One of the best things that Apple did for iPhone app developers in the summer of 2009 was to provide the ability for in-app purchases. This let developers sell upgrades, add-ons, virtual goods and, more recently, subscriptions without asking the app user to leave the app. The developer of “Flower Garden” wrote about his experience of moving the app from a paid app to a free one with in-app purchasing, for example, virtual flower seeds. The result of this move was to more than triple the daily revenue.
Android apps have not been selling in the kind of numbers seen for iOS apps (iPhone/iPad). That may change now that Amazon has entered the Android app selling arena. But, the near future availability of in-app purchases for Android apps should definitely help the overall revenue picture for developers.
In-App Billing on Android Market: Ready for Testing (Google Android Developers blog)
In-app purchases for Android apps will launch next week.