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Some Claim Android App Store Worse Than iPhone's

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the scylla-meet-charybdis dept.

Businesses 289

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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Why not both? (1)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176590)

Surely releasing on both platforms is the way forward in that case.

Re:Why not both? (5, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176692)

Sure, if porting over was free... But the reality is that porting an iPhone app to Android requires moving all your iPhone C code to Java, targeting non multitouch devices, targeting devices with different screen sizes and resolutions, and another round of testing... You'd have to hire a second engineering team. What Gameloft seems to be saying is they can hire a dozen engineers to make X number of dollars on Android, or they can take those same engineers and make 400 times X on the iPhone. Economically, it makes no sense for them to keep engineers on Android when those same engineers could be put to work to make 400 times as much money on the iPhone.

Re:Why not both? (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176744)

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

Re:Why not both? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176856)

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

Except Android doesn't even use the Java standards, just the syntax. Even if Apple allowed the Java VM on the iPhone, you'd still have to port apps. (Note: I am not an Android developer, so I don't know how bad the disparity is between Android Java and real Java, but I know it exists.)

Re:Why not both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177634)

I am not an Android developer either, but I know it can use regular java classes within its source, and all the logic/classes/packages looks pretty same to me. I think its Java :)

Re:Why not both? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177452)

Yeah, that and the fact that developing anything in Java sucks donkey balls.

Java is like a movie star. On the outside it seems so great and looks like something that will be really good. Then you actually use it, get under the covers if you will, and you see the ugly truth. It's ugly, difficult to manage, and constantly biting you.

Re:Why not both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30178044)


Re:Why not both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177550)

will continue to block Java on the iPhone

and rightly so, who does use that 'Java' thing for games anyway ?

Re:Why not both? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176912)

The question is more like "put devs on Android and make Y money" or "put devs on Iphone and have X chance of making 400*Y and (1-X) of making $0 and losing their investment"

As long as X is bigger than .0025, they should make a bunch of Iphone games and take their chances.

Re:Why not both? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177308)

Erh... no. You can't just go and put team A to do the job of team B, thus creating two teams B and expect to double your revenue. Aside from the obvious what the people of team A don't necessary develop for platform B as well as for platform A (which can be resolved, fire them and hire people who do), your customers will neither buy an iPhone if they have an Android to play your game (most certainly not, in this case not only because of the cost but also because of religi... I mean, different philosophies), nor will the ones that bougt your game X buy game Y (which is the game you produce instead of porting X for the other platform).

Re:Why not both? (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177796)

First off, the NDK on Android allows you to run C code on Android.devices. You'll still have to add some Java to wrap the C code, but that's mainly for input handling and such.

And yes, the Android market is more complex than iPhone. But OTOH you can target specific sizes as well. (Eg most new and upcoming high performance Android devices have large screens. So if your game targets performance then you might just target that form factor.)

What would make good sense if you are currently making games is to keep track of how things work on Android and perhaps structure future projects in a way to make future porting to Android easier.

While there are more iPhone OS devices out today the Android market is just beginning to take off. (Android has only been on the market for 1 year compared to almost 2.5 for iPhone.) If you have a small selection of solid games/apps now for Android that will give you a great advantage later on when the market increases.

Re:Why not both? (1)

azmodean+1 (1328653) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177806)

Even if the programming environments are compatible, doesn't the developer agreement require exclusivity of code? That is one of the major sticking points that kept me from seriously looking into iPhone development.

In other words, if you have an iPhone app and want to port it to another phone, the developer agreement demands that you reimplement the game for the new platform rather than merely porting it. As a side note, I understand that Palm makes the same demand for their app store, so it's not just Apple (unfortunately).

On the other hand my sticking point for not developing on Android is the Java requirement, I might have to take another look since I seem to recall some additional languages being an option now.

Re:Why not both? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178000)

"Even if the programming environments are compatible, doesn't the developer agreement require exclusivity of code?" No, it doesn't. I, and lots of other developers have code that runs over multiple platforms. There are lots of projects out there that use cross platform open source libraries in their projects. Usually, you have to end up reimplementing the Objective C portions for your app because other platforms don't do Obj-C (except for OS X), but that's it.

Re:Why not both? (1)

d'fim (132296) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178060)

The 400x metric on iPhone apps happens if and only if those apps are actually approved. Unless and until then they make 0x.

