Average Android User Spends 1/10th of What iPhones Users Spend on Apps

Frank McPherson noted a few weeks ago that:

Android Market Has The Most Free Apps

Here’s the context: According to one estimate 25% of apps in the iTunes App Store are free while 53% of the apps in the Android Market are free. But, how does this translate in terms of actual app downloads. theNextWeb reports on a consulting firm that estimates:

Report: 98.9% Of Downloads On The Android Market Are Free

So, only one out of every 100 Android app downloads is a paid app. In terms of dollars and cents (quite literally), the consulting firm estimates that on the average an Android user spent 6 cents on games in the first two months of 2010 while spending 50 cents on other app types. iPhone users, on the other hand, are estimated to have spent $1 on games and $5 on other app types during the same period.

The report provides four reasons for the low-spend rate: Payment user interface issues, fragmented Android OS story (too many old versions), limited number of countries that have paid app service, and Android’s insistance that all apps reside in system RAM. Here’s a couple of other reasons from me:

– Google’s Android Market has, ironically, a horrible search engine
– The Android Market does not provide a good app discovery process
– The Android Market website on the desktop/notebook is nearly information free

As a conspiracy theory fan, it almost looks like Google is deliberately sabotaging their own Android Market so that people will turn to web-based apps/services. That is, after all, where Google makes there money: Ads on web pages.