    Actually, I can’t really argue with that.

  6. 6
    Bill Brown on 08/31/09 at 21:03:23

    I’d be skeptical about Android in the medium- and long-term. It’s biggest and best opportunity came at launch and that hasn’t panned out. I’ve heard that there are 18 new Android devices on the horizon for a while now–that’s great but unless they’re better than the iPhone in some respect, I just can’t see that it’ll make much of a difference except to further dilute mindshare.

    The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market initially, leading to considerable sales of a very expensive device. Then they upgraded the speed and unveiled the App Store, leading to considerable sales of a less expensive and faster device. This year they released an evolutionary upgrade but made last year’s speedy version less expensive, with considerable sales yet again.

    To this, the Android has to cling to hopes and somedays. But they’re battling the ADD in Google’s DNA–unless this thing takes off (and I haven’t seen any indications that this becoming more likely), then I think Android will become another Google product in maintenance mode and employees will move over to Chrome OS.

  7. 7
    Kendall Helmstetter Gelner on 08/31/09 at 21:05:50

    The lack of screenshots and the default display of only free apps seem like the real bottleneck of sales here. Have Google said why the App Store is set up like this, or when these two aspects might change?

    The screenshot thing I could see as a simply technical limitation to be overcome soon, but the choice to block display of paid apps in some screens unless the user specifies otherwise seems like a policy choice and potentially more difficult to overcome.

  8. 8
    Josh on 08/31/09 at 21:09:45

    Very, very interesting. I had considered doing some development for Android, but this does not bode well.

    I have an iPhone application that averages well above the $62/day point you mention, and it is FAR from a top seller – in fact, it barely breaks the top 100 in paid apps for it’s own category (not games).

    I have a fear that Android is going to be strictly the realm of hobbyists for at least a couple of generations, if they last that long.

  9. 9
    Lun Esex on 08/31/09 at 21:11:33

    The average user is completely unaware of any “ongoing ill-feeling towards Apple’s approval process.” It’s only people who read blogs like this and tech news sites who may get the impression that the iPhone/iPod touch App Store is anything but all wine and roses.

  10. 10
    Scott on 08/31/09 at 21:15:53

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Apple has done a pretty good job of conditioning their customers to expect to reach for their wallet whenever they want something, versus Google setting up expectations that stuff is free.

  11. 11
    lmjabreu on 08/31/09 at 21:17:05

    Too soon for this kind of talk, you don’t take into consideration the difference between iphone and android user base, also, trism is a bad port, perhaps Bukka, G-Backup, Hello-im, dxTop, twitdroid pro(very recent though), Mystique, [insert other popular android app] would provide better sales data.

  12. 12
    Tom K on 08/31/09 at 21:42:15

    Lots is made out of the Apple approval process, but that’s really a developer issue, and not a user issue. Developers can gripe about it, but as long as they can they’re going to continue to pursue the much greater returns in the iPhone market despite their grumbling about the approval process. And for end users, what matters is the number of applications on the platform, and their quality – not the number rejected.

    Sometimes it’s important to remember that what is a big deal to the dev side of the community almost doesn’t rate at all on the decisions consumers are making in the store.

  13. 13
    Brassa on 08/31/09 at 21:57:57

    Brilliant piece. Manufacturer appstores are still running to catch up with Apple, Nokia’s Ovistore is struggling too. Odd how these stores seem to create so many headaches.

  14. 14
    Nick P. on 08/31/09 at 21:59:39

    Although I don’t think Google will admit to that, but their whole philosophy is based around *free* apps – both from themselves and third parties.

    Bottom line: Goggle gives incredible tools (Gmail, Google doc, etc..) for free and expects you to do the same.

    Those interested in making money should stick to the app store.

  15. 15
    the Cappy on 08/31/09 at 22:03:07

    Fascinating analysis.
    Beautiful web page, btw.

  16. 16
    Andrew Warner on 08/31/09 at 22:14:03

    Funny how bloggers complain about restrictions in the iPhone app store, but rarely mention the issues with the Android store. I had no idea.

    Thanks for sharing your numbers. Always helpful to see behind the scenes. Thanks!

  17. 17
    Eknath on 08/31/09 at 22:21:48

    I couldnt agree more. I dont understand why Google is throwing a huge sum of money on Android Developer Challenge but doing nothing about improving the current state of Android Market. Its already too late, and many enthusiastic developers are turning their backs on Android market. I m one of them.

  18. 18
    Alex on 08/31/09 at 22:50:26

    The iTunes ecosystem is one tough purchasing infrastructure engine to beat. Unless Google can help developers by building a system easily accessible by everyday users, the Android Market will be a fraction of Apple’s at best – at this point.

  19. 19
    Ryan on 08/31/09 at 22:55:38

    Remember that while Google wants Android to succeed, it ultimately has no skin in the game with promoting applications. Instead, their interests are in enabling a great web browsing experience, so that consumers can contribute to Google’s growing user base ON THE WEB. So the interests of Google and the application developer are not exactly in line.

    With that said, if the number of Android devices can reach iPhone-like numbers, I’m sure we will see movement in the marketplace. Money talks.

  20. 20
    Hamranhansenhansen on 08/31/09 at 23:08:45

    I think the problem is that Google has too many scientists and engineers and not enough artists and designers. They have too many Ph.D’s and not enough college drop-outs. If you don’t have balance you can’t create a balanced product.

    They have the world’s most sophisticated back-end and the world’s most unsophisticated front-end. So they can store incredible amounts of information, but somehow you get 325 characters and no screen shot to show off your app. They engineered the platform, but they didn’t design it. So there is a ton of wasted effort. A good designer throws a ton of stuff away and saves engineers a million hours. For example, somebody at Apple chose a 480×320 3.5-inch screen and threw all the others away, and every developer on the iPhone platform, both inside and outside Apple, has been 100% focused on engineering for that screen and part of the benefit of that has been we can still run the latest iPhone OS 3.0 and apps on the original June 2007 iPhone. Every iPhone OS device Apple sells only adds to the user base, no models have been deprecated yet. I bought a 3GS and sold my original iPhone to a guy in Europe who is using it right now to buy apps.

    There is this joke that the iPhone project started with Steve Jobs demanding that Apple “build me a phone with only one button.” I think Android could have used some of that kind of thinking from the start. If you want 2 buttons you should have to defend that 100%, because that is a million extra buttons on every million phones, not just one extra button. If you want 2 screen sizes you should have to defend that 100%, because you are not only gaining a screen size, you’re losing all the benefits of having just 1 screen size.

    Android basically seems antiquated to me. Everything about it would be fantastic if it were 5 years ago. The smartphone is more mainstream now than Android’s appeal, and we are not that far from the iPod’s 10th anniversary. Pocket computers are not even as nerdy as pocket protectors anymore. Nerds (bless them) are only 10% or less of your potential audience. If you want to sell plus de apps you have to bring in artist users so they will buy apps like Brushes, and musician users so they will buy apps like FourTrack, and so on. If you have developers making apps for developers you will have many choices in task managers and shells and you won’t sand down the rough edges and the platform becomes more and more consumer-unfriendly.

