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Some Claim Android App Store Worse Than iPhone's 289

Posted by kdawson
from the scylla-meet-charybdis dept.
eldavojohn writes "If you think the iPhone app store is the only mobile game store suffering an exodus, some game publishers claim Android's app store isn't much better, for a different reason — it doesn't generate much revenue. In fact, French game developer Gameloft (which owes 13% of its profits to iPhone game sales), said, 'We have significantly cut our investment in Android platform, just like... many others. It is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue. We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android.' So the trade-off seems to be more sales but an annoying approval process, versus a lack of sales promotions and no annoyance around approval. It seems that those in it for money will opt for iPhone, and those in it for distribution will opt for Android. Or maybe someone will get it right one of these days?"
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Some Claim Android App Store Worse Than iPhone's

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  • Market share (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gudeldar (705128) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:36PM (#30176658)
    Perhaps Android apps don't sell as well as iPhone apps is because there are a LOT less [appleinsider.com] Android phones than iPhones?
  • Re:Why not both? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:41PM (#30176744) Journal

    And now we know the real reason Apple fears, hates and will continue to block Java on the iPhone.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:46PM (#30176844) Homepage Journal

    I think the bigger reality isn't that "the iphone app store sucks because they're so restrictive", but "the iphone app store sucks because they won't give us an unfair advantage by allowing us to break rules so we sell more apps than our competitors". I think the Android app store doesn't sell as many units simply because it's newer and simply doesn't have the same installed base as the iPhone/ipod touch. Politicizing things by bringing the apple "standards board" into things only muddies the issue.

  • by realmolo (574068) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:57PM (#30177082)

    Practically speaking, the public has only become aware of the Android-based phones with the introduction of the Motorola Droid phone. And haven't they only been advertising that for a month or so?

    Android has only *barely* entered the market. Nobody has the phones, so nobody can buy apps.

  • Re:Droid Owner (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dagamer34 (1012833) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:02PM (#30177154)
    Ditto. Even the crappier looking iPhone apps are FAR more pleasing to the eye than some of the best Android apps because there's a standardized UI that just about every iPhone app must use (creating your own UI for iPhone apps is often discouraged in the iPhone developer docs unless it's a game).
  • Re:Market share (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JohnFen (1641097) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:03PM (#30177160)

    I have to say, I don't get Android. What's the appeal?

    Well, personally, I'm not terribly thrilled by Android. However, I do want a handheld computer both for my personal use and to develop commerical apps for.

    The appeal of Android (such as it is) to me is simple. It has nothing to do with OSS. It's that it's not the iPhone. This means I don't have to deal with the app store either as a customer or developer, and that I don't have to have AT&T as my carrier. Those two wins are great enough to overcome the weak bits of Android.

  • Re:Market share (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:16PM (#30177432) Journal
    I have to say, I don't get Android. What's the appeal?

    It's free (as in cost), an established standard, and backed by a company that's very likely still going to be around in a few years. These are all reasons to use it if you're producing mobile phones.

    The market isn't overcrowded. iPhone has something like a 2.5% market share. At least some of those remaining 97.5% are going to be upgrading to a smartphone. That's quite a hefty chunk of the market to carve up and Apple doesn't offer a lot of choice. Nor will there be a lot of choice for an upgrade should you want to keep the existing apps.
  • Re:Market share (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GIL_Dude (850471) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:17PM (#30177446) Homepage
    I can only speak for myself, but I just got a Motorola Droid and it was specifically because it was Android and did not presume to tell me what software I can run on it. I am a Google Voice user and wanted the GV app, but also just plain don't care to have a hand held computer sold to me that I can't install whatever I want on it (and yes, I know about jailbreaking and cydia but don't feel I should NEED to do that). If it wasn't for that, I probably would have gotten an iPhone 3GS or whatever they are when they came out. (BTW, I really like the Motorola Droid. I've only had it for 11 days now but so far it is very solid and works very well with Google Voice).
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:52PM (#30178058)

    The thing most hurting the Android store is piracy. Period. Even worse, many users, for the cost of $0.99, of which .60 went to the developer, demand $20k/year level support and if they don't get it, bad mouth the hell out of the developer and the application. Hell, most of the time users just leave shitty comments on the market and refuse to even report a bug. Any developer or user who has spent much time on the market will verify this fact.

    Simple fact - pirates are killing the android market. Period. Entitled users are number two. Number three is Google's complete indifference.

    Also, to the masses, please stop with the idiocy of, "get rich", comments and, "size the market". The FACTS are, the market is already plenty big for many developers to make a living - if only that. This isn't about getting rich. The market size is plenty big - and growing very fast. Period. The problem is, everyone is stealing the applications and its making it impossible for developers to make any money what so ever. This is why more and more (vast majority now) are ONLY developing adware based applications because even with extreme piracy they are able to make buck. This in turn is creating backlash for developers - but pirates have left absolutely no other options for developers. Because of pirates, the only options are, abandon the platform or try with adware applications.

    If you like the Android platform, kick the holy shit out of any pirates you know because THEY are destroying the entire platform. Without professional developers, with the ability to make a living, or hell, even work for greater than third world wages, by in large the platform is going to remain mired in third rate applications and will likely cause the platform to die before it can ever reach "developer critical mass."

    Piracy is so extreme on Android because of all the platforms, its by far the easiest to pirate apps on. Made worse is Google's lie that would provide copy protection. To date, they have not. Google's current "copy protection" is the same concept as the infamous "evil bit" for IP. Bluntly, its all but useless and Google seems more than content to be flipped with developers.

