android apps

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Customers using iOS phones are more willing to pay for apps compared to those using Windows and Android devices, the latest data shows.

According to figures revealed by Statistic Brain this month, Apple continues to dominate the smartphone market as the company’s App Store recorded revenue of $6.4 billion in 2013. BlackBerry World, on the other hand, continues to struggle in the marketplace as the data showed that the company only generated $550 million in app sales last year, meaning its users are the least willing to pay for apps or perhaps that there are simply fewer users.

However, the more interesting findings come from the battle between Android and Windows. Although Android leads both iOS and Windows phones in terms of the number of devices running the operating systems, Statistic Brain’s data reveals that Windows users are far more likely to pay for apps than Android users.

The study shows that 62 per cent of Android users have never paid for an app while this figure drops to 58 per cent among Windows users. The difference between these figures is somewhat negligible at first glance. But when you dig a little deeper you can see that among the Windows users that are willing to pay for apps, there is a far greater market for paid-for applications relative to downloads.

Staggeringly, when looking at the money their respective app stores generate, despite Android boasting nearly five times more downloads than its competitor last year (29 billion downloads compared Windows’ 4.1 billion), it only had revenue of $1.2 billion from that. The Windows Phone Store fell just short of this with revenue of $950 million.

To look at the figures a different way, this means that despite recording almost 500 per cent more downloads than Windows, Android only yielded 26 per cent more revenue. Alternatively, when the figures are broken down into the amount of money generated per download, Android gets $0.04 whereas Windows gets substantially more ($0.23).

This new data illustrates how lucrative the respective operating systems are for developers. At a first glance it would be easy to assume that it is more worthwhile for developers to focus their efforts on making Android-compatible apps rather than apps for the Windows Phone users because of the huge contrast between the number of consumers that own devices using the respective operating systems.

Taking the dominance of Apple’s App Store out of the equation, it is clear that while Android may have a far greater number of users downloading apps, the profitability of these downloads pales in comparison to that of the Windows Phone users. In short, for whatever reason, Android users are seemingly unwilling to part with their money for apps, particularly when compared with users of phones running different operation systems.

The news will be somewhat concerning for phone manufacturers whose devices are running Google’s Android OS; the fact that Android holds the largest market share is clearly not being converted into revenue through the sale of apps. Apple, which has fewer iOS devices than there are Android phones, is bringing in more than five times as much money through the Apps Store than Android is through Google Play.