Here's why premium app developers will continue choosing iOS over Android

Heard of Monument Valley? It's one of not that many exceedingly well thought-out and executed games for mobile devices. The game is so unique that we felt compelled to give it the Silver in our Best games of 2014 awards category. The folks at Apple seem to agree, as well – Monument Valley is the winner of the company's 2014 Design Awards. There's only one problem with the game, at least according to a recent statistic posted by the team (ustwo) behind it – its price tag of $3.99.

According to a tweet by the devs, a staggering 95% of Android installs of Monument Valley weren't paid for, though the team does point out that a small piece of those free installs are legitimate. In comparison, only 60% of iPhone and iPad users got their hands on the game without paying for it. Said otherwise, only 5% of the Android install base paid that $3.99 in comparison with the 40% in the iOS camp. Just to clarify, these numbers don't include any temporary deals that had the app for free.

That's obviously a massive difference, and it goes to show (at least partially) why many premium app developers tend to favor iOS and only push their goodies to Android later – the latter group just isn't as willing to pay. And so long as that's the case, we can expect this to continue to be the case and for more and more developers to turn to a freemium model (In-App purhcases).

source: @ustwogames [1], [2] via MobileSyrup



1. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

Two words: sideloading apps. Shame.

28. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Two words: quality and simplicity. App Store is better for developers.

42. engineer-1701d unregistered

whats the return time on the app after you buy can you get your money back if you dont like it

56. toiletcleaner

Posts: 224; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

The app was free on the Amazon app store.

57. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

It's not that Android users aren't willing to pay and IOS users are. It's just that its easier to get the app for free on Android.

2. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

That is true sadly.

41. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Yes, I can imagine people pirating for $1000 dollar software but for $3.99 that just being cheap. 100% of my Android apps are from Play Store. Guess pirate will be pirate no matter the cost. No wonder most games at Android are fee to pay model. We deserved it.

3. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

That's simple: Android users have a better sense for saving money and getting good value-for-money; it's why they chose an Android device in the first place...

4. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

So saving money is now equated to stealing?

8. maherk

Posts: 6828; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It is called stealing, not saving money.

9. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

You mean they commit thievery? They could simply buy the app, and if they don't like it, get a refund.

12. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

I think that it is hard to do that.

13. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

not at all. Google made it very simple. Within x amount of time, you request a refund and it's always granted.

19. maherk

Posts: 6828; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Why is it that hard? Last time i checked, google gave a 2hrs for users to try a paid app, if you don't like it, you can refund your money with a click of a button.

14. abhilashpro

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

fzacek: That's the most downvote-worthy comment I've read. People like you give Android fans a bad name. And its people like you that cause app developers to focus on iOS.

16. Iodine

Posts: 1479; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Yeah it's simple developers write apps for iOS to save themselves from people who don't see any value in their apps !

17. mynameisPZee

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Wow! such an Idiot! i come here quite often over the years, but had to sign up to reply your asinine comment. people like you give android users a bad name. Will you love for your clients/employer to rob you of your due wages at the end of each month, while telling you they are doing that to save the company from going bankruptcy? Its time you get out of your cave!

38. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

No, that is the government job.

30. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

No, I choose Android for the cutting edge specs & software, never because it's a good value. Also I never side-load anything because you are more than likely going to get some malware or worse. You should buy the app if you want it, I agree with this article. It even happens in iOS but on Android even I have to admit the pirate world is HUGE!!! Support developers people, they make our phones & tablets so much better!

43. engineer-1701d unregistered

really i dont give a crap about games and little apps on my phone only kids and people that dont really work they just say they do play games on there phone, or cant afford a real game system. xb one or ps4

51. Cicero

Posts: 1123; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

At the end show me the numbers. What it means 5% on Android and 40% on ios. They "forgot" to show us this. And "yes" for supporting devs by buying their apps which we need.

33. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Yes true. Getting free apps not bad either :)

44. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

You do realize you're committing a theft to 'save your precious money'.

5. maherk

Posts: 6828; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As an android user, i think that sideloading apps is a disease to the platform that needs to be dealt with sooner than later. We are missing on loads of great apps and games just because piracy is repelling loads of developers from Android.

10. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

I don't think so. Sideloading is the thing that makes me and my friends go for Android over iOS. My point is: Whether an APK is sideloaded, Android system must verify it on Play Store. If that's a free app, just allow it. If that's a paid app and user have never paid for it, Play Store either asks user to pay, or just deletes it.

22. tedkord

Posts: 17344; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You did see that 60% of the iOS installs were also pirated? Sideloading isn't the issue, people who think piracy is OK is the issue. I want sideloading. I get apps from Amazon, from developers in XDA, etc... I pay for any content I get, don't pirate anything.

25. maherk

Posts: 6828; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

On Android it is much easier to sideload the apps, that's the issue.

49. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Easily to get malware you mean. If foolish people want to take the risk that their business. I support that we should leave the choice to the respective user. I have to root the Neptune Pine and side load play store because the kick-starter lead couldn't work to a level to get a Google Play license. There are also many user that root their device knowing that they will void warranty but its their choice. I root my device after warranty. Anyway, almost every game in the play store are now fee to pay including those game that I originally buy to play are later converted to fee to pay model making me warily of buying new Android games. So developer are also f**king us back. The new generation of gamer seem to accept the fee to pay model. So if you want to continuing mobile gaming you will have to accept this model.

53. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I sideload apps, not many but there are a few. Not pirated apps though,mainly beta's or updates I don't want to wait for. But all the apps that aren't free, I paid for. It's the mentality of people who need to change. As Tedkord mentioned, even on iOS people sideload pirated stuff. Also Google might improve the payment methods,just recently they added paypal support, but before you had to have a credit card. Sure there are debit options. But with Apple, you have the possibility to charge your bank account and pay for apps. Outside America, credit cards aren't that common good yet.

36. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

As long as torrents sites exist this will be a long living problem. I usually download apps from torrents only to know which apps are better for majority of people opinions). For instance I found out about POWERAMP music player from sideloading before went ahead and puchased it. So you can not stop sideloading that's like creating another ios with a different name

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