  21. 21
    Jeff Brandt on 08/31/09 at 23:41:02

    Android could be the number one selling phone if Google would get behind and push a bit. The operating system is far superior to iPhone and the capability are endless. Developers don’t have to wait to get paid with Google. I don’t get it. Google, is this just another one off your Science projects?

  22. 22
    Adam on 08/31/09 at 23:45:45

    @Hamranhansenhansen: “They have the world’s most sophisticated back-end and the world’s most unsophisticated front-end.” Really? I disagree with this entirely. Google has a reputation for extremely smart front-ends. Gmail? google.com? Near perfect interfaces.

  23. John Watkinson on 08/31/09 at 23:47:28

    It was mentioned that iTunes also uses a credit card payment model. That is only partly true– there are, for example, gift cards available that allow a user to pay cash. (A parent may get one for a younger iPhone/iPod user, for example). On Android, the user must use their Google Checkout account, and each purchase is a distinct credit card transaction. This essentially excludes younger kids or people without credit cards from ever buying an app.

  24. 23
    Justin M. on 08/31/09 at 23:54:40

    @Hamranhansenhansen All of the above makes sense if you completely throw out the fact that Google isn’t the one making the android devices. I think if you look at what HTC did with HTC Sense UI & the HTC Hero on the android platform, you can’t not be excited about the future of Android.

    I think the HTC Hero is going to be a huge huge hit. And I think you are in a good position to be early to the market before that phone hits the shelves.

    As far as screenshots, 325 characters, and google checkout. I completely agree. It’s insanity. I really hope google reads this post and they respond accordingly! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful site btw.

  25. 24
    Nick T on 09/01/09 at 00:01:18

    @me Congratulations on making yourself look like a complete idiot, maybe before you call someone “so dumb” perhaps you should question your own, obviously sub par intelligence.

    Apple have provide a very succesful gift card system for people without credit cards, here in Australia you can purchase iTunes credit from every retailer that can sell phone credit as it comes out of the same terminal. For the under 18 market (which would account to a considerable percentage of Apple’s customers not just through the iPhone but through the iPod touch) this is the only way the can purchase applications, and going forward should be a model that Google investigate.

    As for the article, an interesting read, the question is I guess, will Apple retain the market dominance it’s experienced with the music side to the store? If these figures are anything to go by I’d say there is a fair chance.

  26. 25
    Wayne on 09/01/09 at 00:01:24

    Good article. As much as I hate to rub salt into the wound your estimate of a top 5 iPhone app making $3500 a day is missing a zero! That figure is more like what the #100 app makes. I know this first hand ;)

  27. 26
    Eric Hancock on 09/01/09 at 00:01:56

    Shouldn’t that be 4.208 × 10^8?

  28. 27
    R. Cameron on 09/01/09 at 00:11:20

    First off, let me echo the other comments with a “thank you” for posting your sales data.

    While you make some valid points (lack of screenshots and limited app description), I feel you have missed a few things. I’ve had my Android device since they first released them, and have never had to specifically tell the Market to show paid apps. Which device/firmware are you running that the default is only for free apps?

    Also, while Google Checkout is the only method for payment on the Android Market (and Google has said they are looking into allowing other forms of payment soon), the Android Market is NOT the only means for selling apps. You can sell them independently yourself, use other markets (like SlideME) or any other form of distribution you like. The Market application is long overdue for a redesign.

    Also, I feel that Google is offering developers an opportunity with their applications. The applications that Google has released into the Market (Finance, Google Voice, &c.) are limited in functionality, especially in comparison with similar apps that use the same services created by other developers. There is much room for improvement.

    Please keep in mind the market penetration differences as well. There are many many more iPhones in use than there are Android devices. Android devices have only been on the market for less than 1 year, with paid apps available for less time than that. Compare that to the iPhone, which has offered an app store with applications in place for nearly twice as long as Android has had paid applications.

  29. 28
    periferral on 09/01/09 at 00:14:20

    I completely agree with your shortcoming of Android market. A couple of ones you missed are ways to review market downloads. examples, sorting by download per week/month/overall, sorting by rating, popularity. number of reviews etc.

    However, I disagree with your conclusion why the numbers don’t add up. I’m a big fan of apps and am on the constant lookout for good ones to have on my device and am willing to pay the money if the app is good. However, searches for top apps on google keep leading me to the same set I already have. However, some paid apps (CoPilot GPS) are listed in several of the top apps and I ponied up the $34.99 or whatever it was to have it on my device. If there are people like me out there, those numbers will start to make sense. $34.99 is a far cry from the $4.99 and could cover the difference if prices you are seeing.

    Another thing about how much money Apple apps makes is that almost every app on there is paid, including fart apps. This number skews the income ratio you see here. I prefer the Android model where there are more free apps for users and paid apps are more professional apps where a company has put in significant effort and provides some level of support for it. Maybe if we look at the average number of apps installed on an iphone vs android, this will give a better representation of the number of apps being used by an end user.

  30. 29
    TabletBob on 09/01/09 at 00:40:31

    Very informative post. Thanks for sharing. When speculating whether this situation will get better for developers over the medium to long term, I think the relevant data point is the difference in commercial motivation between Google and Apple.

    Apple is in the iPhone and AppStore business to make money on every transaction. In order to maximize their success wrt this goal they understand that they have to extend this profit capability to their ecosystem partners. Because the profit motive aligns Apple and its partners, the system works.

    Google is in the search business. They play in other areas but only make significant money on search. This is unlikely to change anytime soon. Google execs have publically stated that the Android project (I can’t call it a business) is all about creating “locked in” Google search sockets on more internet enabled devices. They do not have to make a dime on the phone, the OS, or the app store to get a respectable return on their investment. All they need is more queries. It’s no surprise that free apps are favored by Google. Hello. They made the OS free. It’s all about maximizing the number of devices that are feeding their advertising machine. Free is an excellent facilitator of that objective.

    Developers need to make money on their apps. Developers do not exist simply to enable Google to grow query volume. As long as this fundamental misalignment exists, the probability that things will get better in the medium or long term is very slim. One needs to get past the hype and realistically assess the commercial potential.

    News flash, it’s unlikely to improve significantly.

  31. 30
    Frederico on 09/01/09 at 01:15:51

    @3 me:

    “wow, you’re so dumb
    ‘lot’s of people don’t have credit cards’
    that’s how the hell you buy from the app store too! ever opened iTunes before in yourlife!!???”

    I don’t usually bother with ignorant, rock-throwing trolls, especially when everyone else manages to ignore them successfully, but, just in case “me” is listening:

    Dude, have you never seen an iTunes Gift Card? It’s as good — if not better — than using your CC on iTunes.