Re:Why not both? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178116)

Of course if only 1/400th of your iPhone software is approved, you're still making as much money as you do on Android. :)

Re:Why not both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30176962)

In the business world (the for profit business world that is) if ROI=0 then soon I=0.

Re:Why not both? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177114)

Good idea! Hmm, for some reason javac keeps giving errors when I try feeding it the Objective C code from my iPhone game engine. Boy that's weird...

Who'd have thunk it? (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176616)

It seems that those in it for money and distribution will opt for iPhone, and those in it for neither will opt for Android.

FTFY. But seriously, did these developers make ANY effort to size the market on each platform before making their decision?

I can totally understand why some developers have problems the iphone approval requirements. But its positively daft to make a business decision on only that basis and then be surprised later to discover that your prospective customers simply do not care. Surprise! They prefer a unified, tightly controlled, non-sucky smartphone experience even at the expense of some interesting apps.

Personally I'd go a step further. I would give up EVERY SINGLE THIRD PARTY APP not to have to go back to the Treo that my iPhone replaced. Maybe Android has come a long way since then but for the first time I am actually happy with my phone and not motivated enough to find out.

Re:Who'd have thunk it? (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176844)

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.

It's the psychology..! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177022)

The other aspect of why - potentially - some app developers are able to sell more is the domino effect. And this is purely because of the sheeple nature of the iphone users compared to other phones.

(troll mod coming soon to this post)

No, seriously. I have seen an app getting a lot of hype on one or two websites, and from there, few iphone users download it and want to believe in the hype. The only way they would feel better is that other users too download the same app. So, they end up "Hey, did you check this out? Cool, isn't it?" to others. The others are no less sheeple than then the orignal sheeple and they HAVE to install the latest and greatest hyped up app.

If this is not true, then why are so many fart apps on iphone, and some of them so popular?

Underestimate the psychological aspect of marketing at your own peril.

Re:It's the psychology..! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177312)

When I fart, I just say it was my phone and show them the neat app that does that. Isn't that why everyone has that fart app? Instantly plausible deniability. Especially if the newest app advertises an odor generator.

Re:It's the psychology..! (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177994)

If this is not true, then why are so many fart apps on iphone, and some of them so popular?

Don't have any young relatives, do you? I have a nephew in 7th grade. Him and all his friends have iPod Touches. What do you think they are more likely to buy, the $15 mobile office suite or the $1 fart app?

Re:Who'd have thunk it? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177454)

Exactly. A mobile phone, even a smart phone, is far more of an appliance (or a game console) than a standard computer is, and you will lose if you try to treat it like a computer. Apple understands this and offers a uniform experience with a tightly controlled OS and tightly controlled applications available through a simple and easy to use app store interface. Developers only have to develop for one set of hardware requirements, and can fully take advantage of that piece of hardware.

Android, on the other hand, is an open platform designed to work on a wide variety of devices. This means that developers have to design their apps for the lowest common denominator of all these devices, or create different versions for each device depending on its capabilities. This means they can't effectively take advantage of advanced features or greater available resources in the high end phones, because they'll lose out on all of the potential customers with the lower end models. This is much more akin to developing for PCs rather than consoles.

If people saw their phones as personal computers, Android's model would be more successful. However, it doesn't seem to fit in with how most people use their phones. It will find purchase among the small segment of the market that enjoys endlessly tinkering with their gadgets, or philosophically oppose closed designs enough to forgo the iPhone, but the majority of the population will continue to flock to the iPhone.

Re:Who'd have thunk it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177664)

Maybe your android has come a long way since ... it was a treo? Wtf are you smoking man? Whatever it is, I want some.

Re:Who'd have thunk it? (4, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Perhaps .. (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176630)

.. at the moment the difference in sales is due to market segmentation based on who is buying each type of phone?

If you are a trendy game player you are buying the iPhone and games for it, but if you are an Android user you care less for games and more about being "free" ??

Re:Perhaps .. (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176664)

Or you care more about functionality and apps that actually do something, not games. Locale, which takes action based on your location, is free. Weather apps are mostly free. The only apps I've looked at I might consider paying for? And RDP app and an app that lets me use the camera as a scanner to make PDFs. You don't need to buy apps when there are tons of solid apps that are free.

