Android app sales still lagging behind

About a year ago, I already wondered: Is there a market for Android apps?
The conclusion at the time:
“Yes, there is, but it’s still much smaller than the market for iOS apps.”

Since then, the marketshare of Android devices sold has become much larger. Here’s a chart from a June 2011 article about the worldwide smartphone marketshare:
Worldwide Smartphone Market Shares
See the steady light-blue diamond line (iPhone) and the purple dotted line (Android)? A more recent article at the Android Authority site indicates that the Android Marketshare is now at 42%, vs 27% for iPhone.

It looks like Android is growing fast and has gone way past the iPhone. That is, in terms of devices sold. But how does the increasing Android device marketshare translate to actual sales of Android apps?
Let’s look at the numbers again.

August 2011 sales of CLZ database viewer apps

These are the total August 2011 sales stats for our CLZ mobile database viewer apps. In August, we did no promotions or new version releases. Just a regular month, so the sales numbers should be a good indication of average Android vs iOS sales.

  • CLZ Android apps sold: 407
  • CLZ iOS apps sold: 1051 (545 on iPhone, 506 on iPad)

Note that our CLZ viewer apps are not universal binaries. We have separate apps for iPhone and iPad, so there may be a small percentage of users who buy both the iPhone and iPad edition, slightly skewing the results in favor of iOS.

First week sales of CLZ Barry wireless barcode scanner app

CLZ Barry is our new wireless barcode scanner app, released for both iOS (as a universal binary for iPhone/iPad) and Android. It was announced (read: hyped) early, building a 3,000+ member “preview club” before launch. So we were able to sell quite a few apps in the first week.
Here’s the numbers for the 1st week sales:

  • Barry for Android: 798
  • Barry for iOS: 2267

So, what’s up with Android users?

So what’s up here? With Android device sales now higher than iPhone sales, why are our Android app sales still below 50% of our iOS app sales?
Well, I can only guess, but here’s some possible reasons:

  • Maybe the audience is different from the average smartphone buyer and maybe more likely to buy an Apple device?
  • Maybe the fact that iOS apps also run on iPod touch and iPad is skewing the results?
  • With many low-end Android devices now available, maybe the average Android user is less of a “smartphone user” compared to the average iPhone user?
  • Maybe Android users are more price-sensitive? (Our apps are $10 on both iOS and Android.)

Still hoping that our Android app sales will pick up soon. Not giving up on Android yet.
But please forgive me for passing on Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 apps for now…

4 thoughts on “Android app sales still lagging behind

  1. Of course there are many free barcode scanners on Android, but the same holds for iOS…

    BTW: I haven’t seen any good free barcode scanners that offer the same PC/Mac connectivity (which is the key feature of CLZ Barry).

  2. I wish you would hurry and do a wp7 scanner app I’ve been trying to find one for ages now as I only have the first iPad so no camera

  3. My Electrician’s Helper app also shows the same discrepancy but at a 8:1 ratio in favor of iOS. I even priced the Android version $1 less than the iOS version. I think it has to do with the typical user of Android powered phones that are priced very low. A serious business user might be more likely to spend more on apps. Just my 2 cents.

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