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Willingness to pay for apps isn't as wide a gap between Android and iOS anymore

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Willingness to pay for apps isn't as wide a gap between Android and iOS anymore
It has been a longstanding stereotype that Android users don't like to pay for apps, and will more often than not opt to download free apps, while iOS users have pockets stuffed with cash that they just love tossing out to needy developers. Of course, those stereotypes held a lot more weight about 2 or 3 years ago, back when Androids were the cheap alternative to the expensive iPhone. Now, there are iPhones and Androids at every price point, and some Androids that are even more expensive than iPhones. 

And, if there's anything that can help to kill a blind stereotype, it's cold hard numbers. With that we bring you the results of a survey which was done by SwiftKey in partnership with the Pocket-lint and Mobile Nations websites. The survey covered 17,000 people and simply tried to find out how many apps people have actually paid for on their smartphones. 

Willingness to pay for apps isn't as wide a gap between Android and iOS anymore
According to the data, as of last year 39% of iPhone users had more than 20 paid apps, and only 3% didn't have any paid apps on their device. The numbers from this year show that just 26% of users have more than 20 paid apps, and 6% don't have any paid apps. Conversely on Android, users with more than 20 paid apps rose this year from 10% to 19%, while users with no paid apps dropped from 12% to 7%.

So, in one year, the number of users paying for a lot of apps on Android has nearly doubled, while users with no paid apps had been cut almost in half. While on iPhone, users with a lot of paid apps fell quite a bit, while users with no paid apps doubled. 

It's interesting to see. The only question we have is whether free apps with in-app purchases to unlock content were counted as paid or free apps. We've asked SwiftKey and are awaiting response.  SwiftKey responded to our question, and apparently it was left up to responders to make that distinction between a free app and one that became paid via in-app payments. The only questions asked were: "Approximately, how many free apps have you downloaded on your phone?" and "Approximately, how many paid apps have you bought on your phone?"

source: SwiftKey via Droid Life

42 Comments
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posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:05 25

1. Nookie4u (Posts: 127; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


Of course, now they all got premium apps on android and more users switch from iOS to android.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:10 17

2. taz89 (Posts: 1946; Member since: 03 May 2011)


no doubt apps on ios USE to be better than on android but since early 2011 apps have been getting more polished and also more apps coming out on ios and android near enough same time,theres no reason not to actually buy,android has the premium games from rovio,ea,gameloft etc and new apps and old apps being updated are using the 4.0 design language which makes it worth paying for...dont think its about whether android people didnt like to pay,i think its always been that apps back then were not worth buying where as now apps deserve to get paid as they are being made with 100% effort and not just half baked apps...

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:30 10

5. wendygarett (unregistered)


I just downloaded horn and it cost me $7
And I'm satisfied it :)

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 23:59

42. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


How is Horn? It looks pretty good. What country are u from?

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:52 2

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


well this might actually be a message for devs, spend more time on android and you will get more moey

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:44 3

17. E.N. (Posts: 2218; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


yeah this is actually good news. One of my biggest gripes with Android is the quality of their application store. If the devs take note of this and step it up, then things should change

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 07:06 2

28. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I personally see an increase of really nice and original apps lately, using the new gestures and the new android SDK, things are improving quite a lot, hopefully by next year quality of apps in average could be less of a problem

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:55 2

7. jroc74 (Posts: 3978; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Another Android vs. Apple myth is going away...

Every time I turn around a myth is either gone or going away. On both sides. Which is a good thing. But good for Android since it seems to have so many negative myths compared to iOS, the iPhone.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:17 1

9. elliott.helm (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


I think the stats are skewed considering all the sales the play store has where you can get apps for as low as .10 cents which is pretty much free

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:32 1

11. blazee (Posts: 239; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


havent seen a paid app on play store for less than 99 cents yet

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:39 1

14. E.N. (Posts: 2218; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


That's very possible, but in order for it to be significant enough to skew the survey, a lot of people have to have known about the discounts and I'm not sure if that's the case.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 14:26

40. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


There's no sales like that right now is there? That was like couple months back....

