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Android app volume to pass iOS App Store but Apple developers lead in revenues

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
A new report suggests that all Android app markets combined will soon outpace the app downloads of Apple's iOS App Store, but a parallel report notes that piracy and malware republishing continue to destroy Android app developers' ability to actually make money.

Ovum research analyst Nick Dillon issued a report cited by CNET stating that the group estimates that a variety of stores serving Android apps could deliver up to 8.1 billion app downloads this year, contrasted with an estimated 6 billion served by Apple's iOS App Store.

The Android platform has lots of software stores in addition to Google's own Android Market, including GetJar and Amazon. The Ovum report noted that Apple "can't compete with such diversity, but still leads in the value of its apps."

The group estimates that five years from now, Apple will be generating $2.86 billion in app revenue, while all Android stores combined will pull in just $1.5 billion, even while it claims Android stores will be servicing almost twice as many app downloads (21.8 billion vs 11.6 billion apps by Apple) in 2016.

Ovum track record not great

In July 2010, however, Ovum predicted that "the dominance of Apples iPhone in the mobile app download market will be eroded over the coming years as rivals Android, Symbian and BlackBerry make inroads." That report was made before the implosion of Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7.

At that time, the group forecast that by 2015, Apple's share of the app market would plummet from 67 percent of all apps downloaded in 2009 to just 22 percent, while figuring that Nokia's "burning" Symbian platform would take a 19 percent share. It also figured that RIM's BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Mobile/Phone 7 would both lose smartphone share but somehow double or triple their app share over the next five years.

The report's author stated at the time that "the iPhone generates the lions share of smartphone app downloads but over the period we will see the share of application downloads becoming more equally distributed." Just over a year later, Ovum is now predicting that Apple will retain a massive revenue lead, even as it buries that fact under the more sensationalist idea that Android stores will service a lot of downloads.

Lots of apps, little revenue

Part of the reason Android has so many app downloads is because Google has no real limits on what users can upload into its Android Market. Apps with actual functionality are buried by massive volumes of phony apps that are really just wrappers for wallpapers and ringtones, as any search in the store demonstrates.

However, a larger problem for Android developers is rampant piracy. A study by Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe on Android app piracy notes that "Piracy is a problem for Android and Google isnt helping."

"Android developers make much less money from paid apps than iPhone developers do," the report notes. While suggesting steps Google could make to help reduce rampant piracy, the report recommends that Android developers "consider adopting business models beyond direct app sales," including ad banners and in app purchases to unlock key features.

Among Android developers, the report states that 27 percent reported piracy to be a "huge problem," while another 26 percent view it as "somewhat of a problem." A full 53 percent said Google is too lax in its Android Market policies. While Google has responded to remove active malware from its software store, many malware titles have generated a quarter million downloads or more before being identified as malicious.

Android a leader in copy/paste

But Google isn't the only company selling Android apps. While its own market may be lax, there are even more permissive stores offering Android downloads, and many of these welcome illegitimately copied and republished versions of developers' apps. This is done to spread malware under the guise of functional apps (as illustrated below by research firm Lookout).

Howe reports that three quarters of Android developers said it was "easy to copy and republish an Android app," while half said that pirating Android apps is "very easy."

Recent reports by Lookout and Retrevio noted an 85 percent increase in the number of mobile malware detections and that Android users are 2.5 times as likely to encounter malware than just six months ago, but that Android users are also the least prepared and informed about malicious mobile software.

Both groups contrasted Android's security problems with the safety of Apple's iOS walled garden. Lookout specifically described a new form of malware attack ("malvertizing") directed at pushing Android users to download malware directly from websites through legitimate looking web banners within existing apps, something that isn't even possible on iOS.



Rampant Android piracy hurting more than just apps sales

In addition to lost sales, Howe stated that 32 percent of Android developers reported that widespread piracy has increased their support costs, while another quarter noted that the network load of pirated copies of their apps resulted in increased server costs.

A third of the developers said that piracy has cost them more than $10,000 in revenue, making developing for the platform less rewarding on top of the fact that Android users are less likely to pay for apps in the first place, despite the high download figures announced by Ovum.

