Analyst: 80 percent of paid Android apps downloaded fewer than 100 times

Jun 28, 2011
Tech

Google Maps, which was the most-downloaded app in the store with more than 50 million downloads. It’s the only Android app to have the 50-million distinction, though.

Issues definitely need addressing

Distimo’s findings highlight some issues with the Android Market that Google needs to address. In comparing it to Apple’s App Store, the Android Market is a hard place to make money off app sales. Distimo found that in the entire Android Market, only two paid apps have reached downloads of more than half-a-million times worldwide to date.

Compare that with the App Store for iPhone, in which six apps were able to hit that same mark within two months – and that’s just in the U.S. – not accounting for sales across the globe.

It’s the same story with games for Android, too: Five games in the Android Market have more than 250,000 downloads worldwide; in the App Store, 10 games hit that same mark, but in just two months, and just in the U.S.

Obviously, Google has some work ahead of it. In order to bring in more developers and grow the Android Market, Google has to make it easy for them to make money – and that means something needs to change in the store. The steps Google has taken are positive, but it needs to continue to improve the experience.

While there are a lot of initiatives out there to help bring developers to the Android Market, the only motivation that means anything is the ability to make money by creating Android apps, especially given the difficulty of creating Android apps for multiple different devices. Distimo’s findings highlight the fact that Google needs to find more ways of helping out developers if it wants to keep pace with Apple’s extremely successful marketplace.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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