Two Important Reasons Why Android Developers Are Losing Money

In my previous post I asked your attention for Loic Le Meur’s opinion on what an average app developer can earn. The conclusion of that story is that for the majority of developers it’s not profitable enough (yet) to live from app development only. (For his detailed analysis, please refer to my previous post.)

Within 24 hours I stumbled upon a post at Royal Pingdom that is even more bad news for app developers. This time it is focused on the Android platform. According to the post, piracy levels are very high on the platform. But this is not the most important the Android developers are losing money.

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Google is talking about fighting piracy, but perhaps the first thing they should focus on is actually making it possible for users to buy apps. All users. Sounds rather logical, doesn’t it? So what are we talking about? The problem lies with Android Market.

You can only pay for apps in 13 out of the 46 or so countries where Android phones are available. For those of you who like stats, 13 in 46 works out to less than 30%. Contrast this with Apple’s App Store, which supports paid apps in 90 countries. This is a huge advantage iPhone developers currently have over Android developers.

This is, in our opinion, one of the main reasons why piracy is running rampant on the Android platform. If a large portion of the world’s Android users can’t even pay for apps, is it so strange that some of them turn to piracy?


4 thoughts on “Two Important Reasons Why Android Developers Are Losing Money”

  1. For what I have heard from an Android developer is that Google takes about 70% of the payment for the apps, so that leaves about 30% for the developer. I don’t believe in a pay for apps model for mobile devices. I more believe in a model where you can spread the apps for free and that you earn money through sponsoring and affiliate marketing (and that’s not banners within your app).

    1. Seventy percent you said? Man, that is a really big cut. Apple takes ‘only’ 30 percent of the earnings of your paid apps in the AppStore. That sounds a lot more friendly in my ears.

      By the way: what kind of affiliate marketing are you thinking of? You are making me curious.

  2. Well, compare it to a service like They offer a service to the consumers and take a share of what they sell for restaurants. What I mean is deliver a free service to consumers and charge the companies who take benefit of the use of this service.

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