Linked by David Adams on Thu 30th Sep 2010 20:37 UTC, submitted by fran
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Pirating Android apps is a long-standing problem. But it seems to be getting worse, even as Google begins to respond much more aggressively. The dilemma: protecting developers' investments, and revenue stream, while keeping an open platform.
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It ain't about market share
by PlunderBunny on Thu 30th Sep 2010 20:53 UTC
PlunderBunny
Member since:
2009-02-19

This is a good example of why the upcoming mobile OS wars won't be like Apple vs Microsoft again - raw market share isn't going to be the deciding factor. If you're a developer and you're faced with choosing between an OS with 70% market share and 90% piracy rates vs an OS with 30% market share and 1% piracy rates, you're going to choose the latter, assuming all other things are equal. (Obviously these numbers are an exaggeration for effect.)

Edited 2010-09-30 21:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: It ain't about market share
by unoengborg on Thu 30th Sep 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "It ain't about market share"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a good example of why the upcoming mobile OS wars won't be like Apple vs Microsoft again - raw market share isn't going to be the deciding factor. If you're a developer and you're faced with choosing between an OS with 70% market share and 90% piracy rates vs an OS with 30% market share and 1% piracy rates, you're going to choose the latter, assuming all other things are equal. (Obviously these numbers are an exaggeration for effect.)



It doesn't matter what the piracy rate is. What matters is if some people actually buy your software. A pirated copy is not the same thing as a lost sale.

Reply Score: 4

PlunderBunny Member since:
2009-02-19

Sure, but is a developer going to base their decision on that?

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, that would be silly.

How about you release your app on both platforms, see how much revenue you get from each, and decide from that?

requires more work to write for both platforms initially, but you can't argue with the results.

Reply Score: 3

PlunderBunny Member since:
2009-02-19

I guess, on further reflection, they may well base their decision on what the actual purchase rate is - at the end of the day, which platform do they make the most money from?

Edited 2010-10-01 00:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It doesn't matter what the piracy rate is.

Tell that to companies that won't release on pc because the piracy rate is too high.


A pirated copy is not the same thing as a lost sale.

Some of them are lost sales.

Unless you want to tell me that the pirates who can afford monthly $75 plans would never have bought any of those $1 games.

You can make all the excuses you want but developers can see which platforms have high piracy rates and which do not.

But making excuses for Android pirates is probably the worst since there is an upfront investment required and the games are only a freaking dollar.

Reply Score: 2

The other side of the coin
by coreyography on Fri 1st Oct 2010 01:20 UTC
coreyography
Member since:
2009-03-06

One of the most idiotic things about Google's licensing is that everything is tied to your Gmail account. I switched Gmail accounts after getting an Android phone recently, when the account I was using started getting too much email traffic. Guess what -- none of my licenses worked after that.

Most of the vendors were willing to relicense me, but it was still a PitA.

However, I also can't believe people even bother to pirate these apps. I don't think I've paid over $5 US for one.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The other side of the coin
by vodoomoth on Fri 1st Oct 2010 15:00 UTC in reply to "The other side of the coin"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

However, I also can't believe people even bother to pirate these apps. I don't think I've paid over $5 US for one.

Ditto here. That's so lame. I can understand people not being able to afford the likes of Photoshop or AutoCAD but a $1.99 app?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The other side of the coin
by WorknMan on Fri 1st Oct 2010 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: The other side of the coin"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Ditto here. That's so lame. I can understand people not being able to afford the likes of Photoshop or AutoCAD but a $1.99 app?


Yeah, kinda lays waste to the myth that people would stop pirating if stuff was affordable. I mean, how much more affordable can you get than < $5 Android apps?

Also, from the article:

“Over the course of 90 days, the app was installed a total of 8,659 times. Of those installations only 2,831 were legitimate purchases, representing an overall piracy rate of over 67%. For my app, the largest contributor to piracy, by far, is the United States providing 4,054 or about 70% of all pirated installations of Screebl Pro.” The company concluded that of the nearly 6,000 pirated downloads, only 14% were from countries lacking access to the Android Market.


