According to a recent ABI study of US consumers, some 70 percent of mobile app users spend “either nothing or very little” on applications.
In fact, the highest-spending three percent of all app users account for nearly 20 percent of the total spend in the market, ABI said.
Their conclusion, however, is off. “Don’t get obsessed by mobile and apps, but remember also the web,” says ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen in a press release accompanying the new data. “Most of the successful app concepts either support, or are supported by, a web component.”
True. But missing from the study was an Apple iOS/Google Android breakdown.
Last December, Flurry Analytics reported that if an app is available for both iOS and Android, the Android version will generate on average less than one quarter of the revenue of the iOS app.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Muster took it further, with an opinion that Android applications revenues were a mere seven percent of those generated by iOS apps.
The key difference? A majority of the apps on the Android side of the fence rely primarily on ad-based revenue streams, as the “open” crowd seems to be adverse towards digging out their wallets and paying for applications.
Then again, perhaps “adverse” isn’t the right word. With Apple, nearly every user has an existing iTunes account with a credit card on file. Buying an app on iOS is as simple as clicking a button and entering your password.
Google, however, has to convince its users to open a Google Markeplace or “Play” account. And filling out forms and entering payment and billing information on a mobile device is still a painful, time consuming process.
Many, it seems, simply don’t bother.
And that’s why Markkanen’s final conclusion is suspect. Focusing on mobile web sites instead of mobile apps won’t help, because it still doesn’t solve the undelying problem.
We need a quick and easy way to pay for the apps and content and products we want.
Because if it’s not quick, and its not easy, we’re simply not going to do it.
As the study shows.