    I, for one, give Apple only a temporary VISA number, then let that card expire; as I do with most of my online vendors who require a valid CC to set up an account. From then on, I use either a different (temporary) CC, or, as with iTunes, I purchase gift cards locally then charge our various iTunes account with those credits.

    I would *never* allow my employees, children or dependents to have an iTunes account that was tied to my CC. I might as well give them my paycheck and hope there was some left for me.

    There are a LOT of users who own iPhones and purchase via iTunes, who do *not* have a valid (or even any) CC. They use bank drafts to pay for their USA ATT (or T-mobile accounts), and similar arrangements all over the world, and then they use gift cards to buy apps, games and music.

    While you can argue that some of these people are those with bad credit who really can’t afford the expensive phone/contract to begin with, there are plenty of them who are dependent children with no real income of their own, or are small-business employees using leased iPhones and who are given an app-buying stipend to purchase necessary and business-related apps. In any case, each and every one of them is spending more money (exactly 100% more) while *not* using a CC than are doing so on the Android Market.

    Google is going to have to figure this out if they want me to consider Android more than I already am. The platform is too young and too awkward right now to consider giving up the more mature iPhone and App Store. It may be more expensive, and have a few quirks, but it remains in *practice* light years ahead of any of even the alleged *vaporware* coming out of Android and WebOS.

    Cheers, and Thanks, Matt, for a great analysis.

    Frederico

  32. 31
    Derek on 09/01/09 at 02:06:00

    Ditto on the thanks for sharing your numbers, and double ditto on the problems with the Android Market. Although I just saw the rumored, long-overdue makeover for it:

    http://www.cnet.com/8301-19736_1-10322411-251.html?tag=hotTopicsBody.1

    Updating the market has to help. Anyway, your numbers are a bit depressing, but it’s good to hear you’re hopeful. I’m an even smaller fish in the pond. I’m a grad student who started developing various apps for Android after a friend who worked at Google gave me a hand-me-down G1. I’ve released about 20 apps, tried various strategies, and released ad-supported and paid versions. Here’s a blog post from not too long ago describing my first 90 days or so:

    http://thinkingasaprofession.blogspot.com/2009/06/recap-of-my-android-market-experiences.html

    The take-home is that I’ve averaged about $20 a day, which is skewed a bit by the initial burst of sales for my Spades app, which quickly dropped off. And about half of my revenue has come from AdMob ads. I’ve also tried selling through other outlets (e.g. Handango), without a lot of success. It’s funny…in that blog entry I say that I think I’m doing about as well as some iPhone devs. I’d just read a blog about an iPhone dev griping about his sales. I think there is definitely a small number of apps that make a huge amount and a very long, very flat tail of apps that make very little.

    Anyway, it’s interesting to compare stats. Like you guys, I hope things improve and pick up.

  33. 32
    Premium Education on 09/01/09 at 02:18:37

    Making revenue through a paid app is only one way to monetize an app, anyway. As TabletBob writes, Google is about advertisement.., and some developers make pretty good money with their [free] apps – through advertisement.

    But the Android Market really should have screenshots.

  34. 33
    Chris on 09/01/09 at 02:19:16

    I’ve had my G1 now for about two months and I love it (though it could use a faster CPU and more memory but thats what we get for being “first” adapters) but Im not quite sure about some of your comments. I see paid apps without having to enable/disable anything. Mostly, I ignore the paid apps. If I dont get to “demo” something first I wont even bother. How do I know if it sucks or doesnt? There’s no reliable reviews for these apps yet, just customers which are highly UNreliable in my experience especially since the app store does such a poor job of showing what version you’re on and changes that have been made.

    I’ve looked at Retrodefense but was more interested in RoboDefense because 1.) it had a free demo and 2.) it seemed more interesting but I havent run into your other game at ALL on the app store. Despite seeing plenty of other pay to play games. wouldn’t suprise me if the app store is just plain broken with the way it works. Hopefully google does fix it, and quickly because its important. The default ROM for the G1 (havent used a G2 yet) leaves alot to be desired in some areas which I’ve heard some are fixed in 3rd party ROMS but still…the app store is central. Google can only provide so much…if they dont expand out then…

  35. 34
    datarecovery on 09/01/09 at 02:58:33

    Good article. As much as I hate to rub salt into the wound your estimate of a top 5 iPhone app making $3500 a day is missing a zero! That figure is more like what the #100 app makes. I know this first hand

    thanks

  36. 35
    Robert N. Lee on 09/01/09 at 04:21:49

    I don’t think it should be a shock to anybody that Android Market sales are so low – partly because, as you point out and just about everybody who uses Android phones has, the Market sucks. It especially sucks in that it makes everything undiscoverable – you must search for the exact thing you already want. It makes the Market seem like Not a Google Product at All, actually.

    But there are also just not that many Android phones in play, at this point, and only two models from one carrier, here in the US. Elsewhere, things aren’t much different. That’s all going to turn around over the next month or so, and by the end of next year, virtually every carrier in the US, at least, is going to have Android phones out, most of them before Apple’s exclusivity deal with AT&T runs out.

    Android early adoption has also skewed pretty hard toward the geeky, for obvious reasons, and…those are the kinds of users who root their phones and get out-of-Market apps to run on those phones.

    But it’s moved on from there already, and I’ve noticed, on Twitter, on in-phone forums, etc., an increasing number of young teens to college age folks buying G1 and myTouch phones, here and in the UK, at least. This makes sense, as you can talk your parents into getting you one where you can’t an iPhone, as that would require a carrier switch for everyone, most likely. (And kids mostly don’t have the economic mobility to get their own cell phones.)

    That’s really encouraging, to me, especially as Apple Luv skews kinda old – my age and around. Kids these days may love iPods and covet iPhones, but they don’t fall in love with Apple, the company, mostly.

    And yeah, I’m saying that the Cult of Apple is literally aging out of the market. They haven’t managed to pass on the luv the way dead heads do. For the first time in a looong time, lately, kids ain’t buying Macs almost at all when they go to college – they’re buying PC or Linux netbooks a lot.

    Anyway, I’m looking at personal and professional investment in Android as a long-term thing, and I don’t think Apple has a chance to prevail, in the long run. They’ll gain some more ground, quickly now they’re finally in China (they took a lousy deal there, though), and some more next year when exclusivity deals run out, but…they shouldn’t been so…Apple about this. If they hadn’t gone exclusive, they’d dominate the world right now and Android wouldn’t stand a chance. But they did, bless their hearts, and I’m expecting to use and develop for Android phones for a good part of the forseeable future.

    BTW, I bought one of those copies of Retro Defense for my phone. It kicks ass.

  37. 36
    Robert N. Lee on 09/01/09 at 04:33:02

    Oh, and one more point, for the Android Is Simply an Immature OS (which I predicted months ago was going to be the standard Apple faithful line about Android and Chrome OS – I suggested that Apple would add the loud little kid from Role Models who’s now in everything to be “I’m Chrome OS.”): rumor is, Android OS 2.0 is hitting or at least announcing around the date of the Motorola Android event on the 10th. And one of the big points that supposed to maybe happen in 2.0 is…the Market gets replaced, not just upgraded.

    And Google’s already announced deals coming with carriers to charge purchases to phone bills.

    I’d also like to point out that all Android phones have built-in digital compasses, as opposed to only the newest and most expensive iPhone.

    And the OS and first phones shipped with Copy and Paste, which iPhone users didn’t get until a month or so ago. And iPhone remains the only phone on the planet you can’t send an MMS on, which cuts it off from sending photos to all the “dumb phones.” I can MMS pics from my phone to my kids, who don’t have smart phones. I couldn’t do that with an iPhone.

    “Immature” isn’t exactly the word I’d use for a company that ships a phone w/o basic features all devices in its class are expected to have. That isn’t immature, it’s…again, it’s Apple. That’s how they do. That’s why I don’t buy their weird, expensive products, generally.

  38. 37
    Jeremiah on 09/01/09 at 04:45:14

    We’ve faced the same problem at Digital Dandelion. I also blogged about these issues after our disappointing first app launch on Android:
    http://digitaldandelion.net/blog/5_things_android_market_must_change/

    The biggest problem we’ve noticed is the ease of app return. We’re seeing a 50% refund rate on a $0.99 app with 4 star average review.

  39. 38
    Thomas Winsnes on 09/01/09 at 05:10:33

    This is most likely the reason for the low application sales in the android markets

    “Currently, developers in these locations may sell priced applications to users in the following countries:

    * Austria
    * France
    * Germany
    * Italy
    * Netherlands
    * Spain
    * United Kingdom
    * United States

    Only countries on that list is allowed to buy apps on the market, they can download the free ones though.

  40. 39
    vitriolix on 09/01/09 at 05:46:47

    Thanks for sharing your numbers, always very interesting to see.

    On your example of Trism, another factor in their sales gap is that they actively market the game on iPhone, and not on Android as far as I can tell. There is a nice link to the App Store page for the game right there on their website:

    http://trism.demiforce.com/

    And heck if I can see any mention of an Android one. I didn’t even know they had ported it until this post…

    Every news story and blog post about it they list on their site only mentions the iPhone version.

    Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.

  41. 40
    willywill82 on 09/01/09 at 06:28:59

    I had a G1, and it needed a lot of work. It was a viable product, but it wasn’t ready, in my opinion, for the mainstream market to be released and sold.

    I have a 3GS, and as powerful and elegant as it is… It’d be nice to play Pandora and not have to close it when I respond to a text message…. Android might not be as fancy or pretty as iPhone, but it can keep more than 1 app open at a time. And yeah, I could play music from my iPhone’s iPod feature while doing other stuff, but having app developers maintain servers to make push notifications available when multi-tasking is the solution, it beyond me. And all the Apple people on here… I respect you. I have an iPhone 3GS, but I’m not an Apple person…. but I hate to inform you but it is not a smartphone. If it is, then so is a Sidekick, Instinct, EnV, etc.

  42. 41
    Saint Peter on 09/01/09 at 07:05:25

    Why are you doing it then ? It’s clear that Android sucks. Retreat. iPhone is better. End of story

  43. 42
    Richard Green on 09/01/09 at 09:28:29

    Well written and good insight. Thanks for going public with your findings.

    My game is far from as popular as yours but I share many of your frustrations and at least I am now prepared for the “income” when it does become suitable to be in the paid for category.

    Lastly – do you find google as hard to get information out of as I do ? Things have gone awfully quiet in the forums recently (esp. about my two posts regarding “popularity” and “subscriptions”).

  44. 43
    Ajit Jaokar on 09/01/09 at 09:37:01

    thanks for sharing this! very interesting and insightful

  45. 44
    John on 09/01/09 at 13:29:24

    Interesting stats.

    I switched from the iPhone to the Android and I have found it to be a much better OS than the iPhone. In fact for me, the physical keyboard of the G1 trumps the iPhone even on the hardware front.

    I have not bought a single app in nine months. I haven’t found the need. The quality of the free apps is generally so good that it sets the barrier for paid apps much higher than on the iPhone. The iPhone paid apps are much better than the free ones. So I can see why paid apps sell better on the iPhone. Add to that the number of iPhones sold.

    This is a problem for developers whose sole business is mobile apps and this is unlikely to change unless there are a lot more Android phones and a lot more users.

    The Market certainly has its problems (although as others have pointed out, I don’t see where you have to enable seeing paid apps – it’s the other way around). The Market has awful search (from a company that owns Search!) to add to the problems you pointed out. I can’t find so many apps that I know exist. Cyrket does make it easier.

    The ability to return an app within 24 hours is excellent from a user’s perspective. It’s the lack of this ability that requires the App store to do a much better job upfront. As a user, I’ll take the market approach over the app store any day. I wonder how many apps would stay sold if the App store had the same policy.

  46. 45
    gc on 09/01/09 at 13:50:40

    Thanks for sharing your numbers. In doing so you have brought light to a problem to which Google seems more than happy to turn a blind eye. When I commented about these very same facts and issues with Google devs, their response was that I was trying to cause problems and that I had suddenly grown a third eye.

    The simple truth of the matter, two issues are seriously hurting Android. First and foremost, Google is killing Android. The second issue is, piracy is killing Android. Both are closely linked. Because of limited markets where paid applications are available and limited pay options, it readily assists in demands for pirated applications. Second problem is, Google is completely unresponsive in dealing with serious market problems and seems completely content to ignore the seemingly endless list of developer complaints about the market.

    Made even worse are the many market problems which have now been in place over six months. These problems include limited pay options, inability for applications to be downloaded, a market bug which periodically prevents certain applications from listing to qualified customers. The last issue is especially problematic because many times, customers don’t even know a Google bug is preventing them from seeing the complete list of applications despite the fact they qualify to see the applications which are missing from their list. This hurts developers, android, and customers and yet Google seems content to drag out the suffering while developers lose money on a daily basis.

    Even more damaging is developers are frequently emailed asking for help in locating the application in question. At this time, developers can simply tell them to keep looking over the next couple of days. Those would-be customers who do continue to look are often rewarded with an application listing. But how many sales are lost because of customers who simply give up or, far more likely, would-be customers who simply never saw the application listing in the first place.

    And yet still worse, because piracy is so bad on Android, simple searches for applications almost always returns pirate links. Even more insulting, often these links are ramked higher than the developer’s own page. The piracy issue is surprisingly complex and made even worse by the popularized myths surrounding it. Recent studies in the UK indicate 60% believe piracy is not stealing because no one gets hurt. Additionally, some 58% believe they are entitled to steal anything they want. The later is the mentality on par with any criminal. The first statistic is built entirely on ignorance of reality.

