Windows Phone Marketplace vs iOS App Store: App Price Distribution

App Store Price Distribution

Yesterday, the Windows Phone app store passed the 100,000 app milestone, prompting VentureBeat to publish some figures on the Marketplace. I was surprised not only by the high percentage of free apps (66%), but the relatively low price point of all apps: 62% of apps sell for $0.99 and 81% of all paid apps sell for less than $3. I spent the afternoon digging for similar numbers for the granddaddy of all app stores, and found some interesting stats via 148Apps.biz. Check out the comparison below.

Windows Phone Marketplace Price Distribution

The App Store is similar in to the Windows Phone Marketplace in that 78% of paid apps sell for less than $3 each. However, there are some notable gaps in pricing. For example, only 48% of App Store apps sell for $0.99, compared to $62 in the marketplace. In addition, while two-thirds of Marketplace apps are free, the number is slightly less than half (48%) in the App Store.

What does this mean? Windows Phone developers feel less confidant charging, or charging more for apps compared to their iOS counterparts. If the Marketplace follows App Store growth trends, prices may drop even farther in the next year.

App Store Price Distribution (with Free Apps)

App Store Price Distribution May 2011

While attempting to vet the 148Apps numbers, I stumbled across an infographic they published May of last year when the App Store hit 500,000 apps. I make no claims as to 148Apps’ accuracy, but having the two data sets provides a useful point of reference.

What stands out? A sharp decline in the price and percentage of paid apps. The total number of free iOS apps has doubled in the past year, with its share of the total app pie increasing 12% from a 36% share in May 2011. At the same time, the ratio of $0.99 apps have dropped 4%, while $1.99 apps have dropped 2%. And the average app price of iOS apps? Down to $1.99 from $3.64 from last year.

Despite the disparity in size, it appears there’s a clear trend towards free or cheaper in both the App Store and the Windows Phone Marketplace. What isn’t clear is if the Marketplace’s smaller sample size has allowed it to hit a price floor quicker, or if app prices will continue to nose dive in the next year. What’s freer than free? I guess we’ll see.

About the author

Douglas Soltys

Douglas is the former Editor-In-Chief of Inside BlackBerry, BlackBerry Cool, and QuicklyBored, which he launched as a mobile gaming industry site. His knowledge of mobile and social media led him to a job at RIM (BlackBerry), where he got to travel the world and do lots of cool things. He is often left-handed, but rarely sinister.

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