Android Apps Make Less Money than App Store Apps, Piracy to Blame

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.