With over 200 million people using the Google Play Store, otherwise known as the Android Marketplace, more and more developers are complaining about the low sale numbers regarding premium applications.
"Android users opt for a free but less refined experience", says Ryan Bateman, developer of Papermill. After programing an Instapaper client for Android which can be downloaded for £2.5 pounds plus £1.8 for a three months subscription, Bateman posted his sale reports on its website.
Surprisingly, the application was only installed 411 times in the first few weeks, with 79 orders being cancelled. The Papermill developer also tried Amazon as a marketing option, but the Appstore returned only five sales. Bateman estimated it would take around five years to make profit after an 18,946 ($30,000) investment.
The developer believes that average Android users are less willing to pay for premium applications than iOS users.
The small return rate can also be blamed on the tight rules Bateman had to adhere to, Papermill being developed by following Android 4.0 design guidelines. Although 40 per cent of those who visited the application were running Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest Google version falls well behind others in latest study.
In other camps the situation is even darker, as the maker of Arachna (a maze game exclusively found on Windows Phone 7) complains that after 2 months of sales the application was only tested by 200 users. The worst part is that the game is free.