So you’ve published an iPhone app, and an iPad app, and are looking to expand your market. Or maybe you arnt such a big fan of Apple and simply want a different platform to publish on. The natural choice for many has become the Android operating system. What is it? What is the market like? Can I make money as an app developer on Android? What are the rules for Android apps?
There are a number of great articles and research that have been published online about this, but it does not seem to all be in one place, so the team at Appency decided to gather as much relevant Android information as possible and put it all down in one place. Mind you – most of this is copy/paste directly from other articles, and we have made sure to provide links back to the original information. Enjoy!
What is Android?
Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as cellular phones, tablet computers and netbooks. Android was developed by Google and based upon the Linux kernel and GNU software. It was initially developed by Android Inc. (a firm later purchased by Google) and lately broadened to the Open Handset Alliance. Android apps are sold on the handset via the Android Marketplace, as well as online in a number of third party app stores.
List of Android Devices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Android_devices
Device Market Size:
According to NPD Group, unit sales for Android OS smartphones ranked second among all smartphone OS handsets sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010. BlackBerry OS holds 36%, with Android at second with 28%, and iOS is ranked third with 21%. A Nielsen report for the second quarter of 2010 placed Android’s share of new U.S. sales in second place with 27% of the market, behind BlackBerry OS (33%) and ahead of iOS (23%).
In terms of existing share however, RIM holds the lead with 35% of smartphones while Apple is a close and growing second at 28%. Android trails far behind at only 9% of the share, a distant fourth place.
App Market Size:
According to Engadget, Android Market has approximately 70,000 live applications which makes it the second largest app store. Distimo however reports however that almost 57% of those apps are free, compared to Apples 25%. The average price of paid android apps is similar to Apple at $3.27 to Apples $3.62. There are approximately 3,005 new apps per month in the Android Marketplace to Apples 14,000.
The number of developers for the android platform is less than a fourth of that developing for the iOS platform, with a very small component developing across platform.
Developers of priced applications receive 70% of the application price, with the remaining 30% distributed between carriers (if authorized to receive a fee for applications purchased through their network) and payment processors.
Revenue earned from the Android Market is paid to developers via Google Checkout merchant accounts. T-Mobile, the first carrier with an Android device, recently began Android Market update with Google to allow apps to be billed to the account and show up as a charge on the bill.
Only nine countries are allowed to distribute Android paid apps currently because of Google checkout restrictions, points out Hoogsteder. Consumers from only 13 countries can get access to paid content.
Countries with access to Paid Applications:
The full country list that is updated by Google is here.
Larva Labs’ Matt Hall notes that even high-profile, highly rated Android titles generate “much lower” revenue than iPhone equivalents. Despite having one sustained top-selling $5 game (Retro Defense), a consistent fifth place seller (Battle for Mars) and being highlighted by Google, the company’s daily average revenue was just $62.39 for all its apps combined.
In relation, an iPhone app with a fifth place position in the App Store is predicted to earn about $3,500 per day, or more than what the same Android title would generate in 56 days. Android apps’ sales figures are only likely to be worse for apps that rank lower, Hall adds.
There is very little approval process in the Android market, however Google has been known to pull apps (namely the tethering apps for T-Mobile phones). You simply go to the android market page at market.android.com/publish and submit your information. The account registration fee is $25.
Once you’ve set a price for an application, you may choose to change it at any time, however if you have previously published an application for free, you cannot change it to have a price. You’ll need to re-upload a new APK and add a price.
The Android Marketplace defaults to showing free apps first and forces users to enable viewing paid apps themselves.
Once you’ve registered, it’s easy to upload your application to Android Market. From the home screen, select “Upload Applications.” You’ll be asked to fill in the following information for your app.
Publishing options in the Android Marketplace
Other Distribution Methods:
Andspot: Currently in a private beta, Andspot is an alternative Android marketplace that will offer developers 80% of the download profit from their apps instead of Google’s 70%. To sign up for the beta, you can go to http://andspot.com/index.cfm
SlideMe: (From their site) Have an application that Google prevents you from stocking in the Android Market, leaving you and your app stranded? Are there users desperate to buy your application but they don’t have access to Google Checkout or the Android Market? Do you want to show off your app but feel limited by not having screenshots or video in the Android Market?
If so, then you’ve found the right place at SlideME, the Original Market for Android (We launched our portal and mobile client in April 2008). What we do for the developer is simple. We provide a way to market, deliver and download content to users that you wouldn’t have access to in your traditional channels.
From the moment you stock an application, we provide you a web page where you can add a description, screenshots and videos showing off your application. You can have a discussion with your users or they can review your application right on your page.
Your application also shows up in SAM, our mobile client for discovery and download of Android applications. You can include up to three screenshots and a YouTube video within the mobile catalog, giving potential users a good idea of what your app does. No more trying to cram that into a 325 character description with ascii art.
SlideMe does not take a revenue share from the applications and is negotiating deals to pre-load their app store onto handsets around the world. Currently they hav ea relationship with Vodaphone Egypt to do this. The SlideMe app store will also be on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 phones sold in the middle east.
SlideMe also provides their “SlideSlock” program to help prevent free distribution of your app files.
AndAppStore: Another royalty free distribution service created by UK company Funky Android Ltd. The site still looks extremely beta and should be watched for growth. http://andappstore.com/AndroidApplications/
Handango: Once your application to register as a Software Partner is approved and you submit software for sale, Handango retains 40% of the revenues (excluding taxes) for products sold through the main Handango Web site at www.handango.com. For products sold through our Value-Added channels, we retain 40% of the revenues (excluding taxes), and their commission can increase only if they perform.
GetJar: GetJar is your one-stop shop for publishing all your mobile content to reach a global, mass-market audience. With more than a billion downloads coming from 200+ countries. (More then 2MM downloads a day)
Your applications get published on GetJar.com and our mobile site m.getjar.com but also across all our premium channels including:
Other Android App Distribution Channels:
App Listing Sites: