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Fee-based iOS Apps are Free for Android Users

Loie Favre (translation)
4

No other app store is so heavily used as Google's Play Store. Even though Apple is lagging behind in the number of downloads, it's leading the race when in comes to revenue. Will Google (need to) change their business model in the midterm?

Nexus vs iPhone
Apple charges users for apps, which Android gives out for free: good for users, bad for business. © Google, Apple

The app market is booming. In 2013's first quarter, the four app stores - Google, Apple, Blackberry and Windows - shared more than 13.4 billion downloads, resulting a combined revenue of 2.2 billion US dollars. When comparing this to the fourth quarter of 2012, it's increased by 11%. Tim Shepher, Analyst for the independent industry-observing company Canalys says ''Apple's app store and Google Play remain the heavy-weights in the app store world. To this day, Blackberry and Windows Phone store are still the beaten-down challengers...''

After the Canalys report, Google spearheaded the market with its Play Store. 51% of all downloads are Android apps. So far, so good. Its biggest competitor Apple follows closely behind, yet still has the potential of chalking up 74% of the revenue in this year's first quarter.

Time for a strategy change?

It's no secret that the Android platform is much more open, less restrictive and in many respects, cheaper. Many fee-based iOS apps are free for the Android user's enjoyment. This is a major plus for individual users, but in respect to a business and developer point of view, it's a whole different ball game.

It all comes down to a very obvious question: Will Google and the Android app developers change their strategy in the foreseeable future? In Apple's case, many users seem to be all-around prepared to pay for apps. There is just so much unused potential here. It's not likely that love for thy neighbor and democratic ideas will win the money race in the long run. Am I right?

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Comments

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  • Rutger Apr 10, 2013 Link

    And some apps are free in App Store but you have to pay for in Play. I don't mind paying for apps, but Android apps reallty have to push the graphical quality a bit. SOme of the looks like kids games.

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  • CJ Brown Apr 12, 2013 Link

    If an App is worth purchasing? Then I will pay for that version (the free Apps are loaded with mini adverts, so developers are making $ regardless). I think Apple Cult Consumers will pay for Apps because they're trained to pay for them ... while Google Play Consumers are willing to try the free App 1st before deciding if the paid App is worth investing in

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  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Apr 24, 2013 Link

    I think before the strategy is changed Google shall first put the Gift Cards out in Germany and the rest of the World, well with UK the first step in Europe is done but in US, where almost everyone has a credit card (I think) Gift cards are useless, except for the Kids.

    German ppl in Contrary are not so open about credit cards, they would rather need some payment options and if it's just PayPal for the start...

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