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For some, developing on Android is more lucrative than iOS

Mar 08, 2011

Spacetime Studios' popular Pocket Legends 3D MMO game generates 30 to 50 percent more revenue on Android than its iOS counterpart.

Computerworld profiles an App developer who is bucking trends and changing the focus of their development from iOS to Google's (goog) Android.  Spacetime Studios' Pocket Legends was named one of the top five "groundbreaking" iOS games of 2010 by Mashable but the developer has ported the game to Android and seen even more success.

The conventional wisdom is that more money is to be made on the iOS platform, even though the sheer numbers of Android devices have been gaining considerable ground on the Apple (aapl) platform for some time.  Yesterday's comScore report had Android passing Blackberry for the lead in handsets accessing the Internet, at least in the US.

For Spacetime, that has translated into more revenue from Android.<!-- more -->

Spacetime says its daily user activity on Android is more than double its level on iOS in practically every measure. On Android, the game is downloaded about 9,000 times a day, according to Spacetime; on iOS, daily downloads are in the 3,000 to 4,000 range. Perhaps even more significant, Android users who have the app use it about three times more than their Apple counterparts.

Most of Spactimes' revenue comes from in App purchases, something that iOS has had for a while but Android is just now implementing.

Altogether, that translates into a big difference in revenue: Spacetime, which is supported largely by in-app purchases, says its Android users generate 30 to 50 percent more revenue than its iOS users do. This is despite the fact that Apple has a seamless in-app purchasing interface, whereas Android's built-in purchasing system isn't set to debut until sometime this spring.

Although it has been said ad nauseam, mobile could follow the old PC/Mac trend where the development money went into the dominant platform –PC.  Notable Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson recently told all of his clients to invest more in Android than in iOS.

I am encouraging every company we work with to invest as heavily in Android as they invest in iPhone/iPad. I actually think they should invest more because Android is still wide open and the iPhone/iPad marketplaces are leader board driven and the leaders have been established and it's hard to crack into the top ten anywhere.

In other industry news, a report today said that over 70% of all iOS and Android applications violated some part of an Open Source license.  That's another indication of how much of a frontier this industry is still in.

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