Only 0.1% of Android Paid Apps Sell More Than 50,000 Copies

Commenting on Microsoft’s Windows Phone app pricing strategy earlier today, I wrote The mental baseline price for iPhone apps is somewhere between free and $1.99. For Android users, the baseline is simply free.

Microsoft’s Risky Windows Phone Gamble: Support Higher App Prices

While things may have changed since then, back in March 2010 98.9% of all apps in the Android Market were free ones. Even if that has shifted since then, the number of paid apps is very small. And, in that small population of paid apps, not many are being paid for and downloaded according to this article on CNN Money Fortune by Phili Elmer-Dewitt based on data from Distimo.

Why it’s harder to make money on Android than on Apple’s iOS

I reformatted Distimo’s data into a bar chart to highlight the paid apps downloads breakdown. Nearly 80% of paid apps have fewer than 100 downloads. Only 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of apps see 50,000 or more downloads.

This may change this year now that Amazon is in the Android app store arena and Google has fixed many of the problems in the Android Market. But, once a trend is established, it is very difficult to change its direction.

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