App developers have it hard enough on the iPhone; on Android, they’ve got to keep prices just as low, and sell to a much smaller audience. So how are some of them coping? By packing up and leaving, like Gameloft.
Finance director for the company, Alexandre de Rochefort, says that even a company that’s done extremely well on the iPhone can have trouble breaking even on Google phones:
We have significantly cut our investment in Android platform, just like … many others … [The Android Market]is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue.
That’s the essence of the App Effect: High volume, customer pressure and nudging from Apple drive iPhone app prices down break-even levels, which gives app developers two options. They can either charge higher prices for equivalent apps on Android, for which they will be crucified by customers, or they can match their prices and hope that enough of Android’s comparatively small, fragmented user base just happens to stumble across said app in the barely navigable App Market. An attractive business proposition, I say!
So what needs to happen? Either Android adoption grows (which it’s doing), the App Market gets much easier to navigate (a desktop app, maybe?), or you know, both. [Reuters]