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Consistency in the Market
Since making the switch from iOS to Android I have been experiencing two reoccurring issues centered around the application marketplace, the pricing. This is not to say that I don't love to support my favorite developers or pay for apps, I love supporting good applications and developers who care. However, the market place's conversion of currency seems to be …off.
1. With the apple app store you get clear cut prices based on your currency, 99 cents, $1.99, $2.99 and so on, it has a perfect consistency, so that when I look at my bank statement, I know that such small charges are 100% legitimate because of the price point. But with certain applications coming out to be some ridiculous numbers such as $1.07, $1.44, $2.93, $2.16 or even $3.15 it seems very strange to see these (what seems to me, the consumer) randomly prices applications. I would rather see Google put stricter limits on what the applications would cost (based on currency), not so that I can pay less, but for these applications can be consistent. I've told plenty of people to go get, what I believe to be a great application, when they ask for the price of the application and I have to tell them that it cost $2.37 (or some random crap like that) they tend to respond in a negative way. Plain and simple the consumer wants to hear a number that they connect to in their minds. Why do you think phones cost $199 or $299 on contract, because the consumer is used to this kind of price point.
2. The second problem that I have has got to be with the consistency of certain applications. One application that is amazing but has an ever changing price point is Cut the Rope. For the past week I've seen cut the rope go from 99 cents to $1.00 to 1.03 and back to 99 cents and the price point seems to change based on if I'm using the web market or the market on my phone. In fact, I can check Cut the Rope right now on the web market and it is $1.01 while checking on my phone it is 99 cents. The couple of cents differential doesn't really matter too much but it’s the very small details that make Android weird to some consumers in comparison to iOS. Now is this something that will make someone leave Android, absolutely not, but I think it’s something interesting to think about. I've spoken to over 50 (normal) Android users, most likely people who aren't part of these forums, and they all seem to agree that this is a weird thing that they notice about Android, the lack of consistency on the platform. Now this could be the fact that manufacturers create their own skin for Android and take away the vanilla experience in some parts and leave the vanilla experience in others, or it could be rooted in the core of the platform itself. Even with Google based applications there never seems to be something really consistent with the look, feel, and functionality of each application.
I want to know what you think. Does the lack of consistency in the market hurt the consumer opinion on Android? Can Google fix this by limiting price points of applications?