So here's an interesting piece of data concerning the buying habits of Android users concerning in-app purchases. A lot of so-called free apps and games make their money by offering users to pay for different stuff after they've downloaded the app. As surprising and outlandish as it sounds, the average in-app purchase comes to about $14 a pop. Now that's a hefty some for a group of consumers that has traditionally been classified as cheap and poor. And the worst part is: most Android users are waisting their money on virtual goods that have absolutely no value (like extra bushels of virtual wheat and special virtual powers).
Out of the millions of in-app purchases, a vast majority of them are going towards so-called consumable or perishable virtual goods. Most people are giving out their credit cards to get that coveted submachine gun to beat the final level, increase their virtual health or just amass a ton of digital cash. Have we become so sucked into our virtual reality on our smartphones that we are willing to real money for virtual success? This is obviously great news for developers who are relishing the fact that users are so desperate to beat a game that they are ready to pay for it. So for future developers the best way to make a ton of money is to create some sort of virtual currency and force users to buy it in order to advance to the next level.
Other kinds of in-app purchases such as monthly subscriptions for content or different kinds of personalized items (such as ringtones, wallpapers and homescreen replacements) are not nearly as popular with consumers. As counterintuitive as this may seem, smartphone users will think twice about paying a one-time fee for an app, but have no second thoughts about shelling out money for random valueless stuff in order to satisfy their short-term goals.