Distimo, a mobile app store analytics firm, says that Google’s Android Marketplace and Apple’s App Store are employing similar pricing structures. However, Distimo’s July report concludes that the Android Marketplace has a much higher price on average for reference applications.
Additionally, the report found that while the average price in the “Most Popular Game” category between the two stores is quite similar, the price distribution is not. The number of 99-cent apps in this category at the Apple App store far outweigh the number at the Android Marketplace.
The most popular games in the Android Marketplace went between 99 cents and $5.99, with most going for $2.99. However, while most popular games on the App Store went for 99 cents, the store also featured a higher-end set, which was priced between $6.99 and $9.99.
Both stores saw a spike in average price toward the end of the month as MobileNavigator released Android and Apple versions of its relatively pricey navigation applications. On July 23, the company released MobileNavigator Europe and North America on the App Store, for $139.99 and $69.99, respectively. Android received only the North American version of the application, which also ran at $69.99.
In the past, Distimo’s monthly report on application stores has covered only one store, but a press release from the company says its most recent publication marks a trend. Future reports will feature “cross-store trends.”
As of late, Android has received praise for its growing catalog of applications and faithful following of developers. Recent analyst estimates put the Android catalog at somewhere around 6,000, a distant second behind the Apple App Store, which currently boasts 65,000 applications.
However, many observers say that Apple’s App Store numbers are inflated due to a large number of generally useless applications. Tech Crunch recently reported on the ousting of developer Khalid Shaikh, founder of Perfect Acumen, and the App Store’s third most prolific developer. According to the report, Shaikh had published some 900 applications to the App Store, all of which were removed upon the revocation of his license to develop for Apple’s store. The applications, which saw an average price of $4.99, were simple aggregation apps that consolidated Web content on subjects ranging from Michael Jackson to professional wrestling.
Apple recently has received a lot of criticism surrounding the App Store’s approval process, which is in stark contrast to the “Wild West” approach over at Android. The approval process at the Android Marketplace has been likened to YouTube, where pretty much anything goes so long as it does not contain malicious code or blatantly offensive or harmful content.