Mobile statistics aggregator Distimo has recently published their June report on app sales across all major platforms, revealing that most Android app downloads are still free. As we previously reported in March, 98.9% of Android Apps downloaded are free. While the report states that this is likely because developers are reluctant to release paid apps for Android phones, MobileContentToday believes that it’s because of advertising and the money it compensates developers with.
MobileContentToday also believes that saying apps are free is not a curse word as they tend to be of at least decent quality and usually have advertising. Developers have to be grabbing some sort of cash from Google’s Admob service if their apps are being downloaded and used into the hundreds of thousands.
Also, as pointed out, Android has a much larger potential market than other app stores. iPhone is only available on AT&T for instance, which potentially puts a limit on how many users can use iOS devices. Verizon has several flagship Android phones either available or in development and just happens to be the country’s largest carrier as well.
Are free apps less viable than paid ones? I would say it depends on the market and if there is other compensation. Ads are a great way to make up money that’s otherwise lost on free apps. Perhaps iPhone users are better trained to buy apps rather than look for free alternatives.