While the Android Market is far from perfect, it’s still gets the job done just fine. And, with recent performance charts popping up from all mobile app stores, it looks like the Market stands out in a couple different ways when compared to competition. Whether or not these differences are good or bad is up for question.
The Android Market has the highest percentage of free applications of any mobile app store out there. Free apps in the Android Market comprise a full 57% of the entire market place, easily besting any other application store’s availability of free applications. Some might say that the Market isn’t primed enough to make the kind of money that the App Store generates. They may be right, but more free applications is still more appealing to the average consumer. And “free” doesn’t necessarily mean lesser quality, either. The developers just choose to make money in other ways, and ads seem the be the way to go with Android right now.
The average price for all paid Android applications is $3.29, with the average price for the top 100 paid apps around $4.27. This is cheaper than Apple’s $4.65 and $6.02 price points, respectively, but it’s hard to deny that apps coming from the Android Market lack the polish of those coming from the App Store. With almost no interface guidelines to help keep user interfaces consistent across different Android apps, some can look like a complete mess. This is where Apple’s improvement process for applications, love it or hate it, comes in handy.
Google is activating about 160,000 devices a day, about 2 phones every second, so it will only be a matter of time before the OS will outpace almost all competitors with units sold. At that point, developers will flock to the Android Market with premium app offerings. But I wouldn’t expect to see that until Google gets some improvements rolled out to their application store.
Take this information as you’d like, as it doesn’t change things much. Apple is still dominating, and Android is still growing like wildfire. The war between Apple and Google is only allowing the users to benefit more and more. In the end, we all win.