"Android apps are living in the Wild West without a sheriff, Howe wrote. With five other major mobile OSs competing for consumer dollars, Google cant afford to simply let pirates kill app developers businesses. They need to foster some law and order or developers will flee to other platforms and Android will lose customers.
post #2 of 43
That's why "open" fails in this case. The good apps are hard to find amongst the dozen of copy cats.
post #3 of 43
Android users less likely to pay for apps.
Android app store full of pirated apps, viruses and malware.

Duh!
post #4 of 43
Free, low quality apps are always going to lead in volume.
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Android users less likely to pay for apps.
Android app store full of pirated apps, viruses and malware.

Duh!

That's why Droidtards hate Apple's "walled garden". It's too safe and boring for rebels . Malware should be free and destructive to roam the plains side by side with legitimate apps. Equality for all. That's how it is in a true democracy. Apple is taking away those wonderful freedoms by trying to overprotect users from problems. What kind of fun is that for iOS users? Don't iOS users really want to play Russian Roulette with apps? Sure they do.
post #6 of 43
I've been quite alarmed at the amount of times I've been asked if I can jailbreak and install installous on people's iPhones/iPods/iPads (to which I tell people to GTFO) for pirated apps.

Judging by this latest damning Android post by AndroidInsider you'd think that piracy does not exist in the utopia of Apple.

Been using Android for years and am yet to be infected by malware from the Android Market. Mac.World must be "doing it wrong". Stop downloading "hot hentai Chinese tentacle girl action" from untrusted sources and you should be OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

That's why Droidtards hate Apple's "walled garden". It's too safe and boring for rebels . Malware should be free and destructive to roam the plains side by side with legitimate apps. Equality for all. That's how it is in a true democracy. Apple is taking away those wonderful freedoms by trying to overprotect users from problems. What kind of fun is that for iOS users? Don't iOS users really want to play Russian Roulette with apps? Sure they do.

Wow constable Odo (DS9 fan?) Do you really think it's that bad or (even better) do you have direct experience with Android Malware? Where did you source it and was it one of those Chinese porn apps I mentioned above (are you into that sort of thing?).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Apple's curated app store if that's your kind of thing but some "droidtards" are quite capable of making logical decisions when sourcing apps without issue on more open platforms.

I feel sorry for you that you think someone who is capable of checking app permissions, intelligent enough not to source apps from dubious sources and who will research a developer/read user reviews prior to installing an app is a "tard".
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post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

Been using Android for years and am yet to be infected by malware from the Android Market. Mac.World must be "doing it wrong". Stop downloading "hot hentai Chinese tentacle girl action" from untrusted sources and you should be OK.

Remember, kids: Only get your tentacle hentai from trusted sources.
post #8 of 43
DED: the walls are closing in, spin it all you can - and god knows you can - and most of all enjoy it while it lasts!
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

DED: the walls are closing in, spin it all you can - and god knows you can - and most of all enjoy it while it lasts!

As a shareholder I am indeed enjoying it "while it lasts", and as far as I can tell, Apple will rake it in, keeping our devices safe and ensuring a great user experience all at the same time, for a long time.

I think a smart boy like you knows that market share doesn't equal greater revenue, right?
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Remember, kids: Only get your tentacle hentai from trusted sources.

OMG! I Google Imaged "tentacle hentai". I'll be having nightmares for a few nights.
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post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Remember, kids: Only get your tentacle hentai from trusted sources.

As a trusted source for "hot hentai tentacle girl bukake creampie action" is unlikely, the best course of action would be to resist your sordid primal instincts and not install it on your beloved phone.

Now there's an idea!
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post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

..."hot hentai tentacle girl bukake creampie action"...

Hey, solipsism, I'd like to caution you against searching that one at all.

Imagine the appropriate emoticon at the end of that sentence. We don't seem to have one.

Perhaps you can console yourself with some Tentacle Grape?

That one you CAN click.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hey, solipsism, I'd like to caution you against searching that one at all.

Imagine the appropriate emoticon at the end of that sentence. We don't seem to have one.