    The same 60% who believe stealing is not wrong also believe their theft is actually helping. When questioned, even Google engineers believe this myth. The truth of the matter is, stealing applications is badly hurting developers and undermines the success of the entire platform. For whatever reason, pirates believe that because billion dollar companies with dozens of sales outlets can stomach piracy, small companies, often hanging on by a thread, can tolerate equal, if not higher levels of piracy. Many truly do believe that they are not only entitled to steal but that they are doing a serious favor by bankrupting these small developers. The truth of the matter is, pirates are destroying small developers who are already in a bad position because of the seemingly endless list of problems exacerbated by Google’s indifference.

    As a side issue, there currently does not exist an advertising model which supports these developers. If you want to advertise where you pay for impressions seen only by the people who would be interested in your application, wow what a concept, expect to pay $1.50 – $3.00 per click. Using this model, it means the *minimum* application cost is forced to be $3.50-$5.00 rather than $0.99; else simply don’t advertise. Unfortunately, the later seems to be the popular option. Simply put, on-line advertising is well over inflated and mobile market advertisers are direly under served.

    Long story short, until pirates stop actively trying to bankrupt small developers and Google actually pulls the trigger to stop hurting developers on a daily basis, both factors are actively working to kill Android before it get off the ground for developers. So if you want to see Android succeed, stop pirating applications and support your developers – who clearly are not making money. Yes, it really is that simple.

  47. 46
    David Shellabarger on 09/01/09 at 14:43:00

    As an Android developer and everyday user, I don’t see what you are talking about when you say “The option to show paid apps is buried in a submenu” I have free and paid apps in every list I see.

  48. Matt Hall on 09/01/09 at 15:36:05

    @Eknath This seems crazy to me too. Google conditions developers to compete for these prizes, and then further hurts their ecosystem when the results of the contest are given away for free. We have a photo manipulation app that does well on other platforms, but on Android it’s competing against an ADC1 winner which is free, so we sell almost no copies (to be fair the ADC winner is a really well done app). I understand the idea of the contest to build interest, I just don’t think it’s having the effect they intended.

  49. Matt Hall on 09/01/09 at 15:40:48

    @Hamranhansenhansen I couldn’t agree with you more from a developer perspective on the topic of focused platforms (single screen size, uniform specs, etc), but I do think it’s a bit unfair to compare Android and iPhone this way. I think Android will be adapted and modified by so many companies in so many ways that something interesting is bound to appear, then we’ll be able to compare that phone with the iPhone and see how they stack up. Where you’re right is that so far the Android phones haven’t compared that well, and now they seem to be ditching the keyboard which was where I thought they were going to get some traction. I find it very confusing, but I’m a keyboard lover so maybe I’m in the minority now.

  50. 47
    gc on 09/01/09 at 16:04:23

    @John

    You are absolutely right about the return policy is also killing applications. The return policy combined with absolutely no copy protection combined with Google’s chargeback policy can certainly be a death blow for developers.

    All too often I see applications downloaded and then refunded within five minutes. These are almost always purchased, copied, uninstalled, follwed by a non-market re-install. Pirate postings of freshly stolen applications seem to also follow this trend.

    To be absolutely clear, the 24-hour refund period is absolutely unacceptable. But as bad as that is, it’s not the worst of it. As almost no applications cost $10.00 or more, the hidden fact from Google is, at any time a customer can demand a chargeback on a fully fraudulent basis and Google will grant the chargeback. The developer has no recourse available what so ever. And to further insult the developer, Google FINES the developer a $3.00 fee for fraudulent customer activity.

    If Google wants to provide a refund period, they need to limit it to once per user per 60 days or so – at most. At least until Google provides copy protection which is capable for slowing pirates for more than a literal forty five seconds or less. The all too frequent download, steal, refund process is definitely hurting Android and Android developers.

  51. Matt Hall on 09/01/09 at 16:27:42

    @David-Shellabarger I worded that part a little poorly. What I meant was that when I go to the games section all apps are listed, but since they’re listed by popularity you’d need to scroll for a long long time to see the first paid app. To see the top paid apps then requires you to switch the view to Paid Only, which is what’s buried in the sub menu.

  52. John Watkinson on 09/01/09 at 17:06:33

    We’ve posted a follow-up to this story, thanks for all the feedback!

  53. 48
    Robert on 09/02/09 at 03:18:18

    Of course the iphone is making more money on apps than Android. Android is on T-mobile which is the #4 network in the U.S. When Android phones go to other networks more apps will be sold. The iphone is on the #2 network and has many more sales than Android because of this.

    I don’t think the iphone is bulletproof like some people seem to think. Android, WebOS, maybe even Windows Mobile 7 (if its as good as Windows 7), plus Blackberry is going to start using a Webkit browser which fixes a major gripe I hear about Blackberry phones, all these things can and will hopefully make chinks in the iphones armor. Already AT&T is hoping to get Android and Pre phones, and Verizon is getting them soon as well. The iphone isn’t going away, but its going to loose market share. Maybe when the iphone goes to Verizon maybe it’ll gain a little….if the above phones don’t hit the mark.

    Also its getting much more risky to make apps for the iphone. Apps are getting rejected for no reason, or bad reason. Developers are going to want to go to a less risky phone but they won’t until they see Android and the Pre on other networks and doing well.

  54. 49
    James Katt on 09/02/09 at 04:19:40

    The problem is this:

    1. Apple iPhone users have money and are willing to spend it.
    2. Android users are cheap and are not as willing to spend.

    That is a huge difference.

    Think about it. Even though iTunes songs cost more than the same songs at Amazon, Apple’s iTunes users buy more from iTunes than Amazon.

    Even poor people who buy iPhones are willing to spend money on it.

    The same cannot be said about Google Android users. They are used to “Free”. They are thus NOT use to spending as Apple’s users are.

    This does not bode well for Android’s users. With the market about to be fractured into 18 different Android phones, Android’s identity will further be diluted. And its users still aren’t willing to spend spend spend as Apple’s users are.

  55. 50
    John on 09/02/09 at 07:27:22

    @gc

    I’d have to disagree here. I think that the return policy is terrific for consumers. Obviously developers will not be happy. But if they have a good product then why should anyone go through the hassle of buying, downloading, installing and then returning it, if they didn’t want the software in the first place. So if someone’s returning the product, it’s because after installing it, they found that it was not worth the money.

    You are suggesting another reason. Piracy. I really find it hard to understand why anyone would pirate $1 – $3 software – which I believe is where most prices fall. You may be right though and there may be rampant piracy going on. I haven’t seen any in just casual browsing – But I haven’t actively looked for one. But if true, are you sure that the same thing doesn’t happen on the iPhone? If you google for pirated iPhone apps, you don’t find them? If you do, then it’s probably just the fact that there are simply far more iPhone users.

    Any effort that Google makes to make this difficult is obviously better. But I doubt that anything will really work.

    Many people have also suggested that Apple consumers have been conditioned to keep shelling out money for everything. And I think that’s probably right. Whereas Android users (currently) look for free apps. I know I do. So it may be possible that there may have to be many more Android phones sold to make equivalent amount of money on the Android.

