O’Reilly sells apps in both the iPhone App Store and the Android Market. Most apps (for now) are just app presentations of our ebooks, built using ereader apps popular on each platform (Stanza on iPhone, Aldiko on Android).
That means many of our apps are essentially the same on each platform, so any difference in sales can be at somewhat correlated to the relative market share of each device/market. It should be no surprise that we sell more apps on the iPhone than in the Android market.
But what was surprising about a recent look at the data was just how quickly the Android sales are growing relative to iPhone. The last time I checked about two months ago, Android apps were tracking at about 10% of iPhone sales for the same title. But a look at the past two weeks of sales across 200 apps available on both platforms shows a striking uptick in Android share, to 22%:
I was an early skeptic of Android, clouded by how much I love my iPhone. But I’ve since come around, and though I still believe iPhone will retain its top spot among smartphones, the market and platform from all of those Android devices put together will be a very big story in 2010 (especially if Google makes some sorely needed improvements to the Market — a 30-character limit on app titles? Really? And how about a non-Android Web view of the market — Google of all companies should know the importance of linking).