Re:Perhaps .. (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176868)

The somewhat relevant xkcd strip [xkcd.com] for this idea.

Re:Perhaps .. (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176956)

Exactly. I have Blackjack on my G1, but that's about it for games. They don't really interest me. I use web-based apps that I developed myself for running my business, traffic cams ssh, a live webcam app for keeping an eye on the security cams at my various residences and datacenters, weather, google maps & gps, and tons of texts & emails. All of that is free. I have no paid apps and wouldn't even consider paying for anything I've seen so far on any platform.

Re:Perhaps .. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177294)

Ditto. I wrote an app that uses a REST api to let me reboot and manage all of our equipment at our datacenters. I didn't buy the phone to buy stupid iphone-like apps.

Re:Perhaps .. (1)

Deosyne (92713) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177422)

Bingo. Despite having far less total apps in the Android Marketplace than in the iTunes store, and despite the fact that the Android Marketplace layout kinda sucks (seriously guys, having limited categorization, limited filtering, and basic search in a collection of 10,000+ that can only be browsed on a phone is a pretty dick move), I have had no problem with finding free apps that do exactly what I want. I've paid for extra functionality in a couple of apps that go above and beyond (both pro versions of apps that also have free versions that I tried for a few days first, hint, hint) but when free comes through then free almost always wins. Don't expect money for mediocrity; if I wanted my Droid to fart, I'd carry it in my back pocket and head to Taco Bell.

Re:Perhaps .. (5, Informative)

mjihad (686196) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176792)

.. at the moment the difference in sales is due to market segmentation based on who is buying each type of phone?

If you are a trendy game player you are buying the iPhone and games for it, but if you are an Android user you care less for games and more about being "free" ??

Actually, there are two big differences between the Android market and the iPhone app store, business wise: there are less Android phones out there than iPhones and iPod Touches and the Android Market does not have paid apps available in every country [google.com] , including Canada, Sweden, Finland, Mexico, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, South Korea, China, Brazil, India and Russia.

Re:Perhaps .. (1)

Lugae (88858) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177546)

Let's not forget, too, that until recently, the only carrier selling Android handsets in the US was T-Mobile.

While I love my T-Mobile, getting companies like Sprint and Verizon to sell Android phones is going to make a huge difference. It may not bring sales to iPhone levels, but the market share will increase dramatically. I

know that Verizon launched its first Android phone, the Droid, this month, and I think that Sprint has one on the market too, or will soon.

Let's see what this looks like again in six months.

Don't forget Poland! (1)

karolbe (1661263) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178128)

Because in Poland there are no paid apps in the market too...:-)

Re:Perhaps .. (-1, Flamebait)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177014)

I think the retard quotient is much higher on the iphone. Much more buy because of "ooh shiny!".

I think it's games in general... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177304)

Of all the people I know that either have an iphone or an android-based phone, none of them are really interested in games.

It would seem to me that games in general just aren't profitable on these phones. What people seem to want are other type apps, such as location-based, be it a restaurant finder, people finder, or some other type.

And come to think of it, riding the train, I RARELY see anyone playing any type of game. They're usually involved in some facebook/myspace/twitter goings on or jut listening to music.

I know on my Blackberry, that's the cae for me as well.

Games tend to be fairly time consuming, so I just can't see many people using these device for gaming, at least after the initial novelty wears off.

Android without a phone plan? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177832)

If you are a trendy game player you are buying the iPhone and games for it, but if you are an Android user you care less for games and more about being "free" ??

Another thing to consider: iPhone is to Android phone as iPod Touch is to what?

Some claim chocolate ice cream better then vanilla (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176640)

But I still say eat which ever you personally like.

Market share (5, Interesting)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Market share (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176930)

There are a lot fewer Android phones than iPhones, plus there is one thing people forget:

If you distribute code for Apple's platform, you have to go through the App Store. If you want to distribute code for Windows Mobile and Android, you can just send the user a file. The Android and WM app stores are more of clearinghouses (similar to Handango), as opposed to a central choke point.

So, factoring out pirated apps, Apple's Store shows essentially all the apps that go from developers to customers. Other platforms, the app stores might be used for commercial distribution, but other apps don't need to be. So, even if Android had the same marketshare as Apple's ther app store would always show fewer apps because people are free to use other ways to get from them to their users.

Re:Market share (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177198)

If you want to distribute code for Windows Mobile and Android, you can just send the user a file.

Precisely! This is a huge win, and although I'm sure that iPhone apps outsell Android simply because of the difference in user base sizes, to compare sales from the two stores is comparing apples and oranges.

Re:Market share (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177974)

So, even if Android had the same marketshare as Apple's ther app store would always show fewer apps because people are free to use other ways to get from them to their users.

Even beyond that, Apple has the advantage of having iTunes, and not just an app store. I know, I know, some people really hate iTunes, but that's not my point here.

My point is that iTunes provides a single access point that lets you do several things. It lets you organize your music, movies, podcasts, etc., and sync them to your phone in a configurable manner. It's also the program that's used to manage some aspects of your phone and install software updates. So because of those things, if you have an iPhone, you're pretty well guaranteed to be using iTunes.

But iTunes is also a program that allows you to buy media content for your iPhone. If you have an iPhone, there's a pretty good chance that you already have an iTunes account and you're already using it to buy music. So you have the program installed, you have an account all set up, and you're browsing the storefront already. It's just a couple extra clicks to download an application for your iPhone. It's simple. No software installed. No credit card information being put in.

I think other cell phone manufacturers could learn from this. Give your customers a very easy integrated experience for buying, installing, and syncing applications, music and video, and keeping all of it up to date.

Re:Market share (0, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177044)

That's one obvious reason. Another is the huge trendiness of the iPhone. And let's not forget all those "there's an ap for that" commercials.

I have to say, I don't get Android. What's the appeal? Why does anybody think it can make headway in an already-overcrowded mobile OS market? Just because it's Open Source? If so, it's the Linux Desktop Uprising all over again. You know, that period about 8 years ago when there was so much excitement about Linux displacing Windows, completely ignoring Windows' insurmountable lock-in factor.

Re:Market share (3, Interesting)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177432)

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 (2, Interesting)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177446)

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).

Re:Market share (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177562)

Yes, that's basically the appeal. An appeal that only applies to geeks and like minded people, but that's basically the appeal. It's not "mainstream". It's not sleek, not trendy, not fancy or stylish, that's not the angle. If you want to make it stylish and trendy, market it under the aspect of ever increasing vendor lock-in and telcos that want to fetter you with endless contracts, and that this is the last bastion of freedom in telcoland. The amount of people who feel more and more under surveillance is increasing, and maybe a suitable market angle would be to sell the Android as the way to display that you don't want to be part of the surveillance crowd.

Before you answer, yes, I know it's simply marketing and has no real meaning. It's what style and fancyness is for the iPhone: A sales pitch.

Re:Market share (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30178054)

Then you my friend do not understand anything about IT.
Linux can not rise that fast because
1 - Microsoft and Windows and (Government support for it) existed for way too long
2 - It is not backed by a single company/person/entity. It is all about the community

Android on the other hand is open source, but backed by Google (Goooogle) and only three years behind the iPhone. The recent market share surveys show
Android already gained 4% going up to 7% (And as most people would think, iPhone is not the market share leader, it is Symbian OS by Nokia).
At some point there will be so many android phones (eventho people do not care what it is), it is going to have a significant market share.
And even if you don't understand Android OS has some advantages over iPhone OS, which might be important to some people like me (not just using the phone
for gaming).

Re:Market share (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177066)

Are you saying that the article does not take that into account? That it ignored a bit of facts in order to push out it's own opinions??


400 times the sales (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176698)

I would think the vastly greater sales would be related to the larger number of iPhones on the street, and the length of time the app store has been around, but that's just me. I would also guess that Apple users would buy more games than Android users, just based on my generalized, uninformed perceptions of the user base.

Could you be more specific? (1)

HamburglerJones (1539661) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176724)

It is not as neatly done as on the iPhone

It's not often that I complain that an article is too short, but it doesn't explain at all why the android market isn't as neatly done as the iPhone app store. I've used both and I haven't noticed the android market being inferior.

Lets see where this stands in 2 quarters (5, Insightful)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176732)

With the Droid out and the recent marketing push in terms of Verizon dollars behind it I think this might look a little different down the road a bit.

Re:Lets see where this stands in 2 quarters (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177524)

With the Droid out and the recent marketing push in terms of Verizon dollars behind it I think this might look a little different down the road a bit.

