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Android users reluctant to pay for apps

by Scott Bicheno on 27 May 2011, 16:28

Tags: comScore, Distimo

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Forced to be free

It doesn't come as a great surprise to read, in Distimo's latest report, that the vast majority of the apps downloaded from Android are free. The proportion on iOS is much lower.

This is consistent with the philosophies of the two companies that own the platforms. Apple is all about charging money for desirable products while Google is about generating traffic by offering stuff for free, then selling ads against that traffic.

Of course Google bought the biggest mobile display ad company - Admob - a while ago, and is thus well positioned to serve ads against all these free apps and games, but it's not clear whether this provides equivalent revenues to developers who have more success selling their apps on iOS.

One of the issues developers face on Android is visibility for their apps, with the charts apparently refreshed much less frequently on Android. In other words, if you get to the top of an Android chart you're much more likely to stay there. And then there's the fact that the most popular free apps are often those made by Google itself - including the all time favourite - Google Maps.

This chart shows how many separate apps made it into the top ten and the top 300 of the respective charts. As you can see there were even fewer Android apps represented in the charts than on Ovi and WP7, with iOS well ahead of everyone.

 

 

Meanwhile Google will be further enthused by a study from Comscore, revealing the use of mobile financial services is on the rise in Europe. The table below shows the big five Western European countries and reveals the UK is close to the average on most counts.

 

Mobile Financial Services
3 Month Avg. Ending March 2011
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens


Penetration (%) of Mobile Subscribers

EU5

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

UK

Accessed Bank Accounts

8.5 %

10.3 %

6.8 %

7.5 %

10.1 %

8.6 %

Accessed Credit Cards

5.1 %

4.7 %

3.4 %

7.6 %

6.5 %

3.9 %

Accessed Electronic Payments

5.2 %

3.7 %

4.5 %

6.9 %

5.7 %

5.4 %

 

Comscore also noted that the typical mobile banking user in the EU 5 is male, young and has an iPhone.

 

Profile of EU5 Mobile Users Accessing Bank Accounts
3 Month Avg. Ending March 2011
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens




Mobile Subscribers (000)

% of Mobile Subscribers

Index to Total Mobile Pop*

 

Total Audience: 13+ yrs old

19,885

100.0%

100

 

Gender




 

Male

12,705

63.9%

129

 

Female

7,180

36.1%

71

 

Age

 

 

 

 

13-17

800

4.0%

59

 

18-24

3,249

16.3%

152

 

25-34

5,539

27.9%

161

 

35-44

4,463

22.4%

119

 

45-54

2,679

13.5%

76

 

55+

3,156

15.9%

56

 

Platform

 

 

 

 

Smartphone

13,788

69.3%

201

 

Not Smartphone

6,098

30.7%

47

 

Apple

5,475

27.5%

393

 

Google

2,737

13.8%

245

 

Microsoft

1,018

5.1%

195

 

RIM

940

4.7%

151

 

Symbian

3,279

16.5%

110

 

*Index of 100 indicates average representation

 

This last table confirms that the UK is generally ahead of the curve when it comes to smartphone use.

 

Mobile Benchmark Data for the European Market
3 Month Avg. Ending March 2011
Total EU5 (UK, DE, FR, ES and IT), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens


Reach (%) of Mobile Subscribers

EU5

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

UK

Sent Text Message

82.4%

82.8%

78.8%

79.7%

80.9%

90.0%

Used Application (excl. pre-installed)

30.3%

28.1%

26.5%

28.4%

29.6%

39.3%

Used Browser

31.0%

31.3%

24.6%

27.8%

28.7%

42.7%

Listened to Music

25.6%

22.7%

26.6%

23.4%

32.3%

24.4%

Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog

19.8%

19.5%

13.3%

18.3%

18.1%

30.2%

Accessed News

14.9%

14.1%

12.3%

13.9%

11.5%

22.0%

Played Games

25.6%

15.4%

24.2%

29.0%

27.7%

32.2%

Used Smartphone

34.5%

30.4%

27.6%

37.9%

39.8%

39.2%

 



HEXUS Forums :: 42 Comments

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Personally I've bought quite a few apps, that total approximately £100 in the last year. I wouldn't say I'm reluctant to pay for apps. If I have a trial and like something I will almost definitely buy it. If a game looks like it has original content and quality worth paying for then I will….
Free apps. would be huge advantage over iOS.
I dont mind paying for apps, granted I havent as of yet but when I get my tablet and use Android for more than just a phone OS then I will.
I bought android because I can't afford an Iphone and I'm not good enough ;) Oh no I got an SGS2 because it suits my needs and has damn near replaced my core i5 computer.
With the huge reduction in refund periods I'm very reluctant now to buy any apps.

Generally only buy if I have a free restricted version and the restrictions are getting on my nerves, or I've seen very positive feedback on the internet… i.e. internet on my desktop, not 3 people giving it 5 stars on the market.