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Android Users Catching Up with iOS in Willingness to Pay for Apps

A study put out today shows that the discrepancy between iOS and Android users on the topic of spending money on applications has drastically shrank over the past year. The guys over at SwiftKey partnered with a few websites to take a poll to see how users on each OS buy applications. Last year 39% of iOS users owned 20 or more paid apps with 3% having none. Android was the opposite with 12% having none and a measly 10% having over 20.

This year, that large difference has evened out a little bit. Android’s numbers have jumped to 19% of users having over 20 paid apps and no paid apps down to 6%. iOS has dropped dramatically down to 26% with the rate of no apps growing at the same time. Google has certainly been a bit more forceful in how apps should look since ICS was released, but there could be other reasons for this growth as well. The quality of apps on the platform has definitely improved. Plus, many developers are pricing their apps at lower introductory price points to get you into the game, where they then sell you additional features through in-app purchases.

What do you think? Do you pay for a good amount of apps on your phone?

Via: SwiftKey

  • Droid apps are much cheaper (so far) so Im ok with shelling out $1 for a good app. On the other hand my experience with isheep is they Will pay $10 for a crap game. So asking how many paid apps one has isn’t a good poll. Especially when google just had those .25 days. Ask how much each person has spent.

  • Jen

    I have over 100 apps I have a thing for photo apps I like to try apps can’t resist the temptation, always give a try to apps with filters and end up using the same app because i do more interesting pics with pic say pro easy and quick, I have games I never try.
    From time to time I buy a prepaid master card on walmart to buy apps, I lost track on how much money I spend on apps.
    So I don’t know how some people say is hard to pay, because there many options to buy apps withouth compromising any account.

  • UrDoGG

    It’s to the point now where I am willing to pay for a decent app just to avoid ads… But yes, the number of quality apps have increased lately, hence more purchases.

  • joe

    This is pathetic. If you have an android and you pay for apps, you’re an idiot. Just buy an iPhone if you don’t want to pirate apps. Newbs

  • TheRobotCow

    I have purchased about 25ish apps and a few themes. Like the others have said its the quality that counts.

  • Ittiam

    I am from India, and I have paid for 3 to 4 apps… Actually, one of them (mort player) was free, but I donated since I really felt the developer has done a good job.

    If Google can tie up with Telcos and allow users to pay from their mobile account, I am sure the market will increase by an order of magnitude

  • Javis Sullivan

    everyone is using that nexus 7 credit lol

  • Bsody

    Via SwiftKey? The company that cant get predictions working right in Jelly Bean?

  • I have a good number of paid apps, don’t mind to pay for them. Have more payed apps in my Gnex than my iPad (although the iPad is mainly a toy for my baby)

  • EMcTx

    I have a few apps that I’ve actually paid for, but, I admit most of my “paid” apps are from Amazon.Titanium backup is the app I’ve paid the most for. I liked the 10 cent sale last Christmas, got a few apps then. I hope there’s another sale like that.

  • I used to avoid any paid apps, but any time there is a sale I just can’t seem to help myself. I

  • Knlegend1

    The reason most people didn’t buy apps in the market was they weren’t that good. Now there are some quality apps. Plus you can’t blame android users in the past for apps being free. Who wouldn’t choose a free app.

  • Steve

    I’m not entirely sure that the Apple crowd are more willing to purchase apps than the Android crowd. I think its more because there are fewer apps for apple that are free.

  • Jarred Sutherland

    I pay for apps that are worth it. Like the VNC/RDP app “Jump”. I bought it on both the iPad and my Android devices. $20 on the iPad, $10 on Android.

    Good stuff costs money, that’s just the facts.

    • Tyler Chappell

      It must kinda suck for you that it is now only $1.99 on Android. I had been using the free version for the past several months but just spent some of my Google Play Store credit to get the paid version since its so cheap.

  • Sam Ponjican

    A good app is definitely worth paying for. Especially if it impacts the way I use my phone in a positive way. I also like the idea of supporting the developers that make Android great.
    Not surprised iOS users pay for apps more often, there seem to be fewer free apps of any quality in the iTunes store.

  • Jim McClain


  • I use to buy apps very seldom until I got a tab. I think I have bought more apps since I got my n7 than I have since I got the original droid 3 years ago. That’s not including the $25 gift card. Having this tab has made me enjoy android a whole lot more.

  • I have purchased 130+ paid apps from Play store till now… I am using ZERO pirated apps in my android phones… That includes few paid apps that are just Ad-Free version of FREE apps (My phone is rooted ofcourse) just to support the developer…

    Yes, the willingness to support developer is gonna increase more when the play-store-card comes into effect (many are NOT willing to share their CreditCard details with Google or others)…

  • Thedan55

    i enjoy buying apps that are worth the money. like dead trigger, i paid for it, i didnt care that it went free i was happy to support the devs. fact is the apps and games are getting better day by day on android and so is the infrastructure. only thing google needs is a way to backup game progress and ill be happy.

    the only way to help push android to continue to be the leader that it is, is to support the developers, and i for one enjoy supporting them.

  • Darryl W

    The real reason why, I believe, Android is getting more people to pay for apps, is the quality of the apps have significantly improved. Before, damn near any app that came over from IOS sucked on Android. It was either missing functionality that it made it a hit on IOS and/or the interface was not on par with its IOS variant. Now, not only is the quality of Android apps are on par with IOS, we are no longer feeling like the Android app was just thrown together. Granted you still have some apps that lack a feature or two that is only available on IOS.

  • Mike

    I think it’s more to do with better apps on Android. Improved apps = more willingness to pay. Also, when those gift cards catch on there will be more people paying for apps.

