Mobile App Market Comparison

It’s been about 3 weeks since Deco Sketch went up for sale on the interwebs starting with the App Store for iOS and the Android Market. It’s now available on on Amazon’s App Market as well as Barne’s and Noble’s NOOK App market. I wanted to put together a quick review and rating from a independent developers point of view. This is more from the perspective of actually getting your app into the markets, getting it noticed and administrating it.

 

App Store – 8 out of 10
Units sold after 3 weeks in the store – 253


Pros:

  • Massive potential customer reach
  • Well designed and organized market
  • Limited devices to design for
  • Market content is vetted
  • Potential customers can more easily discover your app
  • Typically only dealing with 2 OS versions
  • Well designed and easy to use admin and stats


Cons:

  • $99/year
  • Complicated code signing
  • Difficult to load apps from non-Apple computer
  • Slow  app reviews and updates.
  • Can’t edit keywords after your app is published

 

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Android Market 7 out of 10
Units sold after 3 weeks in the store – 19


Pros:

  • Massive potential customer reach
  • Immediate deployment and updates.
  • No review process
  • Simple admin
  • One time cost of $25 to become a developer
  • Easy to use admin
  • Very detailed stats breaking down breaking down OS versions and devices your app has been installed on.


Cons:

  • Massive sea of apps to compete with that are not vetted
  • More difficult for users to discover your app
  • Statistically, Android users are more hesitant to spend money on apps
  • Competing with many free apps
  • Unlimited number of devices and OS versions to design for and support

 

——————– ——————– ——————–

 

Amazon Market – 6 out of 10
Units sold after 1 week in the store – 0


Pros:

  • Selling under the well known and trusted Amazon name
  • App has potential to reach the new Amazon Fire e-reader
  • Potential inclusion into the “Free App Say” deal creating massive exposure
  • $99 yearly fee waived for the first year
  • Simple admin


Cons:

  • AIR apps need to configured correctly for users without AIR installed. When deploying from CS5.5, the link pointing to the Amazon market that’s built into Adobe Flash is wrong. Your options are to fix it or compile with the native runtime included. Adobe is not providing this info, you’ll have to find it online. -10 points.
  • $99 a year after the first year
  • Slow review process.
  • Additional review process for Kindle Fire
  • Communication efforts from Amazon are lacking

 

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NOOK – 6 out of 10
Units sold after 1 week in the store – 10


Pros:

  • Availability on the NOOK platform, a new and alternative user-base
  • Less apps to compete with currently
  • No yearly cost
  • Simple admin


Cons:

  • Registration process required justifying why your app should be included in the NOOK App market as well as discussing your future plans to market both your business and your product.
  • Long login process to get to the admin. No cookies?
  • Little to no communications from Barnes & Noble. The only email I got from them was when my app was initially rejected. I was never told when it was in review or when it went live. I only found out by checking the admin daily.
  • Apps must be compiled to AIR 2.6 unless you included the captive runtime which, once again is not an easy process with Flash cS5.5 nor simple to find online.
  • Keywords apparently do not work as confirmed by Barnes & Noble
  • Slow review process.

 

To sum it up, the iOS App Store is your best bet. They were first out the door and have been at this for a while now so they’ve been able to fine-tune everything and make a solid experience. And of course, the device penetration helps.

So far, I’m least impressed by Amazon. I actually expected to gain more awareness with them than I did through Google. I suppose a week in the market is somewhat early to make a call though. Things could change if Deco Sketch gets on the “Free App a Day” promo, though I’ve read some controversy with that as well.

1 Comment

  1. Nice post Ben, good to see you’re having some success! Yes, Amazon will really come alive for you if you ever get featured as a FAAD product, which is probably inevitable (they don’t have a ton of apps to choose from), so just be patient, eventually they’ll send you an email out of the blue asking if you’d like to be featured.

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