Android Market vs. App Store Prices: Why Android Users Pay Double [Study]

Google Android logoPopular apps on the Android Market are more than 2.5 times more expensive on average those of their counterparts on the iOS App Store, say researchers.

Analyst firm Canalys’ App Interrogator study found that the top 100 paid applications on the Android service cost $3.74 on average, compared to an average cost of just $1.47 for the most popular paid iOS apps.

Analysts noted that the higher cost of Android applications is because fewer people are willing to purchase apps on Android vs. iOS. 

“Developers and publishers need to balance the iOS volume opportunity with a potentially greater value per download opportunity on Android, where more apps command higher price points,” said Canalys mobile analyst, Rachel Lashford. “Selling more apps at higher prices is the Holy Grail for developers, but achieving big volumes of paid apps on Android is no small challenge.”

Analysts also noted that the Android and iOS markets varied in their audience and scope of applications. Top apps on the iOS store were more likely to be games, while Android apps tended to be geared more toward business than consumer users.

In total, analysts found that just 15 applications appeared among the top 100 for both platforms in the U.S.

While both marketplaces have enjoyed success, each serving more than 10 billion downloads, the App Store and Android Market have encountered their respective challenges. Apple has been criticised for its tight management of the App Store, while Google has had to deal with a number of malware outbreaks on the Android Market.

Editor’s note: The story has been corrected to fix an error that indicated the reason Android apps are more expensive is due to having a smaller audience.

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