I will bet you the numbers don't change significantly. If anything, this is the 2nd start of Google's serious entry into the smartphone market and the first serious push for Andriod devices cross-marketing. Apple is surely taking them seriously.

That said, I predict nothing much will happen market-share-wise in 2,3 even 6 months... other than perhaps more nails in WinMo's coffin. In a couple of years, yes, things will be different, but who knows how the Apple tablet and ChromeOS netbook strategy play into this... it's an exciting time to be a mobile device consumer.

Re:Lets see where this stands in 2 quarters (1)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177976)

I guess my post was a little vague. Do I think the market share is going to drastically swing in that short amount of time? Probably not. But what I think is that the Droid will provide a platform to Devs to say, "Hey look at this phone, Android isn't a lost cause". That said I already know more then a few non techie friends that have picked up a Droid. At the very least I think Droid will stem Verizon's bleed and seriously make Apple rethink its AT&T exclusivity. I wouldn't want to be in AT&T's shoes when that 2010 contract expiry comes up.

They will come back (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176738)

Right now the install base of iPhone is much bigger than Droid's. So the initial sales will be slower. But it will pick up eventually if the platform is a hit. When they come back they might find that their niche has been already filled by their competitor.

Re:They will come back (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177618)

That's basically what I wanted to write. The first to mark his turf will have it quite a bit easier to prevail when everyone starts to scramble when the sales pick up. But hey, if they want to leave the field, more power to them. The more established studios leave the 'droid as uninteresting, the higher the chance that a new studio can settle in and increase the competition fold. And that in turn can only be good for the customer.

Some claim iPhone store kills kittens (0)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176752)

Who writes headlines like that anyway? Given a large enough, well distributed enough group it's highly likely that someone thinks it's awful ... and also someone who treats it as their god.

Now all my post's headline needs is a pic of domo-kun.

Who says they didn't get it right? (0, Flamebait)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176758)

Who says you're supposed to make a bunch of money for developing a stupid little app? Could it just be that Apple is extorting the masses for something that is of little or no true value?

What is true value? (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177138)

Could it just be that Apple is extorting the masses for something that is of little or no true value?

What is "true value"? I don't think such a thing exists---the closest thing is, essentially, a very popular value.

We all value human life (our own the most, then our relatives, then our friends, acquaintances, compatriots etc., then any human being). Does that make it a true value? Lions don't value human life, and we're probably nutritious to them. The universe doesn't have a mind (AFAIK), so it doesn't think anything about "us pathetic humans" ;-) Hostile aliens coming to our world wouldn't value human life. Who are we to say they are wrong? We're free to disagree, but that doesn't by itself make them wrong.

Maybe $2 for a funny little game that lasts for half an hour isn't something that many people value greatly, but some people value it at more than $2 (or they wouldn't buy it, according to economic theory and a rationality assumption). Who are you to say they're wrong?

(I probably share your views on the worth of most phone applications. I don't recall purchasing any myself. But if they make other silly people happy...)

Re:What is true value? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177676)

2 bucks for half an hour of entertainment? The average movie costs more to see, and the value of the entertainment is highly debatable.

Re:Who says they didn't get it right? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177274)

A "Bunch" of money is a relative term.

But anyways, one of those little inconvenient realities of the world is that most people cannot afford to spend much time making things unless they get paid for it. If Google is trying to create an app marketplace where developers can't make a living, then that's their choice, but then they shouldn't expect many people to expend time and resources making apps.

Don't be mad at Apple. They're not extorting anybody. They're offering lots of apps, a huge percentage of which are free, and most of the rest being pretty cheap. Could it just be that millions of people who have bought their phone also have a couple bucks to throw at some little games?

Re:Who says they didn't get it right? (1)

hax4bux (209237) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177918)

Agreed. I am hoping that w/the recent advertising push by Verizon (et al) that Android will be less of a geek fashion accessory and more of a viable market.

However, for now... I am converting my Android apps to support AdMob advertising. Soon they will be "free" - hope the android community enjoys it.

I started w/the idea that I would port all my iPhone apps to Android. Now that I have seen the response... well... it isn't quite the priority it used to be.