Yeah I've had enough shock for one night.
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post #14 of 43
so ironic how article after article on AI gloated about how apples app store had soooo many more apps than android and that was the reason to choose the platform. now that is no longer the case and AI tries a new angle, the developers make more money. AI is seriously reminiscent of fox news. don't the most popular app developers like rovio make more money on android versions of their common apps because of androids ad supported model rather than iOS's reliance on paid apps? think about it, if you buy an ad free app on ios, that is the only revenue you will ever generate. but having an ad supported app, the revenue will be generated over the lifetime of the users interaction with the app. sounds good to me. 1 2
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

so ironic how article after article on AI gloated about how apples app store had soooo many more apps than android and that was the reason to choose the platform. now that is no longer the case and AI tries a new angle, the developers make more money. AI is seriously reminiscent of fox news. don't the most popular app developers like rovio make more money on android versions of their common apps because of androids ad supported model rather than iOS's reliance on paid apps? think about it, if you buy an ad free app on ios, that is the only revenue you will ever generate. but having an ad supported app, the revenue will be generated over the lifetime of the users interaction with the app. sounds good to me. 1 2

1) Try using proper case and paragraphs.

2) No one gloated about the number of apps compared to a platform also with a healty number of apps.

3) What has been stated and still is true is that the iOS development platform and distribution model is best for consumers and creates the best apps on the market.
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post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

As a shareholder I am indeed enjoying it "while it qand as far as I can tell, Apple will rake it in, keeping our devices safe and ensuring a great user experience all at the same time, for a long time.

I think a smart boy like you knows that market share doesn't equal greater revenue, right?

I own AAPL too. But there is a reason AAPL has such a low multiple so you have to live in a world of reality. And reality my friend, is not something you will find in something written by DED.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) No one gloated about the number of apps compared to a platform also with a healty number of apps.



Oh, good one! Sarcasm! I almost missed it. We really need a sarcasm font
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

OMG! I Google Imaged "tentacle hentai". I'll be having nightmares for a few nights.

So now I know why squid and octopus are so popular in Japan!
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post #19 of 43
After reading this, why would a developer write for Android and please tell me, why would anyone buy an Android phone/tablet?
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

so ironic how article after article on AI gloated about how apples app store had soooo many more apps than android and that was the reason to choose the platform. now that is no longer the case

It is still the case. The article stated, "all Android app markets combined will soon outpace the app downloads of Apple's iOS App Store".
It did not state there are more apps.
post #21 of 43
Are Android users really downloading all the "Sexy Girl Wallpaper" and "Fast Car Wallpaper" ??
post #22 of 43
Top 2 reasons:


1) 99.9999% of all Android apps are FREE


2) iOS users have been downloading apps for YEARS


NOTE:

Android apps less profitable than iPhone apps


http://content.usatoday.com/communit...-iphone-apps/1

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post #23 of 43
Let's see.......

If I were a developer, who would I want to make apps for?

iOS, where all of the revenues and people with money are, or CrapDroid, a horrible platform, littered with degenerate malware and cheapskate users who like to pirate software?

I know, it's a hard decision.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Let's see.......

If I were a developer, who would I want to make apps for?

iOS, where all of the revenues and people with money are, or CrapDroid, a horrible platform, littered with degenerate malware and cheapskate users who like to pirate software?

I know, it's a hard decision.

Try visiting hackulous. iOS is far from piracy free. Plenty of cheapskates who use either platform.
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post #25 of 43
The article fails to consider that Android, likely, won't be around in 5 years,
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post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Try using proper case and paragraphs.

2) No one gloated about the number of apps compared to a platform also with a healty number of apps.

3) What has been stated and still is true is that the iOS development platform and distribution model is best for consumers and creates the best apps on the market.


1. Don't be a grammar Nazi.

2. Yes, they have, in multiple posts and articles.

3. Open to debate - some people prefer to choose their own apps, rather than have them "curated." I hate that word.

4. Try spelling healthy properly if you're going to slag off someone's grammar.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

so ironic how article after article on AI gloated about how apples app store had soooo many more apps than android and that was the reason to choose the platform. now that is no longer the case and AI tries a new angle, the developers make more money. AI is seriously reminiscent of fox news. don't the most popular app developers like rovio make more money on android versions of their common apps because of androids ad supported model rather than iOS's reliance on paid apps? think about it, if you buy an ad free app on ios, that is the only revenue you will ever generate. but having an ad supported app, the revenue will be generated over the lifetime of the users interaction with the app. sounds good to me. 1 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Try using proper case and paragraphs.

2) No one gloated about the number of apps compared to a platform also with a healty number of apps.

3) What has been stated and still is true is that the iOS development platform and distribution model is best for consumers and creates the best apps on the market.

