Publishers, e-book retailers and young startups tend to always target the Apple iPhone for app development. This is because Apple owners tend to spend more money on e-books and are considered more affluent. Additionally, most of these companies consider iOS to be their flagship app, it is always the first one updated with new features.
According to a report from IBM Commerce, nearly 40% of all online traffic the day after Thanksgiving 2015 came from iOS, whereas only 17.3% came from Android. In the three months leading up the Christmas holidays 27.7% of all online sales came from iOS devices, and only 8.3% came from phones and tablets running Android. iOS users also spent and average $125.83, significantly more money than Android users, who spent $107.60.
Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz thinks Apple users tend to spend more money from Android users for a couple reasons.
- Android’s market share is strongest in relatively lower income countries Many people in those countries lack credit cards and Google has been very slow to offer carrier billing.
- Android phones average $250-$300 where iPhone average $600 – people who choose to spend the extra money are sending a signal about their intents. That is, we don’t know what the ARPU for a Galaxy S5 user is, but it’s probably very similar to an iPhone user – but Galaxy S5 users are a small minority of Android users.
- Apple offers a distinctly different proposition to Android: perhaps the people who are attracted to that proposition are just more likely to spend money – that is, maybe iPhone users do spend more than GS5 users.
- Finally, this can become circular: if developers believe that Android users do not pay, then their behavior will be affected – they may offer a free ad-supported app instead of a paid app, or have a lower price. And if they decide not to support Android or support it second, then their users will gravitate to iPhone first, which becomes self-fulfilling. You can see this clearly on Android tablets – magazine apps have low use on Android so are slow to support Android, so users who want magazine apps don’t buy Android tablets.
A new report has just been issued by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners and they proclaimed that at the end of the December 2015, 110 million iPhones were in use in the US, including 62 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and 19 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models.
It is no small wonder that everyone develops for the iPhone and iPad first and than eventually ports their apps to Android. Supercell has done it with Boom Beach and more recently Castle Clash. Many young companies making their very first apps also target iOS users first, in order to better monetize their efforts.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.