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Android Users Don’t Buy Paid Apps? (Reader Poll Results)

Android Users Don’t Buy Paid Apps? (Reader Poll Results)

This is a follow up to the recent reader poll, How Much Have You Spent on Android Apps.  If you haven’t had a chance to vote, follow the link and do so!  If the results change significantly, I’ll do another follow up.

The poll asked readers how much they have spent on paid apps as well as donated to apps offered for free.  Without further ado, here’s how it turned out.

Surprisingly enough, there were 50 votes for $0.00 (out of a total of 151 votes), which brings it to just above 33% of the total votes cast.  Now, before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to note that I could not control who voted, so people without Android phones or without access to paid apps could skew the results.  But we’ll assume, since most people accessed this poll by following a link from my Twitter page or from searching the internet for Android based keywords, that it’s relatively representative of the Android user population.  So what does this tell us?

It seems to be that a fair majority of Android users have not purchased a paid app nor donated to a developer after using a great free app.  Considering the assumptions laid out above, what are the root causes of this?  Is the Google Checkout process too difficult or not available to some Android users?  Do others not trust it?  Is paying for apps through your carrier bill (like offered by T-mobile) not a viable option?  Or does it have nothing to do with the process of buying apps, but with the selection of apps in general?  Or similarly, is the Android Market not easily searchable and intuitive, making finding useful apps difficult?

Considering that a large majority of paid apps are $0.99, it seems that Android users would have at least paid for one by now (of those that actually could).  There are certainly many extremely useful paid apps in the Android Market that really improve the Android experience, like Advanced Task Manager for example.

One theory might stem from the fact that the selection of quality games on Android is just beginning to grow.  You’re starting to see more advanced games, some of which are including 3D rendering, in the market.  Paid games are a huge industry and are especially so on mobile devices.  With more and better options for Android games, it would be fair to expect the number of people buying paid apps (and the amount they spend) to increase.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, multiple comments left on the poll asked for additional options for the amount spent, even up to $200+.  This goes to show that it really depends on the specific user.  There are extremes at both ends.

So on the upside, over 66% of voters had purchased a paid app.  Developers and people interested in Android would like to see this number increase, and it likely will as the popularly of Android continues to grow.

Remember, this poll was not conducted with a random sample of Android users, nor should it be taken as a true representative sample of the entire Android population. It was conducted as an exercise to generate discussion about paid apps.

Even with such a small sample size, what kind of conclusions can you draw, if any?

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4 Comments

  1. i just cant buy them, im in brazil.

  2. Unfortuntely android market is messy, plus there's no official way to browse it from pc and buy app from there too. Plus it's too easy to get paid app for free. Personally I had to download some apps which i couldn't find on my market and I paid for others.

  3. I agree with previous post. Browsing is too difficult and takes too long so it's whatever falls in my lap. Usually not helpful Apps and it discourages me from spending more time.

  4. Because the entire Android platform is a fragmented diluted mess. Multiple handsets, multiple operators pushing crapware, multiple App stores. People who choose Android phones are generally cheapskates so why on Earth would they start paying for Apps? The entire platform is based on generating revenue from click-throughs. Google couldn’t care less whether users pay for Apps. They would prefer FREE Apps littered with ads to generate revenue for THEM. Wake up Fandroids, you are being used for Google’s ends. They built this platform for THEM not YOU. Apple built iOS for the users. Why do you htink all the good stuff is on iOS and you lot are an afterthought? Wakey wakey!!

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