Droid Owner (3, Informative)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176784)

I just recently converted to android. Maybe I'm just late to the game, and we're on the tail end of this exodus now. My first impression, having been on the platform for a week, is that there has been almost no development, especially in making games, for android that is anywhere comparable to the iphone. I would posit that this "exodus" is made up. The market is still nowhere near as developed as the app store. Any discussion about a comparison of the two models is premature at best.

Re:Droid Owner (4, Interesting)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

The approval process drives the store (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176812)

What the developers do not get is that apple's approval process drives the store. Exclusivity adds value, and makes customers like the store more.

Re:The approval process drives the store (1)

HamburglerJones (1539661) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177230)

Welcome to Cartmanland [wikipedia.org] , brought to you by the financial genius responsible for the "you-can't-come" technique.

Re:The approval process drives the store (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177758)

What the developers do not get is that apple's approval process drives the store. Exclusivity adds value, and makes customers like the store more.

As if the masses have the slightest idea of the store's restrictions.

Re:The approval process drives the store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30178006)

What the developers do not get is that apple's approval process drives the store. Exclusivity adds value, and makes customers like the store more.

No wonder the App Store has so many fart apps. The kind of people who feel the way you describe are also the kind who love the smell of their own farts.

windows marketplace (1)

bcong (1125705) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176838)

will Windows Marketplace [windowsphone.com] be the one to get it right?

Re:windows marketplace (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177046)

Lets see here, who (willingly) uses Windows Mobile? You have some Windows fanbois, businessmen who need some strange proprietary syncing with some obscure Windows application, people who want a cheap smartphone (yeah, now Android is becoming pretty cheap, but there still isn't any AT&T Android phone, and a year ago there really weren't many good Android handsets), and people who don't want to upgrade their phones. None of them are in the market for applications. The people who will pay money for the applications are teenagers who want "the latest thing", geeks who want to use their phone in different ways, etc. Most people who have Windows Mobile won't be huge customers of applications, especially now when Android, iPhone OS and even BlackBerry are advancing faster than stagnant, unstable Windows Mobile.

Re:windows marketplace (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177700)

The only person who I have ever met who seemed to like Windows Mobile is my line manager - and I'm 95% certain that's because of the association with Microsoft. (He's a sucker for a name he knows - even if it later transpires the product is a load of rubbish).

Interestingly, his current phone is a blackberry and I don't recall being called upon to set up email on that.... yet we don't have BES.

Chicken and Egg issue (1)

sabs (255763) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176860)

Android has to work on multiple phones, with multiple interfaces. Not to mention, Android does not have a 40million strong customer base yet.

Iphone's appstore sucked horribly too, at the beginning.

Google needs to feed the AppStore and tend it like a gardener if they want the Android platform to succeed. As Apple and Microsoft have proven, apps sell a platform.

Re:Chicken and Egg issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177026)

Actually, Apple's app store did not suck horribly at the beginning. Apple has done some fine tuning, but the app store now is pretty much the same as it was at the start. Of course the iTunes store has been around for several years now and Apple has a significant level of experience in this area, while Google has pretty close to zero experience. If anyone could compete with Apple, it would be Amazon.

Location, Location, Location (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30176904)

The main issue behind this would be that only a few countries world wide actually have access to the paid app section of the Android Market.

For example, we in the great white north can only get free apps. And there are ones - games even - I'd buy if i could

iPhone apps make more money... (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176922)

iPhone apps make more money because they all have advertisements perilously close to buttons you push to play the game, causing you to bring up the App store. At which point you say, "Screw this, I'll pay $3 to get the ad-free version." Developers, this is a shitty tactic and I won't put up with it any more.

Is your app really even worth $1? (2, Insightful)

DrHappyAngry (1373205) | more than 5 years ago | (#30176938)

Maybe if I actually saw an app worth paying for, in the android market, I'd buy it. Most apps are pretty dumb. How many fart, soundboard, and girly apps are there? There's a handful that I probably should make a donation to, like connectbot, gmote, andftp, and cyanogen, but other than I've not seen much that even looks worth $1. A huge amount of us jumped to android since it's a relatively open platform. Those of us that are used to open platforms are not used to paying for much. They do specifically mention gaming, though, and my G1 has a terrible interface for trying to play games on. Great for what I use it for, but not so good for games. The hardware on most is kind of slow compared to the iphone, as well.

