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57% of Android apps are free -- iPhone apps: only 27%

In a report published last week it became painfully apparent just how different the iOS and Android ecosystems are. Not only does Android have significantly more free apps than either the iPhone or iPad, but paid apps also cost less on Android.

57% of all Android Market apps are free, compared to 28% of the iPhone App Store and just 23% for the iPad. Only the Windows Marketplace has less free apps than the iPad -- but had anyone even heard of the Windows Marketplace before now? The Palm App Catalog is in second place with 34% free apps. No other smartphone platform gets above 30% (check out the damning graph above!)

As for an average paid app price, the results are equally interesting. BlackBerry App World, no doubt thanks to its large corporate clientele, lands at the top with a rather costly $6.97! Next is Windows Marketplace ($5.96), followed by iPad ($4.65) and iPhone ($4.01). Android apps averaged out at just $3.29 -- and if you want your apps under $3, the Nokia and Palm stores are your best bet!

But why is there such a disparity? TechCrunch, as usual, simply parrots the figures and pastes some pretty graphs. It's for two reasons, I think:

iPhone and iPad owners are paying the usual 'exclusivity' tax. It costs more to fix a Porsche than a Ford.

2) Android has a wildly different developer ecosystem and pathos. Android, by virtue of being an open source platform, will see a lot more open source apps. Openness breeds yet more openness!
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Tags: android, app store, apple, AppStore, comparison, google, ipad, iphone, market, marketplace, mobile, report, smartphone