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:22 9

10. joseph98 (Posts: 167; Member since: 03 Feb 2012)


I don't live in USA and I recall that when I was using the Symbian OS on my Nokia device, if I like an app in Nokia app store then I can purchase it and charge it to my phone carrier and billed later by the end of the month. Google only accept credit card which I don't have, so there is no other way for me to pay in Google apps store. I hope Google address this issue like Nokia did back then.
Also I think the main problem is most Apple user are dumb rich who overpaid for there iPhone and they can careless if they spent more money on apps. I know apple fans will jump on me now. Go for it. Thumb me down. Who cares. Android will live and we the people will support it.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:39 5

15. aokde (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


I'm sorry thumbed you down by mistake.
Thats the same reason for me not buying apps. If only google could charge me through my carrier i won't download any illegal apk, i will buy them all. Supporting the developers is a good thing for both sides.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 09:32 1

33. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


The bottom part of your message has a very good point. Well spoted.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 09:34 1

34. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


This reply was for Joseph.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:38 3

13. aokde (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


Thats the same reason for me not buying apps. If only google could charge me through my carrier i won't download any illegal apk, i will buy them all. Supporting the developers is a good thing for both sides.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 07:46 1

30. phitch (Posts: 214; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


They do charge through carriers. It is just a matter of your carrier setting it up. I know I can charge to T-Mobile.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 00:14 1

18. rusticguy (Posts: 2811; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


This can also mean that more and more iPhone users are shifting to Android phones ... it all depends on which way one were to0 interpret the results :)

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 02:07 2

19. kanagadeepan (Posts: 590; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


I have purchased 130+ paid apps from Play store till now... I am using ZERO pirated apps in my android phones... That includes few paid apps that are just Ad-Free version of FREE apps (My phone is rooted ofcourse) just to support the developer...

Yes, the willingness to support developer is gonna increase more when the play-store-card comes into effect (many are NOT willing to share their CreditCard details with Google or others)...

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 02:08 1

20. mrbtree (Posts: 59; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


and it all get easier to buy apps with those play store cards. bet apple will call foul and try to sue google.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 02:34 1

21. Leo_MC (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


That's because nobody likes adds.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 04:39 2

23. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


And the best thing about the whole thing is the unprecedented growth of android.
Right now the user base weighs around 500 million people - with almost 300 million activations just in 2012 so far.
With the rate of adoption, odds are that in a year from now, Android user base could reach over a billion people!!

It will pull in every developer in the world just by that fact alone.
It's exactly what Eric Schmidt was talking about.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 05:52 1

25. Aeires (unregistered)


Amazon app store included in this?

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 07:47

31. phitch (Posts: 214; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


No! Just play store.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 06:15 1

27. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 664; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


Very interesting how things are changing :)
People are beginning to see just capable their Androids are and are spending time customizing and downloading apps, games, movies etc... to them, excellent stuff.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 07:52

32. phitch (Posts: 214; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


I think the biggest plus side to Android and they really need to let people see this is that it can already do everything that WP7 and iOS can, and if you really like the way those UI's look -- you can get the same look in Android! With Android -- anything is possible.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 09:35

35. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


One sentence to describe why is there so many paid apps now- DEVELOPERS GETTING GREEDY.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 10:15

36. x88yunkw (Posts: 55; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)


same old design from 1st iphone to the 6th.
not too userfriendly - bluetooth, itune
no more dad of apple
wonder hows the sales will be for iphone5.
20 millions s3 sold in 100 days, if s3 still unable to overtake, i believe s4 might be the winner.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 10:38

37. The_Innovation (Posts: 531; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


The people were living under tyranny. Now that ICS and JB made Androids fully polished, more people are living in freedom.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 13:01

38. mas11 (Posts: 1015; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


I only buy apps if they are $1 and I really like the app.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 13:23

39. HardReset (Posts: 5; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)


Life is too short to spend money on apps.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 18:29

41. Paradox (Posts: 122; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


I'm an android user and I don't like paying for apps :)

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