iOS gamers spend five times more money on games than Android gamers

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Most players on iPhone and iPad tend to spend more money than those playing on an Android device -- five times more, to be exact. This according to a Newzoo study that examined the growth of mobile gaming in Europe and North America. It showed that there are now 101 million American mobile gamers, 69% of which are playing on smartphones and 21% play on tablets. Of them, iPhone claimed 19 million gamers, which is 28% of everyone that plays games on a smartphone. Surprisingly, the iPod touch managed to snag nearly as many with 18 million players. As you might expect, the iPad rocks the tablet gaming world with 12.7 million gamers (a 60% slice of the whole tablet pie). In the U.S., the vast majority (91%) of revenue was made through various in-app streams, not counting advertising, though that figure is a bit lower for Germany and France, which ranged between 73% and 87%.  This data was gleaned from a survey of 17,000 people plus data from Distimo, who do regular reports on app downloads.

This data isn't a huge surprise considering how much Apple has polished the purchasing process on iOS and through iTunes. Game piracy is a very real concern for many Android developers, and likely contributes to iOS being as profitable as it is. What's more surprising to me is that in-app purchases constitute such a big chunk of revenue; I'm rarely interested in spending any cash on in-app purchases, and would much rather pay cash up-front for a full game without being harassed by ads or prompts to buy virtual currency. The good freemium games out there will tend to have their IAPs mostly in the background, and will naturally lead people to them through engaging gameplay rather than obnoxious pop-ups.

How much do you guys tend to spend on iPad and iPhone gaming? Are in-app purchases appealing to you? Developers, how much more profitable do you find your iOS titles compared to Android?

Source: Forbes

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

iOS gamers spend five times more money on games than Android gamers


While these are interesting numbers, I am more interesting in knowing which model actually provides more money to the app developer. Does the one time one dollar price or the free ad supported version provide more revenue?

We have more games... why not? Also, I believe more people are "permanently borrowing" apps on the Android platform than on iOS.

I have an iphone, but I also had an android tablet. My fiance has an ipad. A lot of games that cost money on the iPad/iPhone are free on the android, so I am not surprised.

You also have to consider iPhone users get charged for some games that Android makes for free. i.e. Angry Birds.

Re: "Are in-app purchases appealing to you?"
No. Haven't even bought a Mighty Eagle, and I've 3-starred all Angry Birds levels. (Except the ones that require hitting Facebook. Never going to do that either.)

I have over 150 games on my iPhone and usually play an hour or more per day. I use it even more than my gaming PC. I have purchased a couple of IAP.

I dont if this is fair, when I was on android I hated the fact we didn't have paid version of angry birds or word with friends. I always anted to buy more then I wanted free. Paid ment no ads more dev support because devs were making money. So i kinda put blame on the devs for this.

I think that developers are made to feel compelled to do free app's on android with advertising as a way of gaining a return. Google promotes android as an open source, free, operating system for mobile devices and when you promote the operating system as being essentially free it makes the expectation that the app's should be free as well.
Now anyone with two brain cells left to rub together realizes that nothing in life is free, even when it is promoted as free. There is always some form of return required. In the case of the Android App's the payment is in the form of in-app advertising.
Apple gives the developers a choice of in-app advertising or allowing customers to pay a premium and get a version that is free of advertising.
I tend to try the free version and if I like the free version I pay for the app-free version. I like that the option is there for me to do so and like that I can try a free version before I spend.
Another reason I suspect that people spend less on Android games is that the user experience varies tremendously depending on the device being used to run Android, and the version being run. There are too many 'variables' between phones that developers have to worry about, multiple screen resolutions being just one of them.
I like that app's that I purchase for my iPhone and iPad, and if I had an iPod touch hanging around, all run the apps with little or no issues especially if I have paid for them!

From what I heard from a large game developer, their game is paid on iPad and iPhone and not on android because iOS users expect to pay where android users don't. Seems nonsensical but that's what I was told. I believe they also make a crap ton from ads..

Yep. They can potentially make more from the Android market because they can make more from the in-app ads that they would from sales.

I was going to add something but honestly it's all been said. So ....
On the other hand of course, there are more paid apps in the iOS, android you can get free games and emulators and as previously stated perminately borrow. So yeah not shocking to me.

Oh I forgot, the android versions usually suck compared to ios due to lazy developers. Hope that changes soon.

Now I remember why I liked Blackberry so much, before it was so outdated. I did WORK on it, didn't play games! (well, my wife plays solitaire on the iPhone now, but thats the only game on there)

Yeah, it's pretty obvious that iOS users pay more because there are way more apps that are pay apps than free. I too hate IAP, and stay away from every app that allows for it. I realize that the devs were hard, but there is also a lot of "borrowing" of app ideas that originate in free versions of everything. To each their own, the day after I bought my iPad I spent more on apps than the entire time that I have used Android and Blackberry.

Agree with above comments, but I think people would pay if the cost of apps would be down to $1 for all app. At least people would not grab it for free from anywhere else there will be every app in the same place. For that anyone can pay easily because this would save their time.

You got to consider most of the paid apps on ios are free on Android but even then it's no surprise that ios has more game downloads as that's what the ios platform has been known for... Most of the popular apps are on Android apart from exclusive such infinity blade.

well i rather pay for it than get the crap free version plus ios games are high quality games compare to android very low quality games

Even though people spend five times more money on iphone and android games, but the gaming industry will not get effected by this inaccurate ratio of mobile users. Besides that playing so much games on the mobile device may decrease the life of their device.