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Monday, July 05, 2010, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Android struggling to mimic iPhone's pay-to-own marketplace?

While Apple's App Store has helped developers generate over $1 billion in sales in just 24 months, Google's fledgeling Android marketplace doesn't yet enjoy the same flavor of broad e-commerce, leaving it comprised largely of freebees.

That's according to a new report from analytics firm Distimo, which found that Google'sAndroid market has the largest percentage of free applications by far — at 57% — of all the major mobile application stores on the internet, or more than double that of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPad (28%).

"The large share of free applications in Google Android Market may be influenced by developers from only 9 countries being able to distribute paid applications in Google Android Market, and users from only 13 countries being able to download paid applications (out of the 46 countries where Google Android Market is available)," the report explains.

Additionally, Distimo pointed out that consumers need to register for a Google Checkout account in most locations in order to download paid applications in Google Android Market. By comparison, Apple ties App Store downloads to iTunes Store accounts, which already exceed 125 million worldwide.

More generally, Distimo revealed that more than 50% of applications are priced below or equal to $2.00 in all of the electronic app stores, with the exception of BlackBerry App World and Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

App Stores


"Interestingly, the percentage of applications priced $0.99 ($0 - $1) is much higher in the Apple App Store for iPhone than in the Apple App Store for iPad," the firm said. "The percentage of applications priced $1.99 ($1 - $2) is similar between these two stores, while the percentage of applications priced higher than $3.00 and below or equal to $10.00 is higher in the Apple App Store for iPad than in the Apple App Store for iPhone."

App Stores


Other findings from the Distimo June 2010 report include: 
  • In the competitive e-reader market, both the iBooks application by Apple, Inc. and the Kindle application by Amazon.com are ranked among the 10 most popular free applications in the Apple App Store for iPad. Apple's application is ranked number one however, and Amazon's application in ranked number ten.
  • The average price of all paid applications and the 100 most popular paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPad ($4.65) is higher than in the Apple App Store for iPhone ($4.01). However, the average price of the 100 top grossing applications is higher on the Apple App Store for iPhone. 
  • Twitter, Inc. published their native application in the Apple App Store and Google Android Market, becoming the monthly number 10 free application in the Apple App Store for iPhone, and the number 6 free application in Google Android Market.
  • Nine out of the ten most popular free applications and eight out of the ten most popular paid applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone are in the Games category. 
  • Five out of the ten most popular free applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile are published by Microsoft Corporation.