Bright Future for Android Mobile Applications Developers

Do Android apps make less money?

Approaching the end of 2013, Android impressed the world by 81% of the global smartphone market share, but… If to speak about average software figures, an Android app makes 5 times less money per download than an iOS app. Everything is not so clear in terms of revenue. Despite Android’s dominance in the market, iOS is still the biggest platform for many app developers, due to a variety of reasons.

User demographics seems to be one explanation of this complicated situation. All over the globe, iPhone is the device at the very top of the price ladder, affordable the few well-procured, while Android is available on a whole spectrum of devices, from high end to low end ones.

Let’s consider some instances. India ranges third in app downloads for Google Play, but it is reflected nowhere in the revenue charts. The same is with Brazil and Russia: they are responsible for the plethora of downloads, unfortunately, with almost no revenue for app developers. Cannot users in these countries afford or just do not want to pay for app content?

Strangely enough, the monthly average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) doesn’t differ much across countries; the matter is that the average income difference in these countries is almost five times in favor of the US:

  • USA – $7.76 monthly ARPPU
  • Brazil – $4.7 monthly ARPPU
  • India – $2.1 monthly ARPPU
  • Russia – $10.5 monthly ARPPU

Perhaps, there’s a more banal reason, an inability to pay with a credit card due to its sheer absence? The below data might provide the partial explanation:

  • India: 19 million credit cards (1.5 percent of the population) compared to 60 million smartphones
  • Brazil: 66.6 million credit cards (33 percent of the population) compared to 97 million smartphones
  • Russia: 28 million credit cards (19 percent of the population) compared to 95 million smartphones

Western markets are becoming increasingly saturated by versatile applications, whereas India, for instance, has less than 10% smartphone penetration, but shipments are increasing at a huge rate here.

There are strong alternatives to official Google Play distribution channel, including:

  • Independent app stores such as Opera, AppsLib, PandaApp, Appland, Apptown, Amazon, Yandex Store, etc.
  • Mobile operator app stores: Mundio, China Telecom, Dtac Gameroom, Kyivstar App Club, etc.
  • OEM app stores: Samsung Apps, NOOK, LG Smartworld, ZTE, Lenovo, etc.

They are not so widely known, but as much as a third of the apps developers revenues is now coming from these channels, mainly from the emerging markets.

New horizons for apps developers

Alternative Android app stores are in dire need for quality content, and their promotion opportunities for Android developers are the most favorable. For instance, it’s 20 times more likely for a high-quality app to get featured on an alternative store than on Google Play. Thus, the future prospects for Android app developers are definitely dazzling.

No wonder, more developers are turning to emerging markets nowadays. Homogenous Western markets, characterized by one distribution channel, high-profile phones, majority of users with credit cards, favored a single strategy, but the situation is entirely different in emerging markets – many chances, changes, challenges, as well as rewards and threats.

One of the prospective strategies is to develop applications that are quite rare and very specialized but are in high demand. Among them, there are such niche software products as mobile tracking applications, for instance, mSpy.

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Are you the boss in phone tracking?

Location tracking has become a common feature for many third-party apps, but one group of developers wants to give Android users the opportunity to understand the subtleties of these apps. MIT Technology Review reports that Rutgers University assistant professor Janne Lindqvist and his group have developed an app (it should be available on Google Play within the next two months) that will display a banner across the front of the screen that reads “Your location is accessed by [app name]” any time an app accesses the GPS functionality of your smartphone. Lindqvist and his group performed a field study that demonstrated to a group of participants just how many of their apps were accessing their location and gathering location data. God only knows what official agencies can get access to these data, and how they can be employed! So, in order not to be tracked and trapped unaware, be the first to protect the privacy of your family and secure your business data – start tracking the important target phones yourself!

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