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Why Android users can’t have the nicest things

Published Jan 5th, 2015 1:35PM EST
iOS Vs. Android Apps
Image: Tony Avelar | Bloomberg

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One of the bigger supposed mysteries out there is why so many prominent mobile apps come out on iOS first despite the fact that Android has a huge overall market share advantage over Apple’s mobile OS. Well, it turns out that there’s a very simple reason: iOS users are much more likely to pay for apps 

THIS IS NOTHING NEW: Android users found least likely to pay for apps

Late last year, Ustwo Games announced that it was releasing a new level for its hit game Monument Valley for iOS that would not be coming to Android. Android fans over at Reddit expressed surprise when an Ustwo developer claimed that Monument Valley had nine times as many players on iOS than on Android.

Now Mobile Syrup points out that Monument Valley’s developers have offered some updated information to further show why they’ll likely keep releasing new content on iOS before Android: It seems that only 5% of Monument Valley installs on Android are paid for versus 40% of installs on iOS.

What’s more, the developer wasn’t counting any free installs that came from a recent Amazon Appstore deal that gave away the app for free for a limited time, so it seems Android users are being really stingy when it comes to paying for apps and are much more likely to pirate apps than iOS users.

“While this doesn’t bode well for Android as a revenue-generating platform, the developer acknowledges that this isn’t necessarily the case for every developer,” Mobile Syrup comments. “The proliferation of free-to-play has also brought down piracy rates, but devs looking to push premium titles on Android are still having a hard time getting through Android’s open nature.”

In other words, if Android users want to have the nicest things in the realm of mobile apps, they should really start paying for them.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.