Google: Android Premium App Sales Are Pathetic

android robot logo2 Google: Android Premium App Sales Are PatheticWhile Google didn’t exactly say that Android sales were pathetic, their emphasis on not being happy with the sales overall is a clear sign that Android premium apps are not doing to well despite the mobile OS’s popularity.

During a session at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, a mobile game developer told Android platform group manager Eric Chu that although Android is now shipping on 300,000 handsets per day, users aren’t buying nearly as many apps as they do on Apple’s iPhone.

Chu acknowledged that Google is “not happy” with the number of apps being downloaded through the Android Market. (SF Gate)

Google is attempting at increasing sales by introducing more ways users can pay for apps, although truth be told the search engine giant may need to do more to ensure that premium developers skip over Android’s “barren desert” in favor of Apple’s thriving walled garden.

It might be time for the company to consider aggressively highlighting quality premium apps within the market (perhaps via an Android Genius recommendation feature?) in order to convince users that there are some premium apps worth their cold hard cash.

While Android does have plenty of apps available (over 200,000 now), if premium developers are not generating enough revenue to pay the bills, they may simply skip Android and instead focus all their attention upon iOS.

(Hat Tip: Android Central)

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  1. I enjoyed your article. However, a couple of grammatical errors were made in an effort to get it out. I’m assuming that’s it, and not that your a gleeful iPhone fanboy who was too excited to check your work. :)

    First, the minor one: “Android premium apps are not doing to well despite the mobile OS’s popularity.”

    The word ‘to’ should have been ‘too.’

    Lastly, the the more confusing one: “although truth be told the search engine giant may need to do more to ensure that premium developers skip over Android’s “barren desert” in favor of Apple’s thriving walled garden.”

    I don’t believe Google wants to do more to ensure that developers leave the Android market in exchange for Apples which is how your sentence reads. This also happens to be your most biting paragraph and I would dare say shows a bias towards Apple.

    In December 2010 Android’s marketplace was just passing 200,000 apps for phones while the Apple marketplace had 300,000 for all iDevices. The Android marketplace doubled in size in two months and had an estimated 2.5 billion apps downloaded.

    Anyway, like I said, I’m going to assume you are not a fanboy and just got excited to breed some controversy and heated discussion with that one paragraph. Have a good day.

  2. Thanks for the feedback! Truth be told, I am an iOS fanboy (see, I’ll admit it here) although most of my friends/family do own an Android device.

    However from developers that I’ve talked to, most do not consider Android a serious platform (at least those trying to make a living selling apps). Many are either developing solely for iOS (iPad, iPhone) as well as Mac, or (for a few) creating apps for Windows Phone 7 (due to the fact that Microsoft is paying them to create them).

    Android has potential IMHO, and I think it is superior to iOS, but thus far I’m not impressed with the app market overall (something even my die hard Android friends will admit).

  3. I will concede that the market is not the best. I just got the upgraded market on my Google Nexus S (which I paid the full $600+ for). The upgraded market does seem to be better then the previous incarnations. I’m one of the, perhaps, few who do pay for apps. I’ve paid for several. When I had an iTouch I paid for apps on there as well. It’s not a big deal to me. When the prices are so small for most apps ~$5.00 it’s practically impulse purchases.

    I really want to see Android succeed. I feel that a good solid competitor will drive innovation in the market. Plus, Android is more inline with my philosophical beliefs. It’s sad to me to see people so willingly give up freedom the way that they do.

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  1. [...] for paying for items (at a very low price point), the Android Marketplace has not experienced success with premium app sales.  While we know that solutions such as better and more diverse payment options and better quality [...]

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