Or, in other words, piracy isn’t going anywhere. soon.
No wonder Android is also infested with pirates. But how serious is the problem? What impact does this have on the atmosphere of the application? And how does this affect the thinking of application developers? Unfortunately, the situation does not look so good.
Android app piracy rampant
Up until last month, the discussion of mobile piracy was a relatively quiet hum, punctuated by sporadic grumblings throughout the blogosphere. But when UsTwo wrote up some misleading statistics about piracy rates in their apps, the discussion resurfaced.
Does this mean that Android suffers from 95% piracy? Not really. UsTwo acknowledged that this figure was not entirely accurate, as a single purchase can often translate into multiple installs (e.g. across multiple devices). Also, the numbers are not adjusted for several «free download» campaigns they have run in the past.
But we must not forget that pirates on Android have been a serious problem for many years. According to the Android Authority, only 10% of the apps that were downloaded in 2012 were actually purchased, indicating that the piracy rate was indeed somewhere around 90% — even then.
Regardless of the exact number, one thing is certain: Android piracy is massive.
Some may remember the occasion Dead Trigger a mobile game that debuted at $0.99 on Android and iOS. After such an incredibly high level of piracy, the developers had no choice but to make the Android version free.
How high is «incredibly high»? They didn’t provide any numbers so we can’t know for sure, but it was significant enough to cause a change in their revenue model.
And in 2013, a SlashGear report showed a 95 percent piracy rate for Android games, while the iOS counterpart in the same games showed a 5 percent piracy rate. To be honest, this is data from a single developer, and it’s probably not representative of the entire industry, but it’s data that shows just how big the difference is.
That being said, with so many sources claiming that pirates make up around 90-95% of their user base, you have to wonder if these numbers point to a broader trend.
Why is piracy so common on Android?
Because it’s free!
While this is definitely true, it doesn’t explain why Android users are much more likely to use pirated apps than iOS users. Is there something in Android that makes piracy easier? Or worse, is there an aspect that perhaps even encourages piracy?
For most, the answer is Yes!