4) There is no single source of "Android apps" -- this number surpassing iOS apps is the total across a number of third party stores. Different policies, different ratings, different reviews, different categorizations. No thanks. I am sure the developers just love it, too.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Kubrick View Post

That's why "open" fails in this case. The good apps are hard to find amongst the dozen of copy cats.

If you stick to Google's official store, or Amazon't store, you don't have that problem. If you download from a sketchy place, the equivalent of buying software from some guy selling from a card table on a street corner, you get pirated versions.

Not so tough to figure out.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If you stick to Google's official store, or Amazon't store, you don't have that problem. If you download from a sketchy place, the equivalent of buying software from some guy selling from a card table on a street corner, you get pirated versions.

Not so tough to figure out.

That's not true. There have been cases of pirated apps on Google's official store. If the developer (or an unhappy user) reports the offending app, Google will take it down however.
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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Android users less likely to pay for apps.
Android app store full of pirated apps, viruses and malware.

Makes me wonder, if they took out all the pirated apps, viruses and malware how would the downloads stand up against each other. Cause from the talk, those 3 groups are 90% of what folks download, in part because it is 90% of what is in the market

Also it seems like no one buys any Android app that is more than $2.99 and that has to be something totally amazing. Which is part of how the pirates get away with what they do. They take the more expensive apps, repackage them and sell them cheaper.

Plus doesn't Google at least only give the developers like 10% of the sale anyway. Folks think Apple's 30% is a rip off, imagine getting even less.


Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrocker27ka View Post

so ironic how article after article on AI gloated about how apples app store had soooo many more apps than android and that was the reason to choose the platform. now that is no longer the case

Perhaps you need to put down the bong and read it again. Because they didn't say that Android has more apps, or even less apps. They were talking about downloads. As in Android users have downloaded their limited market, perhaps, more times than Apple users have downloaded apps from their bigger market.

Example.

Apple's store has 3 versions of Angry Birds -- Original, Seasons and Rio. Let's say that Android only has 1 -- Original. So Apple has more 'apps' than Android. But Apple users have only downloaded those 3 apps 100 times each for a total of 300 downloads. The Android users have downloaded Angry Birds 500 times. So fewer apps, but more downloads


Quote:
don't the most popular app developers like rovio make more money on android versions of their common apps because of androids ad supported model rather than iOS's reliance on paid apps?

One, you can have the same 'free but with ads' in iOS.

Two, you would have to look at how much the ads are bringing in an money. Typically just having the ad on the screen makes you every little compared to someone actually clicking it. And users rarely click.

Three, when given a choice, most folks will go with the "paid and no ads" for any app they are going to keep for a while. So you would have to look at a break down of whether the ads, even without any clicking, brings in more money than the cut of the payment over the typical life of the app to say which is more profitable.

Quote:
think about it, if you buy an ad free app on ios, that is the only revenue you will ever generate.

Again, this is erroneous, because in iOS you can add on inside apps with 'you must pay cash for these bits' with smurf berries, bit coins, frog pads, more levels etc in pretty much any game and more features in pretty much any app, regardless of the presence of ads or if it was free or paid.

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post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If you stick to Google's official store, or Amazon't store, you don't have that problem. If you download from a sketchy place, the equivalent of buying software from some guy selling from a card table on a street corner, you get pirated versions.

Not so tough to figure out.

In order to download from Amazon's program repository, you have to open your Android device to install from any source, including malicious one's.

There goes your security.
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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

... I've been*using Android for years and am yet to be infected by malware from the Android Market. Mac.World must be "doing it wrong". Stop downloading "hot hentai Chinese tentacle girl action" from untrusted sources and you should be OK.

This is the same argument that Windows power users have been using since Win95, and all subsequent releases, became a haven for viruses and malware.*

"Just don't click on it" or "Just don't install it".

Fact: Joe User is going to click on it/install it no matter what you yell them. They see FREE and think "Awesome! Free stuff!"

Only to wonder why their computer/phone starts running like crap shortly thereafter.*

It's the circle of life, Simba.*

Me? I'll take curating. So will the other millions of iOS users who never, ever have to give a passing thought wondering if the app they downloaded could fuck up their phone.*
post #33 of 43
Ugh. Another article with no actual knowledge from the user perspective.