    I wrote an expenses app because I couldn’t find any thing on the market (free or otherwise) that did what I wanted. But I don’t earn a livelihood off it, so I can afford to give it away for free since I was basically just scratching an itch. This of course is not an option for a business.

    I wanted an app that stored all my personal data (credit card, passport passwords etc). I used an excellent app on my SE P990 which did exactly what I wanted. They don’t have an Android port yet. If they had, I would have bought it in a jiffy. There are various apps on the market that do some, but not everything I want. The closest one charges about $5 which is very reasonable but $30 for desktop synching which is outrageous. And it apparently doesn’t do a good job of the synching either. I may have to write my own app again.

  56. 51
    Josh on 09/02/09 at 12:41:16

    Thank you for sharing your stats – very eye opening. I also enjoyed this breakdown here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10319403-94.html

    I think as Creative’s new platform hits the market (http://www.zii.com/Developer/SDKProducts.aspx), as well as some higher-end Android devices, you’ll see better growth with your Android development investment.

    Also, early Android adopters are probably in the tech field and therefore more open-source minded or just bought it because the salesman pushed it and are therefore more phone-centric.

    I’d like to see your stats again next year and see what’s changed. Hopefully Google can cleanup their BETA app-store before the wave of app-buying customers starts to enter the Android market.

    Cheers – Josh

  57. Matt Hall on 09/02/09 at 12:52:25

    @Josh Those usage stats are definitely encouraging. It means people know how to download apps, and like to use them. If the market experience improves and that 19% purchase rate can be brought up I’d be totally fine selling into a market smaller than the iPhone. Hopefully that’s where we’ll be in 6-12 months, we’ll definitely do an update and hopefully things have improved.

  58. 52
    gc on 09/02/09 at 17:23:42

    @ John

    I do not have a problem with trial before you buy. But this should be pushed to trail versions of the application rather than a facet of the market which is ripe with fraud. If a trail version is not available for a product, the consumer can always refuse to purchase, request a refund, or at worst, issue a chargeback. After all, developers get fined for chargebacks so its in their best interest to ensure happy customers. Pragmatically, the primary benefit the 24-hour refund period is providing rabid abuse of developers.

    As for piracy, unfortunately your position is all too commonly encountered every time piracy is mentioned. To date, I can find no evidence your position is even vaguely sustainable by any available metric. The simple fact is, if the cost of the application was a deterring factor, almost all iphone and android applications would be exempt from piracy. This is simply not the case.

    As for my own applications, one application which sales exceedingly poorly, has actually been ranked higher in popularity, spurious week to week, on aTrackDog, than my other application which is selling at moderate rates. The implications are obvious. Furthermore, will little effort, I found rars containing the top fifty pay applications readily available on pirates sites. Torrents are also becoming a poplar medium for Android piracy. Furthermore, about a month or so ago, when I first took a look, I found that my “popular” application, from just one site, was easily being pirated over twenty times for every sale. That’s a single application on a single pirate site. Ouch!

    Without regard for popular myths, reality is that Android developers are horribly suffering from rampant piracy. And IMOHO, anyone who says otherwise has not seriously bothered to look into the issue. Again, IMOHO, the only valid questions which pertains to Android piracy are, to what degree is it negatively affecting sales and how much piracy is directly attributable to limited availability of pay apps in various markets. If the later is the primary driving force for piracy on Android then the future may indeed be bright. If on the other hand, piracy exists simply because 60% believe they are entitled to steal, then Android as a commercial development platform is largely doomed without a copy protection solution from Google in short order.

  59. 53
    Daniel Bradby on 09/02/09 at 22:33:32

    Hi Matt – Thanks for the insight into your app numbers. I’ve been capturing Android app stats over at http://androidstats.com and have followed up on your post with my own calculation. I’m seeing the monthly revenue being close to $1M USD. Check out my calculations herehttp://jtribe.blogspot.com/2009/08/android-market-monthly-revenue-revealed.html

  60. 54
    fun durian fred on 09/03/09 at 05:36:58

    Yup, I have released 5 games for the android and the sales stat is pathetic, my fishguardian only sold 3 copy, and my newest game poorfarmer only sold 4 copy. 100 hour of hard work for each game is totally down the drain

  61. 55
    patrick on 09/03/09 at 10:50:17

    how about adding a hint on the trism website that it is available for android?
    but then again it’s probably easier to wine…

  62. 56
    morphoyle on 09/03/09 at 16:17:56

    @ Tim T:
    “Unfortunately, anyone who has played with an iPhone and a G-Phone strictly from the user standpoint thinks that the G-Phone is a bad joke in comparison.”

    Really? I had an iphone, and got rid of it in favor of a G1. The sliding keyboard alone makes it better than an iphone! I’m just going to guess that you just put that up there for flamebait. Which phone is better is purely opinion.

  63. 57
    ue on 09/04/09 at 03:52:20

    Perhaps they should open Android Market for paid apps in more countries. Here in Sweden it is not possible to buy Apps from the market, you can only download free apps. So naturally free apps will be much more popular.

    If you want to make money on Android you should probably work on porting it to new platforms, or extend its functionality so that it supports some kind of hardware you make.. E.g. a keyboard maker could extend Android to support keyboards and try to sell the idea to phone manufacturers.

  64. 58
    Robert N. Lee on 09/04/09 at 10:36:51

    “And heck if I can see any mention of an Android one. I didn’t even know they had ported it until this post…
    “Every news story and blog post about it they list on their site only mentions the iPhone version.
    “Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.”

    Missing from the story, here, is the fact the Trism Android port *blows.* They didn’t take the magnetometer into account at all – ’cause, you know, the iPhone didn’t have one, yet, so it’s a repetitive stress injury literal pain, after a while, to play. The iPhone game is fun, the Android one just isn’t, really.

    Anyway, their heart was pretty clearly on in it from the get-go:

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Trism-Developer-Refuses-Android-over-iPhone-94047.shtml

  65. 59
    Robert N. Lee on 09/04/09 at 10:42:03

    “Pragmatically, the primary benefit the 24-hour refund period is providing rabid abuse of developers.”

    That’s not “pragmatic” or expectable at all. The ability to return purchases is much more prevalent than not, in these parts, anyway. And while everybody like me who ever worked in retail once has Evil Customer stories, the people who bring sweaters back after one day and puking on them are the exceptions, not the rule. Most people aren’t cheaters or thieves, and don’t do crap like buying a TV for the weekend to watch the Super Bowl.

    After all, we’ve all seen what happens in sitcoms when you do that.

  66. 60
    Robert N. Lee on 09/04/09 at 10:52:04

    “To be absolutely clear, the 24-hour refund period is absolutely unacceptable.”

    Yeah, I *really* hate that one, as a customer. Apple’s “Screw you, kid, you bought it” approach appeals much more.

