A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a post compared to other mobile users, Android users are downloading apps but not really buy them, meaning that Android users like free apps rather than paid ones.
I did not react well to it but then I took a look at the guy in the mirror and shut up. I’ve yet to buy one single app for my G1 while I’ve spent quite a bit for my iOS devices. Why?
I think the two platforms are going after different types of users and it isn’t to say that we Android folks are cheap. This is evident in that I do buy apps from the iTunes app store, just not from Marketplace. There are a couple of reasons.
One, I keep any mobile use on my G1 to just the minimal and essential uses. E-mails, calls, checking some social links to Facebook and Twitter. Once in a while, I scanned the RSS feeds on through Reader on the Browser app. Android folks are more social oriented given what I’ve seen in my circle. Of course, a few of them carry around iPod Touches as well. Plus, I'm a big battery life person and a believer that my devices should last me through the day. With what I'm hearing about EVO last a few hours, what good are apps if your Android device can't handle the load and carry you through the day without worrying about running out of juice?
Two, space. There are a lot of earlier generation Android devices still in use and they lack the onboard memory for installing larger and more sophisticated apps like games. Forget whether these Android devices can smoothly play games, there simply isn’t a whole lot of space to carry around a bunch of games if you wanted to.
Three, quality. There are quality apps in the Marketplace. But I think it’ll be a while before Google and its developers catch up to the years of UI experience that Apple has. As a matter of fact, I think when Windows Mobile 7 devices are finally released, I think their apps are going to be looking pretty good as well. There simply isn’t a format on the Android platform that is comparable so what Apple has at the moment. I think this is probably an issue for RIM as well.
But I do see things change in a year or so. More devices on the market now come with ample storage for apps. Plus, the size of the Android market is getting a lot of attention from tier one game developers as well as developers from the iPhone camp.
Plus, competition among the Android handset makers is heating up big time. Forget about competition from other mobile platforms for a moment. HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and maybe a few Chinese ones we haven’t noticed yet are trying to out do one another with better screens and faster CPUs.
For me, I’m good with my G1. I’m a T-Mobile kinda guy. I like the Galaxy S but it’s not a HSPA+ device. So I’m good with a few months on the G1 until I see what T-Mobile will entice me with. Who knows, maybe by November or December, I’ll be looking at Verizon’s LTE network as well.
So if you’re a developer, come out with quality apps. Let me know and if I like it, I’ll push it for you. And yes, Android fans will pay for quality just like mobile warriors on other platforms.