Creative Strategies in general and Carolina Milanesi and Ben Bajarin in specific do amazing work when it comes to putting numbers to Apple and other industry trends. In other words, where discussion so often revolves around opinions informed and otherwise, they bring the data. Case in point, how and why people spend money on apps.
Interestingly, when it comes to paid apps, the leading drivers remain the same for both groups but only after the price of the app itself. I find this point interesting because it would suggest that smartphone users are not assessing the return of investment they would get from an app but they might, instead, be putting a limit to how much they are prepared to spend before they look beyond the price in what the app has to offer. In other words, great reviews, feature list, screenshots, and app description do not matter if the price is already beyond what the user perceives to be the right price for the app.
But, not surprisingly:
Our study confirms the gap between the two app stores quite clearly: the number of iOS panelists with 5 or more paid apps or subscription was 45% compared to 19% across Android panelists.
You can, of course, choose to view this as iPhone owners being more foolish or reckless with their money, but from an app vendor point-of-view, none of that matters. You can also argue that, in aggregate, the bigger Android market share results in value at scale.
Still, despite Android being the market leader by combined volume, Apple remains the profit leader, and many apps and services still launch iPhone-first, and some remain iPhone-only.
The reasons for that are complex, as the survey points out.
I've come to view paid apps as an investment. I want a specific feature or service and I pay to make sure the developer can keep it available and updated long term.
It's like paying to see a movie not just because you want to see the movie, but because you want to support the artists who made it in hopes they'll keep making sequels and other movies for you to enjoy. (Substitute songs, books, or whatever else you choose to spend money on.)
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