    I’ve dealt with freakish search returns in the Market, although I’ve never noticed that free apps are encouraged rather than paid. I wish I’d known that the other night when I looked up the free version of an app by name and – as usual, got a big long list of everything else, and a screen or so down was the paid one, and then…finally, I gave up. (It wouldn’t even occur to me to write to devs for help with the Market.)

    I’ve never seen *any* pirate apps in the Market. In fact, I have no idea what you’re going on about. Yeah, I imagine there’s probably traffic in pirated Android apps, like anything else. But as we’re all discussing, here, nothing in the Market is all that popular at the moment.

    So…if the actual market is sixty-to-a-hundred a day for an app or game, how bad could the level of piracy possibly be?

  67. 61
    gc on 09/04/09 at 16:19:27

    @Robert

    You check, you’ll find returns are a problem for retail for a variety of issues. As this is completely off topic, I’ll leave it at that.

    As for your rebuff to my return policy comment, I get the impression you didn’t read the whole thing. You make it sound like its a negative. Its not. A limited return policy forces developers to push trail versions and places added strength of user comments and ratings. Its not like its a fly trap. The user is still completely empowered, regardless of whatever pitfalls exist for iPhone users at the App Store.

    As for your pirate apps on the Market, no one was suggesting such a thing.

    And as for your “how bad can piracy be”, statement. Well, let’s put it into perspective. Assuming the released numbers are accurate, that means Larva Labs should be pulling in numbers of $125-$250 per day rather than his meager earnings. Likewise, my own apps should be pulling in number of ~$20-$25 per day rather than their meager scratchings. In short, something is eating an estimated 50% which isn’t that far off from what a recent UK study places at 60%.

    As for piracy of my own applications, meager investigation places piracy levels well above 2000% piracy rates – for just one application. Another application is easily far, far higher than that. So clearly, piracy is a significant factor for developers. To what degree across the board I can not say nor can I address the root cause of such high levels of piracy.

    Hopefully the piracy rates will drastically fall off as pay-markets continue to open and payment options widen.

  68. 62
    venkat mani on 09/08/09 at 03:14:15

    Android market as well as the other non-iphone app markets will struggle to make any meaningful impact.I’ve written a post on this here http://thetechstig.com/?p=22

  69. 63
    rajneesh vyas on 09/10/09 at 09:59:40

    What about the android phones coming to other countries. Its very slow and no market buzz as oppose to iphone. We are based in India and developing apps for android but facing problem to test on the real devices.
    Even for market place we are not allowed to put the apps for a price. We are only allowed to put Free apps, to put our paid products we need to tie up a company in US?.

  70. 64
    Richy on 09/17/09 at 09:51:55

    Well i’d be buying retrodefense, robodefense, mechanics, and gogo rescue squad if paid apps were available in ireland!

    I’d rather use paypal or something though that i could have a “pool” of funds sitting in that could just be taken from when purchasing apps.

  71. 65
    daragh on 09/17/09 at 20:07:28

    Please read this article from developer of one of the most popular (productivity) apps on the Android Market

    http://nitrodesk.blogspot.com/2009/09/earning-living-on-android-part-1.html

  72. 66
    Michel on 09/20/09 at 09:08:40

    I am sure that the android market is a loss for anyone who believes he can make money there. But it is not about the limited description or the missing screenshots. The problem is, that only customers of a few country can buy applications from the market. I see only a fraction of the applications and I think this is a real pitty, because I would pay for a good application if I just could. So it is about the programmers to consider another payment schemes (e.g. license codes) as long as google allows that.

  73. 67
    Matt Perkins on 10/24/09 at 19:03:02

    I really think the battle isn’t between the Android OS and iPhone OS. It’s more like the Android OS vs iPhone/iPod Touch. I don’t think there would be near the sales of iPhone apps if the iPod Touch wasn’t compatible with them. I’m pretty sure there are more people who have an iPod Touch than have an iPhone.

    For Google Android apps to be as successful as iPhone apps in the end it has to get more people using Android based products than those who use both iPhone and iPod Touch combined. And the only way to get more people using an Android based OS is to get enough companies on board to make Android OS phones/PDAs and possibly mp3 players. Google would pretty much have to convince these companies to leave Windows Mobile for Google Android which as you know getting a company to switch over to something different is a very hard task. Most companies still run Windows XP just to show how hard it is to get them to change to something different. Google has a long and hard battle ahead of them but the more and more successful Android phones that are released the most companies will jump aboard and produce more Android based phones/PDAs and other technology.

  74. 68
    DH on 10/30/09 at 04:41:54

    Don’t think for a second Google services are really free. They are collecting all kinds of marketing data on their users.

    The primary reason they push the free apps in the Android marketplace is to make their platform more attractive to customers, so they can make more money.

    The developers of free apps are helping Google make more money and not getting a cut.

    This is just like a lot of the open source software. Companies use developers to create commodity markets for their own gain, and the developers don’t get any part of this profit. These poor develpers don’t even realize they are being used.

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/StrategyLetterV.html

  75. 69
    Heikki Toivonen on 11/20/09 at 23:12:58

    I did a poll on Android earnings (sales + ads) and 60% of developers had earned less than $250, and only 1 (out of 59 answers) had made more than $50,000. Nobody had made over $100,000. See http://www.heikkitoivonen.net/poll/android-earnings/

  76. 70
    Mehdi on 01/30/10 at 20:07:37

    Android is such a nicely constructed OS. As for Android Market Place, it is the exact opposite.

    There is no doubt that Apple has been extremely successful with iTunes store. the reason? iTunes is already installed on most devices, it is all in one and easy to use.

    I don’t understand why Google shouldn’t follow the same approach. Even the look of the Android Market place is disgusting. Contents are not managed, everything is messy, not enough info is given about apps and the payment process is complicated. It should be one click buy.

    It is obvious that the smart engineers in Google are thinking they can manage a store the same way they manage an OS.

  77. 71
    JimBeam on 04/18/10 at 13:01:27

    “Android could be the number one selling phone if Google would get behind and push a bit. The operating system is far superior to iPhone and the capability are endless.”

    That’s funny, and more importantly, wrong.

    The iPhone and iPad OS share 90% of the Mac OS, which was born 20+ years ago on the NeXT platform.

  78. 72
    ryan on 04/18/10 at 23:47:31

    This whole article is half retarded. Not only has iphone been around longer but apple only cares about money and that’s it. You barely even own your phone. The whole point of android is it’s based off of linux which is general open source, which the whole phone is based off of so your phone feels like just that, your own phone. Nobody cares how much the market is worth with Android, if we all wanted to waste money buying stupid apps then it would be nothing more than another iphone in disguise.

    The only thing I agree about here is the buying of apps as it’s not as easy as one would like. I personally am not lazy nor an idiot so I found the process easier than hell. IF you seriously need something easier than google checkout go by yourself a jitterbug cell phone and be done with it

  79. 73
    iPhone spy app on 04/24/10 at 13:51:04

    I agree with that, Android, as of now is not yet a well established SmartPhone compared to the very successful IPhone. In terms of user interface, IPhone is far better than that of the Android’s. Maybe developers of Android must polish and review where they went wrong. IPhone will be IPhone no matter what. So here’s hoping that one of these days, Android will become a contender in the world of Smartphones.

