The first question I get anytime we launch a new app is:
Why don’t you have an android version?
A similar, but less often asked question is:
Why don’t you have a Windows Phone version?
The answer is the same for both reasons, but They’re hte same reason.
Now most android users will request an app for Android citing the larger market share by Android. While sometimes states as a 60/40 split, according to this research, it can be as high as 76.5% (android) to 19.7% (ios).
If we were following the 80/20 rule and just looking at number of units, we should only be developing for android!
Not so fast.
That’s assuming that both sets of user will tend to spend the same amount of money as each other. As we all know, when you assume…you well…just don’t assume, ok?
Android users may download more apps, but they spend less money than iTunes users.
But that’s not just fake studies either, in our experience with Paleo (io) – a top 20 app in iTunes and ranked even higher in Google Play – we make about 3x the sales on our iTunes listing as we do on Google Play (even though we have a higher ranking in Google Play than iTunes).
Which brings me to the next point.
Apps Are Not Free To Make
As an app developer, you have to spend time & money on this concept that you have in your head to bring it to reality. The MVP on an app can cost anywhere between $2k and $20k to build and launch. It might not seem like much if you spend all your time raising VC money and have a $1M+ in the bank, but it can add up if you’re bootstrapping.
In fact, with every dollar you spend, there’s a very real cost (along with another equally as real, opportunity cost).
Just about the worst thing you can do from a bootstrapping angle is spend all this money on an app only to have no one to buy it.
The actual worst thing you can do is to build & release it on all markets only to find out that no one wants to buy it.
So, as an app developer, the best thing you can do for you an your business is to optimize your app and your launch strategy for whatever is going to get you a return the fastest while validating your app concept and being a very Hi-Def mockup that no one wants to use.
In short, that’s why we build for iOS first.
- We can make more money on it faster and recoup our investment.
- We can validate our assumptions, tweak bugs and fix UX and revenue models.
- We can use the recouped investment to build the second app.
That’s why we build iOS first. That’s why we don’t have an Android app :).
But rest assured, if the idea validates itself, there will be one soon.