Google has put a lot of time and effort into their Play Store. By consolidating a majority of their commercial services and the Android Market, their bet was to reign in simplicity and in turn increase sales. Data is still being crunched to determine if those gains will be lucrative for Google, but in the meantime we see an increase with in app purchasing has closed the money gap between developing for iOS and developing for Android.
Sameer Singh, writing for Tech Thoughts, posted some noticeable gains in the Play Store purchasing month to month vs Apple's App Store. Using data posted by App Annie, Distimo, Flurry, and VisionMobile, it's easily confirmed that a bulk of the money that is spent on applications goes to the iOS App Store. With just a little analysis, numbers point to a near 20% jump thanks to in app purchasing over the summer. I take this data at face value and believe with the success of the Nexus 7, and the release of the Nexus 4 and 10, that gap will continue to shrink. Is in app purchasing the answer to close the sales gap? No. Does the Play Store have a lot of improvements still to make to better accommodate developers? Certainly.
That thinning of the money gap, however, is going to become harder for developers to ignore. Looking to increase their sales, they will no doubt continue to create applications for multiple platforms. With the Play Store now exceeding 700,000 applications and an ever increasing market share leaning towards Android devices, the priority may become to put applications more quickly into the Play Store. They will see money coming in from Android buyers at a large enough clip for them to provide a wider range of applications and services in the immediate future, not incrementally over time. This of course is good news to the Android faithful due to big gains from other platforms such as Windows 8 RT. The model to produce applications first for iOS and then Android may shift and become a stale business model.
Will we see an upswing in application interest now that actual data is showing the world that Android and its user are not a collection of free loaders? Will conventional wisdom shift for services to want to provide a priority push of Android applications vs other platforms including iOS? Will developers ignore the Windows surge and keep their eyes on this increasing in app monetary prize? Time will tell, but you're all welcome to crunch the numbers and speculate in the comments.
photo credit: Epsilon Creations