  80. 74
    Mike L on 05/10/10 at 04:51:13

    I love how the author and most of the apple fan boys quickly go and drown the android market with doubt and shame even tho they were relatively new. Look at android now you arrogant skeptics, there devices ( such as the htc incredible ) are already ahead of even the not-yet-released iPhone 4g. Google is dominating and already pass matched apple. Give it up, apple is months from being outdated. Hello android.

  81. 75
    manny on 05/21/10 at 13:31:25

    @Mike L

    i agree, android already surpassing iphone in sales (65,000 sold daily or 450,000 weekly)

    Android 28%

    iphone 21%

    http://phandroid.com/2010/05/10/android-surpasses-the-iphone-in-the-united-states/

    this just the beginning, should be number 1 soon, specially with android 2.2, many apps up to 450% faster, integrated flash 10.1, etc.

    sdk 2.2 is out

  82. 76
    Peter on 05/24/10 at 04:02:50

    I saw that you also have some iPhone apps.
    Could you let me know the numbers on them?

    I guess that some highly-paid marketing manager at Google Corp. is about to be fired or about to change strategy.

  83. 77
    Matt on 06/03/10 at 09:10:39

    Its simple Android > Iphone. Now Apple need to do something major with the new Iphone and for gods sake lower the prices they are so over priced for what they offer.

    I have owned a 3g/3gs and now own a Desire and it is streets ahead of the Iphone, i find the iphone is a good basic phone with not much else too offer but android is in a different league.

  84. 78
    Chris J on 06/07/10 at 08:26:42

    “The iPhone and iPad OS share 90% of the Mac OS, which was born 20+ years ago on the NeXT platform.”

    You mean Steve Jobs failed computer/OS. Luckily for the world, the NeXT Computer is in the trash bin of history where it belongs.

  85. 79
    alexk on 06/11/10 at 09:19:24

    Join us in fighting piracy – http://www.artfulbits.com/Android/antipiracy.aspx

    We are providing right now solution that helps to decrease greatly piracy.

  86. 80
    kyith on 06/29/10 at 23:02:40

    I don’t get why every one keep harping on a great Android platform great hardware and all, but failed to look to the number of quality apps put out by developers on both ends.

    As a normal worker i demand a device that enables me to increase my productivity.

    If you make a phone faster than the iphone, bigger screen then the iphone, have a better camera than an iphone, it will suck if no one produces quality apps to take advantage of them!

    My humble thoughts why the Android Market is a broken model >> http://www.productiveorganizer.com/iphone-ecosystem/why-the-android-market-is-a-broken-model/

  87. 81
    john on 08/30/10 at 06:21:21

    I’m coming from the sales world and I know alot about buying habits . I have had both I phone and android phones. I believe the main reason i phone has larger app. sales is because in order to even use your phone you have to connect it to an i tunes account and to have an i tunes account it has to be connected to your credit card. So when people first get the phone it is already connected to a credit card and out of the excitement of having a new phone they of course browse the app. store and want the hottest downloads. they begin with the free, but its so easy to go ahead and click ok to purchase a pay version. Once the phone is set up you never have to pull your card out again

  88. 82
    Jonny on 08/30/10 at 14:24:29

    Now that we have gotten to a point of different companies releasing some proper hardware (droid incredible, droid x, evo, galaxy) has that improved the developer revenue situation to any significance ?

  89. 83
    Diseño Web on 10/24/10 at 19:16:00

    Perhaps they should open Android Market for paid apps in more countries. Here in Sweden it is not possible to buy Apps from the market, you can only download free apps. So naturally free apps will be much more popular.

    If you want to make money on Android you should probably work on porting it to new platforms, or extend its functionality so that it supports some kind of hardware you make.. E.g. a keyboard maker could extend Android to support keyboards and try to sell the idea to phone manufacturers.

  90. 84
    Traductor jurado ingles on 11/08/10 at 23:37:36

    I am sure that the android market is a loss for anyone who believes he can make money there. But it is not about the limited description or the missing screenshots. The problem is, that only customers of a few country can buy applications from the market. I see only a fraction of the applications and I think this is a real pitty, because I would pay for a good application if I just could. So it is about the programmers to consider another payment schemes (e.g. license codes) as long as google allows that.

  91. 85
    iPhone development company on 11/19/10 at 12:24:24

    The only thing I agree about here is the buying of apps as it’s not as easy as one would like. I personally am not lazy nor an idiot so I found the process easier than hell.
    The developers of free apps are helping Google make more money and not getting a cut.

    This is just like a lot of the open source software. Companies use developers to create commodity markets for their own gain, and the developers don’t get any part of this profit. These poor develpers don’t even realize they are being used.

  92. 86
    Anon2010 on 01/17/11 at 14:09:58

    Ok so I have only read half of these comments and noticed that most of the comments must come from Apple portable users(iphone, ipad, itouch & ipod) due to the pro-apple stance (n.b. I use a macbook and an Android mobile) so it seems a little basis.

    Ok before I get into the apps a little history lesson for starters, Linux was developed before Apple was. The co-founders of Linux believed and most of the developers today still believe in a free information society, ok not so glossy like Apple but functional and stable applications (n.b if your an Android mobile user and downloaded an app that has crashed its not an official app) and OS (operating system), note though while this is true Apple’s whole OS comes from this exact family so while you guys are arguing over who the better brother or sister it is some what trivial.
    They are completely different operating systems designed for different purposes(originally)!!

    Lets move to more the fact of who makes more money obviously Apple.
    Why? marketing and knowing their niche not to mention expanding their capabilities on how to purchase stuff(apps, music & etc) with gift cards and credit cards.

    But, which of you can honestly say they have bought everything via credit card or gift card over the internet, as in never once downloaded a free commercial music track or a dvd or movie that hasn’t come out yet or you’ve been to lazy to get up off ur @ss and go to a store and buy it.

    At one time or another you have downloaded information for free and Google knows that this is a on-going fact of the information age and money has never been tighter so it comes to reason “why charge?” when some crack is going to break the app himself and offer it to others for free.

    While the design and layout of both are different and the charge or not to charge factor IMHO (in my honest opinion) I strongly disagree that the war on mobiles is far from over and Google’s Android OS and phones will be around for a long time to come Apple might be “HOT” now but once the phase passes so will their phones unless they start changing tactics to keep themselves up-to-date in the future of leaking free information society we are only just starting.

    Thanks for reading …. let me kno what ya’s think post anon2010

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  192. Sad Tales from the Android App Store | Free Nokia 5800 Games, Nokia N97 Games, 5530 Games, Nokia 5800 and N97 Themes, Nokia 5800 and N97 Softwares, Free S60v5 Stuff
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