According to a report from Flurry Analytics, 90 percent of all iOS apps available in the App Store are free. Flurry’s data is collected from the 350,000 apps that use its analytics platform. The company states that since 2010, the number of free apps in the App Store has stayed between 80 and 84 percent, but this year the number has gone way up.
Many companies, particularly software companies, have free apps that are lighter ad-supported versions of a paid app or product they sell, with less functionality. Generally companies offering these free apps are hoping that they will entice users to buy the paid version for more advanced functionality.
The report states that “People want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible.”
Some users are concerned that a free ad-supported app may allow access to their data that they don’t want. With a paid app, users have more control and can demand a certain value for their product
Flurry’s report also revealed that many developers who originally sold their app decided to make their app free after doing A/B pricing experiments. In 2010, 65 percent of price-tested apps were free. As of April 2013, that number is up to 80 percent.
For users of both Android and Apple devices, the average price of an app as of April of this year was $0.06 on Android, $0.19 for iPhone apps, and $0.50 for iPad apps.