According to the latest data from mobile analytics firm Flurry, the average app price has fallen significantly over the past four years while the number of free and ad-supported titles is growing all the time.
The research, published on Thursday shows that rather than charging a
premium, over the past four years app developers have constantly lowered the prices of their titles to the point where many are eventually offered for free or with advertising.
In 2010, 84 percent of apps across the two major smartphone platforms were free or used advertising to support costs, and despite a small wobble in 2012 when the number briefly dropped to 80 percent, as of April this year, 90 percent of all apps are now free.
However, that means that 10 percent of all apps are not free and of that group, iPad-optimized titles are the most costly -- average price $0.50, followed by iPhone/iPod Touch apps (average price $0.19) with Android apps -- average price -- $0.06 -- the cheapest.
Flurry also notes that a number of app developers (but by no means all developers) used price testing tools to see how responsive users were to titles when offered at different price points. The research shows that 84 percent of apps that were tested went free as a result.
All of which leads Flurry to conclude that the average price of apps will continue to fall as developers look to revenues generated from advertising -- so users had better like using apps that are full of static and video promotions -- and that within gaming the model will move towards free to play and supported by in-app purchases.
So, for consumers that love apps but hate ads, make sure that smartphone and tablet restrictions and settings are up to date and never download an app that asks for permission to share information -- such as your location -- or that asks for certain types of access -- such as to your contacts book or camera -- unless you're entirely certain that the title is reputable and it's an app that really needs this level of permission in order to function properly.