It’s no secret that Android users are less willing than iOS users to shell out their hard-earned cash for premium mobile applications. In keeping with the maxim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, however, it turns out those same Android users are paying for those apps with battery life instead of cash, as their devices require at least twice as much power to run the ads that make the apps free in the first place. In any event, with the relatively recent upgrades to the Kindle Fire and its enormous success as a mobile platform, Amazon is looking to shake up the Android universe significantly.
First, recent data suggests that users are considerably more willing to spend money on apps at Amazon’s app store. According to the most recent Distimo report, 65% of Amazon’s apps are paid, as opposed to a mere 32% on Google’s Android Marketplace. More importantly, however, it appears consumers are much more comfortable parting with their money when purchasing apps from Amazon. Distimo’s sampling process is a difficult one to follow, but the bottom line is that paid apps earn more money at Amazon than they do at the Google Marketplace. This is especially impressive considering that the total number of devices that can access Amazon’s app store is really quite small, relatively speaking.
Amazon has likewise been both quick and responsible when it comes to incorporating the in-app purchase model to the mobile apps that it offers. While profitable, mobile apps using the in-app purchase model haven’t always received the best press. Amazon only recently introduced in-app purchasing to its app store, but kept a tight rein on both the purchase process and the total purchasable amounts, presumably to avoid complaints about children maxing out their parents’ credit cards. Just this week, however, Amazon felt sufficiently comfortable with its parental controls to drop the $20 maximum purchase limit.
In any event, Amazon’s entry into the mobile app market seems to be shaking things up in a good way, and that’s only good news for Android developers.