Why Apps Are On iPhone First And Android Second

Ryan Matzner, fuelledRyan Matzner, fuelled Director

Photo: rdm/Twitter

Despite its dominance in market share, Android is still the second option for big companies developing applications, says Ryan Matzner.Matzner is the director of fuelled, an app design and development company. One thing he almost never hears from his clients is that they’d like to start out with an Android app.

“I can only think of one time when a client said they wanted to go Android first and then iPhone,” Matzner told us. “It’s pretty much never the case.”

fuelled deals with hundreds of clients each month, producing apps for some big name companies like Conde Naste, Urban Daddy and American Express.

While the company does have both iOS and Android developers on staff, clients usually only turn to Android after they’ve come out with a successful iPhone app, or if they want to release a new app on the two platforms simultaneously. For those companies with budgets that require them to decide between one or the other, iOS always wins out.

According to Matzner, there are three big reasons why his company’s clients – and app makers in general – consistently look to launch an iPhone app instead of, or at least before, releasing an Android app.

  • iPhone users are willing to spend more money on apps. “The user base on the iPhone tends to be more willing to spend money on apps. Part of it is probably do to affluence, and part of it is just that iTunes seamlessly integrates with credit cards more. That one click buy is awesome.”
  • iPhone users also tend to be early adopters of new applications. “They are a more engaging user base, and more receptive to trying new things. If you are going to be on one platform, you want to be where the early adopters are.”
  • Android apps take more time and money to develop. “We put in 120% of the hours that go into an iPhone app to make an Android app, so the cost is higher.”

In short, Matzner says that companies end up paying more money to develop an Android app that likely reaches fewer people who are willing to try it and buy it than would if the app were on the iPhone. That’s not exactly a winning strategy.

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