Show me the apps! (2, Insightful)

idrumgood (1672260) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177020)

One of my biggest beefs with the Android Market is that I can't browse the apps without an Android phone. I can see a very limited selection on the Market website, but to see all my options, I need an Android device (which I don't have). iPhone has iTunes and you can see every single option. Let me see what my options are and I'll be more likely to switch.

Isn't much better than the iPhone AppStore (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177060)

Hey eldavojohn, spare us this false header?

"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," Rochefort said.

Fact: It's worse. It's not as neatly done != It isn't much better.

Good grief. It's too early to say anything. (2, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

CNN on Android developer fears (4, Informative)

maiken2051 (956611) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177172)

CNN Tech article on developing for Android: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/11/17/android.wired/index.html [cnn.com] Will developers get stuck building for the "least common denominator" of 'droid phones? Or develop for specific models / versions / capabilities? Throw in phone vendor and carrier OS customizations and the Android app marketplace could get hard to live with...

Re:CNN on Android developer fears (2, Insightful)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177638)

Sounds like the PC market...

app store too restrictive? andriod store too open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177174)

Congratulations! You guys just learned about freedom! Gold star to the both of you!

It's obvious why if you know an iPhone user (1)

jeffc128ca (449295) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177204)

I live with an iPhone user and many of her friends. It's obvious why one would make more developing on that platform, because Apple users are willing to fork over more money for the Apple logo as well as a "simpler" type of user that doesn't want to be confused. I've seen people pay five bucks for an app that to randomly pick and display one of a handfull fo sayings. Once one friend got it they all had to have it. What did that take, 5 minutes for some guy to program. Apple customers are willing to pay extra for a limited device if it doesn't cause problems. I am interested in an Android phone because I can work with it and build my own apps, no approval needed. I am also less willing to fork over dollars for apps.

So an app developer has a choice of platforms; a group that pays more money for less complicated apps, or a group that is less willing to pay and wants more complex and configurable apps. The iPhones cult status gives developers more reasons to program on that platform when profits are involved.

Re:It's obvious why if you know an iPhone user (2, Informative)

tomhuxley (951364) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177856)

Maybe you missed it but it's been a while since developers were allowed to build their own apps without requiring Apple's approval. Yeah there is a cap, but I'm sure 100 copies will fill your need.

Ad Hoc Distribution [apple.com]

The Standard and Enterprise Programs allow you to share your application with up to 100 other iPhone or iPod touch users with Ad Hoc distribution. Share your application through email or by posting it to a web site or server..

The obvious reason is... (-1, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177254)

Android users are cheap bastids.

This is not a troll, it is not a flame, it is the truth. Mod me down if you are resistant to the truth.

Which means I will suffer...

Wait, what? (1)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177276)


We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android.


It seems that those in it for money will opt for iPhone, and those in it for distribution will opt for Android.

I'm not sure this is the best example. Gameloft is both selling more games *and* earning more profit on the itunes store, right? I haven't seen any ads for the android app store, either.

I understand the walled-garden that is the itunes app store, but I don't understand what advantages come from developing solely for android. Less consumer exposure vs open structure?

If the typical slashdot comment is to be believed, the average joe demands ssh, skype, google voice, and voice-to-text. From that perspective, android will be an unqualified success. On the other hand- and this is just from my experience seeing people's iphones- the average joe wants to play games, take pictures, follow sports, and make their phone look like a lighter or a glass of beer.

If android is going to become succesful, it will need to have lots of simple games and novelty applications (like the fake beer). And once that happens, the developers who were complaining yesterday that their quality apps were being lost among the crap on itunes will complain about the same thing with android. Even more so, since apple's opaque approval process won't be there to weed out the worst.

That's just my opinion as of right now; if the playing field changes I'll buy an android phone the minute my current contract expires.


Hopefully Palm will get this right (1)

El Royo (907295) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177310)

Hopefully Palm will get this one right as their App Catalog evolves. Palm is trying to walk a fine line by supporting both self-signed apps outside the App Catalog and official, reviewed apps inside the catalog. It will be interesting to see if the developers begin looking at webOS as a viable distribution platform. I think the benefit is that, like the iPhone, webOS customers (Pre & Pixi) will be willing to pay for apps. The downside, of course, is that the self-signed apps will have to develop their own payment platform. The WebOS Internals [webos-internals.org] folks have done a fantastic job of developing a feed system for homebrew applications and patches for webOS. Ill have an interview with Rod Whitby, founder of WebOS Internals on my blog later this weekend: http://pre101.com/ [pre101.com]


Re:Hopefully Palm will get this right (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178034)

Honestly, and kind of sadly, I think Palm is already "dead company walking".