And no more of this 'the people who are pirating Android apps are in countries where the marketplace isn't available' bullshit either.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And no more of this 'the people who are pirating Android apps are in countries where the marketplace isn't available' bullshit either.


Oh, please! I live in a country without access to paid apps, but when I'm on my WiFi at home my traffic is identified as originating from Germany and at work it's identified as originating from UK.

Reply Score: 3

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

I think that pirating a $.99 app on a mobile device (iOS and Android) is more about the hassle than the actual price. Buying an app on an 'App Store' requires you to have an account with a credit card. I know plenty of people who own iPhones and iPod touches and haven't bothered to setup their account with their credit card. And there are also plenty of people without a credit card, especially in the 15-25 demographic.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Well that sounds like the lamest excuse for piracy so far.

It takes less than 10 minutes to setup an account and if you don't have credit card then you can use paypal or buy a prepaid account at the store.

Anyone who can afford an iphone can afford $1 apps, end of story. This is just another case of people pirating because they don't want to pay. It's freaking lame and shouldn't be excused.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Actually, they cannot use Paypal either. At least here in France, setting up a bank account (required for Paypal) requires being 18 or older.

The prepaid system is only valid for Apple, though it's a very valid point when Apple is concerned. We're in 2010, and there's still no simple and standardized way to buy online cash.

Reply Score: 3

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

It obviously isn't an excuse, but I find it more believable than refusing to buy an app for what is essentially couch change.

I don't have any experience with Android, but as far as I know PayPal is not an option for iOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The other side of the coin
by JAlexoid on Sat 2nd Oct 2010 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE: The other side of the coin"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Ditto here. That's so lame. I can understand people not being able to afford the likes of Photoshop or AutoCAD but a $1.99 app?

What about, when you don't have an option to buy? Like it's with most countries these days...
Android Market's paid apps are not available everywhere....

Granted, that is not a reason to pirate. But even as an Android developer, I can understand the frustration for people that are urged to buy a "pro" version and can't because Market is not accessible in their countries...

Edited 2010-10-02 18:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Is anyone actually surprised by this?
by mrhasbean on Fri 1st Oct 2010 08:54 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Come on really, this was ALWAYS going to be the case - a blind man on a galloping horse could see this one coming...

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Fri 1st Oct 2010 15:41 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

There are a lot of people who have no problem pirating. I think the internet acts like a sort of morality proxy, so they don't feel bad about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bounty
by Morgan on Mon 4th Oct 2010 01:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Regarding "piracy" itself, I find it quite interesting that many of the people my age (I'm 33) that I interact with on a daily basis have migrated from obtaining music illegally via Napster or Kazaa 10 years ago, to buying all their downloaded music from iTunes or Amazon today.

And these aren't techies for the most part; just your average Joe Citizens who somehow got steered in the direction of the higher moral standard. I never say anything to them about it though; I just sit back and enjoy seeing my coworkers and friends do the right thing.

As for my own stance on illegally obtaining music and software: I've done it in the past for specific reasons. With music, it was more often than not to sample the entire album before buying. If I didn't like it, I didn't buy it and I deleted what I downloaded (why keep something unwanted?). If I did like it, I'd try first to buy it from the artist's website -- most of what I listen to is indie or self produced anyway -- and if that wasn't possible I'd try Amazon, eMusic or Magnatune. If there was simply no way to buy it (i.e. it was published to the net for free by the artist, or it was a demo that never had an official release) I'd still try to find a way to compensate the band, or at the very least tell them I loved their music. If I really liked them and especially if they were just starting out, I'd buy both a digital and physical copy if available. I just recently did that with the band Versant.

As for software, again it was usually to check out the fully functioning package to ensure it was a necessary purchase, and if so I forked over the cash once I was satisfied with the results. I am leery of subscription-based software packages though; I've only done that model a couple of times and it just never seemed worth a yearly fee to keep the software activated.

Nowadays most of my needs are met by open source software and freeware, and my ultimate goal is the exclusive use of Free Software. I'm almost there, I just need to shake this OS X addiction. Come on Haiku, I believe in you! ;)

Edited 2010-10-04 01:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2