Many people mentioned that the amount of Android users that are just being ‘sold’ the devices by the mobile networks, could be skewing the numbers and perception of price. Android is pushed by many carriers as they make larger profits from the handsets and service plans, so the store representatives are encouraged to push these phones to people who are replacing ‘dumbphones’ for their first smartphones. Becasue of this, many of these users will unlikely be using their Android phones in the way the tech-literate do and would therefore not be browsing the Google Play Store for new applications, let alone paying for any. I see this as a possibile explanation for the fact that some users may not be paying high prices, but I dont think this answers the problem as a whole. It just seems that these users would rarely visit the store if at all – they are not a buying market – so this doesn’t explain the proliferation of ‘free’ seen on Android.
I actually do think this is a bigger part of the problem than Myke seems to think. I would word it differently though.
I see a lot of people on cheap Android “smartphones”, but very few on high-end ones. First impressions count, and if you can’t use many of the apps available to you on your brand new Android, why would you bother spending money on any of the available markets again? For that matter: Why would you ever buy another Android phone? I wonder what the customer retention rate is for, say, HTC or Samsung?
A lot of the new Android phones ship with an OS that is over a year old, with no way to upgrade…no, flashing the ROM doesn’t count, because a vast majority of users will not do that.
So they’re left with this device for -usually – two years, as most of them are sold on contract.
Two years is a long time to get frustrated. You read about this great new mobile game, but you can’t play it because your phone doesn’t support it in one way or another. This is the allure Apple has over Google in the mobile space. You know what you get, and you know you’re good to go for at least two years. That’s why you invest money in an ecosystem.