Here's why apps don't sell on Android....from a user:

1) Quality. A lot of the apps are still terrible. They are getting better. But they are nowhere close to what they are on iOS. Why should developers expect users to buy crap? Make your apps better and I'll pay for it. It's particularly galling when the app is really bad on Android and really good on iOS. (Should note that I am not suggesting this is an excuse for piracy.)

2) Payment methods. Paid apps are only available in half the countries that the App store sells apps in. They aren't going to get sales if there's no way to pay for the apps. Then there's methods. Google Checkout was the only way. Now there's paypal and carrier billing coming along.

3) On-board memory. A lot of great apps still don't have app2SD. And early phones came with limited on-board memory. I run into this issue on the Nexus One. It really limits the numbers of apps I can buy. I'm not going to buy something if I can't use it.

4) Try before you buy. This undoubtedly limits sales. I can't count the number of times I've downloaded an app and refunded it because I didn't like it or didn't think it was worth the price. Developers may complain about this, but from a user perspective, I fully agree with this. And I really think Apple should follow suit here. In the physical world you can return merchandise to a store. Yet, Apple expects you to forego your money even you don't like what you bought.

5) Alternative app stores. I could buy apps from Amazon. I could buy apps directly from a website. And those figures will never be counted in the income generated by the Android Market.

6) Google's own apps are pretty good. Why would I pay $60 for a navigation app when Google's own app is on par or even better than some navigation apps out there. It's actually more functional (with items like POI than some paid apps). It's also better integrated. And I would bet that navigation apps alone generate tens of millions of dollars on iOS. Then there's apps like Google Sky Map which of course competes with Star Walk on iOS. Now other app makers could compete with Google (I think Star Walk would sell if they brought it to Android) but they have to offer something that's substantially better, not just close to what Google puts out. The value proposition is increased when you're competing with Google.

These are are all real world reasons from an Android user on why apps don't generate as many sells despite being downloaded a lot. Yet, all of this gets very simplistically downgraded to stereotypes about Android users being "cheap" or thieves supporting piracy. It's ridiculous that nobody ever actually talks to Android users about why they aren't paying for apps and just makes assumptions on their behalf...and about them.
post #34 of 43
Is this not what Apple has said from the get go.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Plus doesn't Google at least only give the developers like 10% of the sale anyway. Folks think Apple's 30% is a rip off, imagine getting even less.

Are you sure? I could have sworn that the Android Marketplace had the same % as the App Store. Amazon on the otherhand does not and can change the price of your app without your permission.
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

Are you sure? I could have sworn that the Android Marketplace had the same % as the App Store. Amazon on the otherhand does not and can change the price of your app without your permission.

Same conditions as the Apple App Store. Google does not impose as many restrictions on subscriptions though.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Same conditions as the Apple App Store. Google does not impose as many restrictions on subscriptions though.

That's what I thought. Thanks! I may not be a fan of Android but I loathe straight up disinformation.
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post #38 of 43
I think the revenue gap will close over time. There are some advantages that Google does offer. Gigaom points out the benefits of the freemium model. Here's their take on the same set of data from Ovum:

http://gigaom.com/2011/09/09/how-and...yoff-for-devs/
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

That's what I thought. Thanks! I may not be a fan of Android but I loathe straight up disinformation.

It's not just disinformation. It's a sheer lack of logic. Why would Google charge more than Apple?

I don't bother with posts like that. They're as bad as "Apple sucks!" posts on any Android forum.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

DED: the walls are closing in, spin it all you can - and god knows you can - and most of all enjoy it while it lasts!

I expect Android will keep reaching the milestones eventually - largest app catalog, largest user share, largest revenue share and so on. It really does come down to volume. There's no way that Apple can compete against every single phone company in the world and maintain a majority share.

1.3b phones shipped in 2010 of which Apple shipped 47m, which is under 4%. That other 85% or so, which aren't smartphones will move to inexpensive Android smartphones far more quickly than it will to very expensive iOS phones.

And it doesn't really matter. As long as Apple maintains quality in software and hardware, they will have the mindshare and a more stable platform, which counts far more than volume.

Android might ship on 500 million phones one day but they can't guarantee functionality and performance across all those devices. Every single year, if Apple ships 50m+ devices, they can guarantee this and I expect that will be far more than any single manufacturer.

Of course, when the lowest end phones are running quad-core chips with over 1GB RAM, 8MPixel cameras, 128GB storage or more then it becomes much harder to win on quality.
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