Survey: better the screen, bigger the paycheck for in-app game sales

By , Mar 21, 2013

Games in-app monetization (image 001)

We ran across an interesting yardstick when measuring how much mobile consumers will spend on in-app purchases: screen quality. No, we’re not talking about whether your phone’s screen is too covered with smudges and grime to see the “buy” button. Turns out, in-app purchases could be ten times as much, depending on the device screen.

Per one app firm, the connection between screen quality and in-app revenue is most evident with Android handsets, but is totally absent with iPad users…

The findings followed a study by PocketGems (via AllThingsD) comparing iPhones, iPad tablets and Android smartphones with how much users were buying within game apps.

“Android users with the highest resolution devices are nearly ten times more likely to make in-app purchases than users with lower resolution devices,” the company announced.

In the case of Apple, the iPhone 5 earned almost 4 times that of older iPhone 3GS models.

Why the large disparity between Android and iOS?

Android handsets span a number of segments, while the iPhone is concentrated mostly with high-end customers, PocketGems CEO Ben Liu explained.

Games in-app monetization (image 002)

Tracking purchase levels based on display quality is a good way to determine a device’s processing power providing a better gaming experience, the company said. However, there is a difference between handsets and tablets in terms of update frequency.

Consumers who can afford a two-year contract while updating their phone every couple of years also likely have the money to spend on in-app purchases.

For Wi-Fi-only tablet owners there is not the same sense of urgency. For instance, owners of the original 2010 iPad seem to make the same number of purchases as owners of the latest Apple tablet.

Games in-app monetization (image 003)

AllThingsD noted an interesting twist on the screen versus in-app purchasing: the first iPad and the iPad nano make more purchases than the newest iPad, despite the latest Apple tablet having a better screen.

I’m curious: how often do you buy additional in-app content in games?

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  • King

    Will never pay for in game purchase iApFree all the way

    • CPVideoMaker101

      Or localIAPStore :D

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      I use Flex when I can or locallapstore. In app purchases have ruined iOS gaming and apps.

      • King

        Hate it when you download a free game and you need to spend like $200 on add ons would rather go out and buy an Xbox

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Same. I deleted Real Racing 3 within a day of playing it. It is such a shame EA had to ruin such an otherwise good game with their ridiculous freemium model.

      • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

        iapfree vs localiapstore? or are they basically the same thing

      • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

        Iapfree doesn’t work with iOS 6 that I am aware of. It kept crashing when I would open it. Locallapstore works a lot of the times.

      • http://twitter.com/artu165 Arturo Millan

        you dont need to install the app just the Core plugin, IAPFree is better because you can purchase within apps that need Server authentication for example sonic jump

  • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

    “the first iPad and the iPad nano make more purchases than the newest iPad, despite the latest Apple tablet having a better screen.”

    I didn’t know there was an iPad nano :P

  • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

    simple: phones with nicer screens cost more, and those people have more disposable income. “low quality android” is for people who just want a phone, maybe email maybe web. They aren’t looking to spend much.

    Same with the 3GS – most of them these days are hand-me-downs, the people using them don’t have a lot of disposable money (or they would’ve bought a 4S/5) and don’t buy IAP.

    • smtp25

      Yep you nailed it and that was the obvious conclusion I wanted to post yesterday but hate doing it from my tiny iPhone4S :)

      If your phone has a smaller screen(non-iphone ones) then its probably a lower powered/spec’d phone as well and its probably a chore to use so you don’t bother spending more on it for the underwhelming small screen experience

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