iPhone, Android users: Not all that different

Apple's iPhone hasn't totally cornered the app obsession market, as Android users also lust for new finds in the Android Market

Apple's iPhone hasn't totally cornered the app obsession market, as Android users also lust for new finds in the Android Market, a survey by advertising platform AdMob found.

The survey asked more than 1,000 Android, iPhone, and iPod Touch users about their download habits, and found that those who regularly paid for apps spent similar amounts of money -- roughly $US9 per month on five downloads -- regardless of whether they were iPhone or Android users.

Those who download free apps also behave similarly on both platforms. On average, Android users downloaded 8.1 apps per month, and iPhone users downloaded 7.6. The sweet spot for free downloads by iPhone and Android users is four to six apps per month, the survey found. A smaller percentage of users grab one to three apps, followed by those who grab seven to 10 apps per month.

Android and iPhone users also spend a similar amount of time on average -- 80 to 90 minutes -- browsing for new finds.

However, AdMob found that Android users are less interested in paying for apps, with 81 percent saying they rarely, if ever, do so. Half of iPhone users are regular app buyers.

The question, then, is why Android users aren't as inclined to plunk down money. Maybe the answer has something to do with the number of choices out there. In March, we heard that Android has 2,300 apps available, compared to to the iPhone's 25,000. The iPhone's App Store has almost tripled since then and it's doubtful that Android has caught up.

You could make the opposite argument that Apple has so many free apps that there's little need to buy, but a lot of App Store offerings are "Lite" versions of more robust paid apps. AdMob says the free-to-paid model is the biggest driver of sales. So while Android users are just as passionate about hunting for and downloading new apps, they just might not be finding the one that's worth their money.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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