BBVA API Market
When you talk about app stores for either free or paid products, there is hardly any mention of names other than Apple Store and Google Play. These stores practically have a monopoly of the downloads market and the gains from of a field that attracts a lot of talented developers and designers. Apple Store and Google Play are almost the only space where you can raise the profile of a development project.
The business intelligence company App Annie published a good retrospective of app stores in late 2015, mainly talking about Apple Store and Google Play. The most surprising bit of information refers to the fact that Google Play is growing exponentially in terms of volume of downloads but the same is not happening with its revenue (Apple Store made 75% more in revenue than Google’s store and exceeded the 70% mark reached in 2014).
Here are some of the reasons behind this great gap between downloads and revenue:
● Google Play’s growth derives from the irruption of emerging markets, for instance, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico.
● The growth of Apple Store’s revenue stems from China, the USA and Japan.
● Games are still at the top of the best sellers’ lists.
Even though Apple Store and Google Play clearly dominate the market, there are other app stores for developers. And there a lot of advantages for smartphone product developers if they distribute their applications in several stores. Developers are able to diversify their source of income, shore up a better brand image, expand their reach within the market and increase the influence of their company or startup on new customers.
These are the two most solid alternatives to the market leaders:
Opera Mobile Store (OMS) replaced Nokia Store in 2014 as the default app store for Nokia and Symbian smartphones. Symbian is the operating system of the company bought by Microsoft, an unsuccessful deal for the company headquartered in Redmond, Washington (USA). Developers don’t have to pay anything to add their applications to Opera Mobile Store. It’s completely free.
Here are some interesting characteristics for programmers:
● In addition to Symbian, this store supports all kinds of platforms: Android, iOS, Java, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.
● As for the rights and gains from selling the applications, the profit is divided between Opera Mobile Store and the developers depending on the type of platform. For programmers of applications on Android, Blackberry and Symbian, developers get 70% of copyright profits and Opera Mobile Store gets 30% after transaction costs and taxes are deducted. For Java, it’s 50/50.
● Opera Mobile Store operates in more than 196 countries with 200 million users/month on average and 40,000 developers.
Amazon Underground is an application store for Android devices where all apps are free. In fact, Amazon’s idea is to distribute free of charge more than 1000 applications and games that are paid for on Google Play. Any user can log in and download their selected application. To do so, they need to:
● Go to https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1003016361&isAUI=1. Enter their email address to receive a specific link.
● From the email, they need to go to Settings > Applications or Security on their phone (the options depend on the device). Then, select Unknown Sources and tap Ok to download.
● Next, the user must open Downloads from the folder My Files or Files and tap Amazon_App.apk to run the file when prompted.
● To finish, tap Open and the app store is launched. The menu on the left lists Apps & Games.
One of the advantages of Amazon Underground consists in the fact that every app is also compatible with Amazon’s Fire devices (tablets). Additionally, it’s available in English, Spanish, Italian, French and German. The store also has its own scoring and comments system.
Major issues for developers:
● Monetization model: it does not make sense for programmers to provide Amazon with free applications and games when they are paid for on Google Play. The reason is that the company has turned the product monetization model upside down – developers are paid based on the time their application is used rather than on whether or not it is downloaded. Developers waive their royalties from downloads but they are paid for every minute their app is used.
● Model of scale: it makes sense for the application to be free so that developers attract as many users as possible since they are paid for the time their applications are used.
● Focus on user experience and usability: Amazon wants developers to focus on user experience –the key to attracting and retaining attention– rather than monetization programs.
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