The number of free apps available in the App Store and through Google Play continues to rise. Of those that do pay for content, iPhone users spend an average of $0.19 cents per app. This compares to Android users who spend just $0.06, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry.
According to the survey, 90 percent of the apps in the App Store are now free, with 6 percent available for $0.99. In 2011, those numbers stood at 80 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Flurry notes that these numbers may support the idea that “content wants to be free.” However, they don’t see it that way.
Instead, we simply see this as the outcome of consumer choice: people want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible. This is a collective choice that could have played out differently and could still in particular contexts (e.g., enterprise apps or highly specialized apps such as those tracking medical or financial information).
The survey also notes that iPad users continue to be the biggest spenders. Though April 2013, owners of Apple’s tablet spent an average of $0.50 per app. This was more than 2.5 times that of iPhone apps, and more than eight times that of Android apps.
In summary, these numbers suggest that iOS users are less tolerant of in-app advertising to subsidize the cost of developing apps.
Personally, I don’t find these numbers all that surprising. It seems that most folks would rather see ads than spent a few dollars upfront. This fact continues to amaze me as someone who dislikes mobile ads.
What say you?