Sep 26, 2011
It’s always interesting to read about the mobile market and where the growth is occuring. While Android is becoming more popular, it appears as if it is cutting into the ‘dumbphone’ market as much as it is the market of smartphones, particularly the iPhone’s market. This doesn’t necessarily mean that iPhone should be declared as supreme overlord of Android or that everyone who uses Android will eventually move on to the iPhone, but it does shed some light on some of the tendencies of the Android app market. It also reveals a lot about the long-term potential of Android as a platform for selling apps.
What this means is that there are a lot of potential customers for Android apps. There are a lot already, but the revenue potential from these users has been less than on iOS, in particular. But we’ve seen evidence that Android users can make up for their lesser individual revenue by way of sheer numbers. Remember the story of Stardunk – one-third the revenue per user, but triple the users. If this ratio can hold true to a point of equalizing with iOS, then Android can truly be an economic viability, or at least not the kind of risk that it’s often portrayed to be. While the challenge will still be in getting people to download apps, there’s no reason why if Android keeps up its growth, even into the ‘dumbphone’ market, then that’s just more consumers that will buy apps and in-app purchases, and with a higher population of Android users, it’s just more likely that apps can be discovered.
Because Android is so versatile (especially now that Intel chips can run Android), even low-powered Android devices can take advantage of some apps, which will help the continued growth of Android. Will they be able to play the latest and greatest games and innovative apps? Probably not. But many mobile apps don’t require extremely powerful hardware in order to succeed. Angry Birds doesn’t require powerful hardware to run. Android can become viable for developers just by continuing to grow and grow, and maybe not even as a secondary market to the iOS App Store.