SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS that are available through Google's Android Market app store are overpriced and are upsetting the balance of the industry, according to analysts.
Over at Canalys the bean counters are concerned that the top paid-for apps from the Android Market cost more than their equivalents on the Apple store. They warn that this means that Android users are paying two and a half times more for software toys than their Apple using peers.
This is not just bad news for users, as the outfit said that developers might also suffer as Android smartphone owners could be less likely to buy apps.
"That developers can apparently charge more for their apps on Android and make it into the top paid list is clearly a positive. But the reality is that with fewer people willing to purchase apps on Android than on iOS today, there is more of a necessity to do so," said Canalys managing director for Mobile, Rachel Lashford.
"Developers and publishers need to balance the IOS volume opportunity with a potentially greater value per download opportunity on Android, where more apps command higher price points. Selling more apps at higher prices is the Holy Grail for developers, but achieving big volumes of paid apps on Android is no small challenge."
Lashford said that developers should pursue "more aggressive price competition" and try to tempt those users that so far have resisted paid-for apps in favour of free alternatives.
Canalys conducted its study in the United States and found that buying the top 100 paid-for apps in the Android store would cost $374.37, but by comparison, doing the same on the Apple App Store would cost only $147.00.
It said 82 of the top 100 paid apps in the Apple App Store costs $0.99, compared to just 22 in the Android Market. µ