  • streetlightman

    The only app I ever paid full price for was Titanium Backup. All the other apps I’ve paid for were the special $0.10 apps.

  • The reason why iOS users’ willingness to pay apps is dropping is simple
    — there are cheaper iPhone now. Which means, it’s no longer the
    “luxury” class of products and people who are less willing to pay for
    apps are on the platform now.

  • Trevor

    I’m betting the free $25 in Play store money from the Nexus 7 early adopters helped skew this data a bit…

    • DainLaguna

      youd be surprised. buddy of mine, who has an ipad and an nexus7, and claims to hate apple with a passion, has dropped so much coin on JUST infinity blade for his ipad and has yet to even spend his 25 in the play store.

      • Trevor

        That’s too bad for him. Strange that he has both an iPad and Nexus 7 though.

  • DainLaguna

    i used to not pay for apps when i had my OG, but i picked up the habit when i switched to ios. When i came back to the light lol, i brought my buying habit with me. As long as its from a trusted developer i have no problems paying for a good app. thats the only way we are going to stop playing second fiddle to ios with regards to good apps. its gotten better, but it can go further. last app i bought i was horn.

    the funny thing is that when i suggested the game to my best bro, who is an ios fanboy, he laughed at the thought of paying for the game…he said he knew better as a jailbroken ipad owner. developers like Chair/Epic want to convince you android isnt worth developing for and that their paid users are all on ios, but the sad reality is thats totally not the case. there are plenty of cheapskates on both sides.

  • 99 cents adds up, ha!

    Still never paid for an Android app, still never will. To each their own.

  • Michael_NM

    I’m guessing I have paid for about 85 apps. I only use about 15 of them. What what really amazes me is how many people I know who own Android phones who have not only never bought an app, they’ve never downloaded any free apps…

    • Jason James

      i use to date a girl who wasn’t even signed into Google because she didn’t know her password and didn’t care to because all she did was text and and call and use yahoo

      • m20

        Not surprising you no longer date her

  • lostsync

    I buy a lot of paid apps…if it’s between 1-4$, I don’t see any reason not to buy it. Even if I end up not using it, it’s less than a cup of coffee I wouldn’t think twice about buying and if I do use it, it lasts a hell of a lot longer.

  • And this is before these Play cards are getting around to people. Things are going to change for the better developers.

  • master94

    No offense but looks more like ios users are getting cheaper, looking at the graph rather than Android users buying more

    • K. Nelson

      That’s because the iPhone users are starting to realize the first match in the app store isn’t always the best app. It took me months before my GF realized there’s a long list of apps with reviews and that, more times than not, there is an equivalent free app that will do what she wants.

  • New_Guy

    If an app is worth the money, I have absolutely no problem supportimg the cause. I have well over 20 paid apps. DL should conduct their own poll =)…

    • Go Hawkeyes

      I agree. An app has to be worth it. Many paid apps just aren’t worth it though. I’ve paid for about 10. Only a couple games. My paid apps are things like Launcher Pro, Apex, TiBu, etc.

      • John

        TIL people are still buying LP 😉

        • Go Hawkeyes

          LOL, bought it a long time ago back in my OG Droid days. Haven’y used it since ICS.

          • John

            Hah, yeah I figured as much. I’m in the same boat. Bought it back when the developer was actually active. Oh well…it’s the way it goes.

          • New_Guy

            Is old Federico still alive, or what???

          • John

            heh. yeah. a few blogs put up a post(phandroid being one of em) asking if he was still alive – this was about a month or two ago. he tweeted from his account that he’s still alive….just not developing i guess.

          • New_Guy

            It’s a shame. At the time it was released, LPP was the best home replacement on the market. Then nothing. Oh well. Got Apex now :)…

          • John

            Yeah. He couldn’t banked a nut ton of more $$ if he kept up w/ newer OS etc. I’ve got Nova now & very happy. He missed out — hope there was a good reason.

  • Jason James

    the biggest factor IMHO is definitely the itunes card if i got a $30 play card every year for christmas/birthday i would use that $30 every year. once the play cards get more attention things will change

    • I’m totally asking for Play cards this year 🙂

  • JoeyKhache

    I have approximately 96 purchased apps.

    • Speedyrulz8

      Are you sure it wasn’t closer to 97?

      • John

        or 95 for that matter

  • Jason James

    most girls i know use mostly social media so they dont play games so they wont pay for something they wont use. honestly there are so many options for apps that u can enjoy any smartphone without paying for apps

    • michael arazan

      in 2010 most apps in the android market were free, and the good quality paid apps all had lite versions for free, not to mention multiple apps that did the same thing that either could pay for quality or get for free with less quality but worked equally well.

      Lite versions are a great way to get people to pay for the full app IMO, it worked on me. I’ll bet the play market has more free apps that the ios market still. Best part of android was not getting nickel and dimed to death from everything, that’s what made having a flash player great on a phone, you could watch on the net instead of paying for every show/video like apple does, not to mention free music.


    I get my apps for free 99

  • Anon

    I have no problem with paid apps on my smartphone because they’re relatively inexpensive. If they perform a valuable function for me, I’m fine with compensating the time and effort put in.

    Truth be told, there’s some free apps that I’d love to pay for, because I’d like a version that isn’t ad-sponsored, but they only have the free version.

  • Another factor is the increase in developers releasing paid apps. Developers are flocking to Android due to its open source and rapidly growing audience. Wasn’t there an article just yesterday saying there are a little over one million Android activations everyday? It may not be a new phone every time, but you can’t ignore those numbers.