Android Device Sales May Be High But Developers Can’t Monetize

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paid android apps
This graph shows the proportion of paid apps by download tier.

We often write about Distimo’s reports because they give insight into the app industry, and a lot of developers are going cross-platform these days. Here at BlackBerryCool we’ve talked a lot about the fact that BlackBerry developers are making a decent amount of money albeit the media’s insistence that they aren’t attracting developers. Sure, there’s rockstars making a lot of money on iPhone, but considering the number of apps on the platform, the majority of apps are probably making zero dollars per day. It seems Android is a horrible platform for the average developer, where 80% of all paid applications have been downloaded less than 100 times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date. So for all the media hype around Android, it’s not going to last long in the app space unless your average developer can get paid.

Here are the major findings from the report:

  • 96 applications have been downloaded more than 5 million times in the Google Android Market. Google Maps is the only application with more than 50 million downloads in the Google Android Market, making it the all-time most popular application in this store.
  • 20% of all free applications and 80% of all paid applications have been downloaded less than 100 times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date.
  • It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model. We found that only two paid applications have been downloaded more than half a million times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date, while six paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone generate the same number of downloads within a two month timeframe in the United States alone.
  • Looking at just games, there are five games in Google Android Market with over 250,000 downloads worldwide. In the Apple App Store for iPhone ten games generated more than 250,000 downloads in the United States alone in two months.
  • The refresh rate of top application charts is significantly higher in the Apple App Store for iPhone than in the Google Andoid Market. During the month of April, there were 94 distinct applications with a top 10 (free or paid) position in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the US; there were only 26 distinct applications that reached a top 10 position in the Google Android Market.

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  • Anonymous

    You failed to mention that just about every paid app in the android market has the optional free version with ads. Developers are making quite a bit of money off of these as well.

  • http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/vendor/1111 Eric at Ebscer

    A free version with ads does not come anywhere close to making as much money as a paid version (even with many many more users).

    As always Distimo does a good job…

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  • http://papped.webatu.com papped

    Depends on the adoption.  If you are angry birds you will probably make more.  But for most, your rate is gonna suck something awful…