It’s a story that’s been told before, but it seems that Android developers aren’t getting much love, with a new report suggesting that they are making only a fraction of what their iOS competitors are raking in.

The reason that Android apps are less profitable than App Store apps? Oddly enough, piracy…

A report from Yankee Group and Skyhook found that sales of apps in the United States are booming, with 40 apps being bought per user, per year. The results aren’t equally as good reading for Android and iOS developers however, with users of Google’s mobile OS buying less apps.

A survey of Android developers points the finger squarely at app piracy – 75% of which believe illegal downloading of paid apps is costing the industry some serious cash.

Other findings are equally as discouraging:

  • Piracy is a problem for Android. Among the Android developers surveyed, 27 percent see piracy as a huge problem and another 26 percent see it as somewhat of a problem.
  • Google isn’t helping. Fifty-three percent of developer respondents say Google is too lax in its Android Market policies.
  • Piracy hurts developers’ top and bottom lines. About a third of developers say piracy has cost them in excess of $10,000 in revenue. Additionally, 32 percent say it increases their support costs, while another quarter say they see increased server costs due to heavy loads imposed by pirated copies.

This isn’t the first time that piracy has been blamed for a lack of developer interest in the Android Marketplace, with many developers deciding against the hassle that can comes with piracy. Apple’s iOS has proven less susceptible to the age-old problem, with jailbreaking required to do the deed.

Do you agree with this research? Are you a developer who has decided against Android because of the piracy problem? Let us know in the comments.


  • I don’t agree with this at all. iOS devices have been around longer and jailbreaking has (since it’s “legality”) made more people do it. It’s easy to pirate on iOS devices and yet the App Store is raking in the dough. I think this is just a cop out “survey.” Piracy doesn’t really cause as much damage as people let on. I do agree with the added support costs that might come to play, but that is about it.

  • iapple

    oh really? i have developed apps for many appstores… (cydia, android market, apple appstore etc…) i earned the most from android appstore.. then cydia.. then apple appstore…

    even my apps were pirated alot.. but well there is no fix… its a problem of every developer of every appstore 🙁

    • anthonyappleguy

      no you didn’t

      • iapple


      • OCD Steve Jobs

        ignore anthony…he is an apple freak. he got offended when you said you made the the least amount of money from apple

      • Bill

        hater, quit causing trouble.

    • Lloyd

      If you made less on the app store than the market place then you are either lying, an exception to the rule or made an app no one wanted or needed. 9 times out of 10, app developers make a ton more via iOS than Android or Cydia, simply because people would rather pay nothing for your work than something.

      • Coach

        Why does he have to lie about making apps? It’s not rocket science. Some of you guys need to take a break.

      • OCD Steve Jobs

        9 times out of 10 apple fanboys say something and it was a lie

      • Bill

        Lloyd needs a vacation from himself

    • iCrapped

      You probably made an app which is pretty useless, give me the name of the app and I’ll see if it’s worth paying for

      • OCD Steve Jobs

        obviously youre going to honest. we are all so sure of that

    • Jon Garrett


      I have an iPhone 4 jail broken and I have downloaded no less than 2,000 apps from installous. Ive only paid for about 3 or 4 apps from the apple app store in the the past 2 years.

      I also have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & the LG Thrill 4G. Ive paid for ALL the apps I have on my Android devices even though its easier to install pirated apps on an Android device than on an iDevice.

      • Joo Joo

        This only proves that you are a heavy pirated user

  • +1

  • Jacksparrow

    Piracy will always exist. But most developers and particular the foreign programmers they outsource for couple days are too novice to build in elegant mechanisms to protect their product. Some apps do have good protection built into them.

  • This sounds very true, most of the people that I know that use android are geeks and guess what? They don’t like apple for one main reason ” you have to paid for your apps” well, this is what helps apple differentiate it self from android users, apple has tame is customers and show them that by paying for apps, more and better software can be given to them. Now, android is great, but really people that get it are those that wanna hack it and install all sorts of things or those that get these cheap phones that are mostly given away free now a days…

    Some don’t believe that piracy is a big deal in both iOS and android, but if I have a phone that I can install a game for free? Why should I paid for it? We are in a recession people…

  • Mark

    No android dev would leave just because of piracy. They could sell their app for the iphone ,too. then piracy wont be too big of a problem. And not all people pirate apps so their is no loss in it(making the apps). They just are getting less money

    • Michael


  • Daniel


    Attempting to give a shit: {~~~~~}


  • well written, i agree with you

  • Anonymous

    Well I know why there is an increase in sales on IOS then android because you can’t try the app out first before you buy it like on android. I’m an iPhone fan but I hate that you cant try before you buy and no refunds. So while there is more sales on the IOS is because someone buys and downloads an app and it turns out to be pointless or a waste of money which they can’t get back. For android they will try the the app and see it’s pointless and then delete it and get a refund. I know this cause i used to have a Droid X and half of the paid apps i downloaded were pointless so i got me refund, I have use Installious on my iPhone 4 I get free apps and if they are worth paying for I’ll buy it from the developer. If its not worth it then I won’t. If its a pointless app I dot need then I deleted it. It’s as simple as that. I haven’t done that now cause there is no jailbreak for the iPhone 4 S and since I can’t try the apps out I haven’t spent one penny on a paid app yet.

  • Anonymous

    Also it’s bill how companies say they loose all of this revenue from piracy same with movie companies or mucis artists. A lot of people download movies to see if there worth paying to see in theaters. As for music artist they make most of there money from
    Doing tours and live concerts and they get ALOT from that.