    This means the only rescue for Android is to lock down the platform - not likely - or for people the kick, every pirate they know, in the nuts for destroying what was to be the an excellent mobile platform. I already know two developers how have been forced to leave the platform. A third isn't far away. Simply put - pirates suck.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:15PM (#30178448)

    "Everyone" is not stealing the applications. I don't know a single Android phone user that's stolen applications. (I don't know any that have downloaded any commercially sold apps without paying for them either.)

    That's called anecdotal. It doesn't prove anything. I've spoken with several developers (those that have left and are leaving) who have "phone home" in their apps. Thousands of installs and less than twenty sales. Its repeated time and time again. The FACTS are, piracy is killing Android. Period. Granted, what I'm saying is also anecdotal, but at least it has facts to support the position - unlike yours.

    There are over a dozen web sites which specialize in ONLY pirating android applications. Some of those sites track download stats for the illegal files. Contrasting those downloads against sales typically leaves the developer both furious and sick. The simple FACT is, piracy is killing android.

    Why do you think so many adware applications are being developed?!? Its the only fucking way to make money on the platform. Your refusal to accept fact doesn't change the facts.

  • Re:Droid Owner (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:18PM (#30178492) Homepage
    Also, Android phones don't (yet) have dedicated graphics chips, AFAIK. I just got the Samsung Moment, and winced when I ran the included Bejeweled demo. It's one of my favorite games on iPhone, but it's a total joke on Android. You won't find AAA titles on Android, because they can't be run. Don't expect Trench Run or Tiger Woods on the Android or Palm Pre, because it's not a possibility at this moment.

    Actually, it's worse for the Pre, because it actually has the same CPU and Graphics hardware as the 3GS, yet the hardware currently does nothing. There's currently no way for a game dev to access it. Lame.
  • by GrantRobertson (973370) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:20PM (#30178528) Homepage Journal
    It is because the only way to find apps is to browse them on the darned phone. Don't get me wrong, I love my Droid. But a 3.5" diagonal screen is not the place I want to be sorting through thousands of almost identical task list apps and trying to find the best one. I hesitate to buy any apps because I never know if I have actually looked through the entire list. We need a real web site with better access to reviews and an easier way to down-rank all those apps that essentially spam. I have run into at least 20 apps with identical descriptions but different names and icons. When Google cleans up that mess, then maybe I will be willing to spend some money in there.
  • Re:Market share (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:20PM (#30178536) Homepage Journal

    I have a Windows Mobile phone. My previous phone was Palm Garnet. Neither of these presumed to tell me which apps I could install. Android is probably a more advanced OS than either of these, but I don't see how anybody's managed to leverage that into a superior user experience. Hence my question.

    You're the third response to my post that has the unstated assumption that Android is the only real alternative to iPhone. Not true: besides the two I mentioned, there's Symbian, Blackberry, Linux, and some others. Most of them have been around a lot longer than iPhone. It seems that even people who don't buy Apple products are sucked in by their mystique.

  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:10PM (#30179208)

    The original app store for the Android is pretty poor. Apparently it's improved with Android 2.0, but the one that came on my HTC hero doesn't feature screenshots, for example. The search is extremely limited and all you get to see of the app is the icon and a small paragraph of text. Sometimes you can find out a little more from the user comments, but it's not much to make a decision from.

    Having said that, if you don't like an app you can uninstall it and get a refund with 24 hours.

    My guess is that with a better featured store (screenshots, a better search etc) the android store will start to become profitable as more and more handsets appear. Next year I imagine you'll get Android handsets for less than £100 on Pay-As-You-Go contracts. Once handsets at that kind of price start appearing, the user base will *explode*. Also, I imagine sometime next year you'll be able to make payments directly through your phone bill rather than needing a google checkout account. Even though the average user won't spend as much on the store as the average iPhone user would (as they won't have as much money) the sheer volume of purchases will start to make a difference.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:18PM (#30179340) Journal

    Indeed - a classic example was this is someone who made a program that does nothing more than display an animated icon. And got nationwide advertising in the media ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8152338.stm [bbc.co.uk] , http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jul/14/iphone-purity-pledge-apple [guardian.co.uk] ).

    I mean, it's ridiculous. I guess this is taking advantage of the hype bandwagon where anything "On The Iphone" gets instant media coverage. God knows why the licence-funded BBC is giving free advertising though, especially to a phone that's a minority player. I rarely see such stories about Nokia, who dominate the market.

    Who cares about 100,000 "apps" if they're involve paying money for trivial things that on any other platform would be available for free.

  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Friday November 20, 2009 @10:29PM (#30181220) Homepage
    Google doesn't care about Android the way Apple cares about the iPhone, because the iPhone is a hardware platform owned by Apple which runs proprietary code and Apple makes money when it sells, while Android is NOT a Google platform and Google doesn't sell any handsets. Google shouldn't care about Android as much as Apple, but I assure you that they don't need to since they are but one member of The Open Handset Alliance [openhandsetalliance.com]. The OHA member companies care very much about the software platform Android, which again, is not a Google platform despite overwhelming misinformation suggesting it is here on Slashdot.

    The iPod runs a closed source OS that doesn't even support multitasking , while Android is Open Source, multi-tasking, and exposes a much richer API to the developer with access to much more under the hood, including ways to extend and replace core functionality. My guess is that people with Androids are getting real use from their devices, while iPhone users are getting less real use. In either case, when trying to impress their peers and people around them in the nightclub, iPhone users have to do it with a single application rather than showcasing the way 7 different apps work together, so iPhone users want games and Android owners see games as a much less impressive way of impressing people than real world use, and that games merely squander their platforms true capabilities. I doubt iPhone users buy games to make much real use of them, since anyone who can afford an iPhone and really wants to play games on such a limited form factor could surely buy a handheld gaming platform.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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