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Price Competitiveness Is Crucial
The iTunes App Store is a mature but still very closely controlled retail environment while Google's Android Market remains more open but also less secure and consumer friendly. Given the differences, "developers and publishers use the stores in different ways," said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd.
Price competitiveness is crucial in Apple's store -- where the vast majority of top paid apps cost just $0.99 -- but less so in Android Market. "This leads to disparities whereby an app such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market, but is discounted to just $0.99 in the Apple App Store," Shepherd explained.
Price competitiveness has quickly become a hallmark at the Amazon Appstore, which accounted for 28 percent of the top 100 Android apps during January, according to Distimo. Like Apple, for example, Amazon sells the Monopoly app for just $0.99 and has even been giving away some paid Android apps for free -- despite having to compensate developers for the privilege.
Average price of the top 100 paid applications in the Amazon Appstore was 40 percent lower during January than in the Google Android Market, the mobile app metrics firm reported earlier this month.
"One of the reasons could be that Amazon is responsible for setting the price in its store," noted Hendrik Koekkoek, the author of Distimo's new report. "While all available paid apps are $3.13 in the Google Android Market, these applications are $2.77 in the Amazon Appstore."