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Which has more benefits when selling through mobile app stores: free or paid?

I'm working on a game, and I'm hoping to distribute it through the Android and/or Apple stores. The big decision that I have to make: do I charge money for the game? Or do I put ads in it? I really hate advertising, so I'd prefer not to subject my users to it, but I'll do it if that's the only way to make money.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience distributing mobile apps. Also, from regular users of the Apple and Android stores; how easy do they make it for you to drop $0.99 on something?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp May 4 '11 at 18:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

For Best , Relevant,Recent ask this on gamedev.stackexchange.com –  Aditya P May 4 '11 at 16:02
@AdityaGameProgrammer Aren't marketing/pricing questions off-topic there? –  Matthew Read May 4 '11 at 16:09
This question is on-topic here, and it is on-topic on GameDev.SE. However, your question is pretty general to games: on GameDev.SE, they're going to to want more detail. So if you want to provide more detail in hopes of making it interesting there, that's fine, but as it is now I'm going to leave it here. –  user8 May 4 '11 at 16:48
And could apply to any mobile app really, game or not. –  mezmo May 4 '11 at 17:24
Bear in mind that the Android and Apple stores are very different markets. Any good answers will address that difference. –  jhocking May 4 '11 at 17:42

2 Answers 2

Android users don't buy apps. That market for android paid apps is about 6% of the market for iPhone apps. Selling apps on Android is also more of a hassle. Ad supported is the better way to go on Android. On iPhone do both, make a ad supported Lite version and a full version for $0.99.

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when you want to expand on your answer due to a prompt from a comment, edit your answer to include the new information. I've gone ahead and done that with the previous request for a source. –  user8 May 4 '11 at 16:50
I'm interested as I'm planning to start selling apps on Android soon, how is selling on Android more of a hassle? Especially in comparison to the approval process on IOS. I also refute your first point, I've bought at least a dozen apps for my Droid...though I'll admit I might be the exception that proves the rule. –  mezmo May 4 '11 at 17:23
All the post in the link says is that the Android paid market is significantly smaller than the Apple paid market. An indication of whether Android users buy more or fewer apps than their counterparts would also compare market sizes, conversion rates, or something similar. –  Dave DuPlantis May 4 '11 at 18:02
@Dave: True, but you can find that data pretty easily. I'm looking at report right now that has Apple at 25%, and Android at 33% (as of February 2011). When you consider that with the above revenue figures... yeah, that says "Android users don't buy apps". –  Mike Baranczak May 4 '11 at 21:49

I've never sold an app, but why not take a look at the most popular Android app?

Angry Birds has a paid version in the Apple store, and a free ad-supported version in the Android Market and the Amazon Android app store. They've also recently added paid versions without ads to the Amazon Android app store. (Many Android developers take this route of having two versions, one paid and one free with ads).

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