Android App Users Not Inclined To Pay

Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users are more than twice as likely to regularly purchase mobile apps, according to an AdMob survey.
Android and iPhone owners are downloading applications at a fast pace, but Apple customers are more likely to pay for them, according to data from AdMob.

The company surveyed more than 1,000 iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android users to measure how they interacted with mobile apps. The report is not representative of the entire industry because it only measures AdMob's network, but it does give a good indication of mobile Web usage.

AdMob said the two platforms have highly engaged app users, as they average nine to 10 app downloads per month and more than half spend more than 30 minutes a day using the programs. Owners of the iPod Touch were even more likely to download apps, as AdMob said these users typically get 18 programs per month.

Free apps were popular on both platforms, but Apple customers were more than twice as likely to regularly purchase programs. The report said 50% of iPhone owners and 40% of iPod Touch owners routinely download one or more paid apps a month, compared to 19% of Android owners. Using this data, AdMob estimated the paid market revenue of Apple's App Store for August would be about $200 million, while the Android Market's would be $5 million. Google and Apple have not released revenue figures for their respective over-the-air app stores.

One reason for the difference may be the size of the catalog, as the App Store's 65,000 programs dwarfs the 6,000 or so apps in Google's offering. The iPhone platform has also benefited from a multimedia advertising campaign showcasing the apps, and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion programs in about a year.

AdMob did see potential with Android though, as those who did regularly download paid apps spent roughly the same amount as those on Apple's platform. Additionally, multiple Android handsets are expected to hit the market over the next few months, and the increased Android user base could attract more paying users and developers.

Smartphones are becoming increasingly capable of using enterprise-grade applications on the go, and they could ultimately be replacements for laptops. InformationWeek examined this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).