They haven't managed to get their SDK out yet. They haven't launched in all of Europe yet. I'm sure that they'll be able to get a small market but they'll have a really hard time growing beyond the fringe. Consider that Palm is already a pretty small company and they have to take on all the other phone manufacturers together (since they run Android, besides Nokia and Apple).

Palm's problem is that while Nokia and Apple are hugely successful, they are not. And while Nokia and Apple have been making a lot of money the last few years, they have not.

Honestly I think the best they can do is to offer a WebApp app for Android and hope it takes off that way. That way they can get people to make neat little apps and widgets easily and still get a big market (Android) while Palm gets some apps for their devices as well.

Android warez scene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177378)

And apparently, Google was totally unable to prevent piracy on Android.

The Android warez scene is alive and kicking, and cracked Android apps are all around, including almost every commercial game and GPS application.

It looks like it's even easier than it is on the iPhone, without any need to jailbreak the device.

This is really bad for developers.

It would be nice if I could buy something (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177380)

I'm not surprised: on the Canadian app store you can't actually buy anything. At all. As in "there's no way for them to take your money, so all you can pick a free apps." I wonder how many other countries are in this state.

Mod article troll (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177508)

The android market is a lot newer and there are many fewer devices sold. Complaining about not having as much revenue through that stream is asinine. Article author is a whiner and has nothing to contribute but bile. Either that or this is just a thinly veiled bit of Apple propaganda. Either way: BBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

What a shocker. (1)

MBoffin (259181) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177560)

You mean an app market whose sole audience is made up of people who have already resigned themselves to shelling out more money than other people will generate more revenue? Mind. Blown.

Very interesting (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177576)

There are multiple different approaches to solving a problem and the choice to do one, the other or both is left up to individual entities in the marketplace and can be based on ease of use and revenue.

This is a pretty awesome concept.

I hope both continue so we can evolve the best of both.

As a consumer... (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177590)

Actually, I think the approval process is decent - at least as a consumer. I get age-appropriate ratings (sort of), cheap apps, and generally don't have many issues with lockup and the like.

Android needs an iTunes? (1)

jinushaun (397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177640)

I wonder how much of this is due to lack of app discoverability? The Android Marketplace website is pretty much useless, and who wants to use their phone for shopping? I know the techies might love that you can download Android apps off the web and install them on memory cards, but the rest of society doesn't think this way. They want an Android version of iTunes to sync their phone with music, video, photos and apps. That's why the App Store for the iPhone works. That's also why Napster was so popular, despite the availability of free MP3s elsewhere like IRC and newsgroups.

Suprised? (1)

mac84 (971323) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177662)

Suprise! There are many more iPhones, therefore more money in developing software for it. And whether the developer's perspective of the iTunes store is that it sucks, I think the vast majority of iPhone owners find the store polished, well organized and the software there to be of superior quality to that of the wild west of other smartphones. Nobody yet has come up with a compelling example where android or windows mobile or palm OS is flat out superior to what is possible in the iPhone ecosystem. Until then, the developers will follow the users.

my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30177710)

As an Android G1 user for about a year I have to say... I HATE the market place!!! It is getting better, but it does not lend itself to finding quality apps that would suit a need. There needs to be a web based interface for a users to browse to find an app beyond the interface on the phone. As more garage developers make myfart 2.0 it get harder to separate the wheat from the chafe. And I'd gladly pay for apps ( I have in the past) but the current interface makes it nearly impossible. I HATE it!!!

It hasn't been opened for long (1)

gVibe (997166) | more than 5 years ago | (#30177772)

Lets use simple math...the App Store has been open for how long? the Android App Store? Ok then...STFU until the Android App store has had time to mature.

Phone apps are the fail anyway (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#30178156)

Seriously, gaming on phones is and probably always will be shit and it's hard to compete with thousands of shitty apps flooding either app store.

I would really like to develop an Android app but I feel I might as well do it for free than think I will get money. I'd be better off developing a decent internet app that can be used via a PC or phone.
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