Android Developer Ecology: Difficult to develop users are unwilling to pay

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Developer mobile Internet very

The Android platform has finally created its first million wealth story, sadly the protagonist is still the aesthetic fatigue of the "Angry Bird" (Angry Birds). At the end of October 2010, Rovio, the Finnish company that developed the game, expanded to Android with a hugely successful Apple iOS platform (including the iphone, ipod Touch, IPad), which earned 1 million dollars in the first month. It's been two years since the first Android phone was released. The first month of iOS on the million-dollar application has not been tested, but the story of the overnight wealth is not uncommon. The latest top Infinity Blade, which began selling on December 9, 2010, sold 4-day sales of the 5.99-dollar game to 200,000, with revenues exceeding 1.6 million dollars.

Such comparisons make Android somewhat awkward. In the summer of 2009, the two-month-old game that earned $250,000 on the iphone Trism landed on the Android platform with a staggering 3-month total download-just 500 times, earning a maximum of 1500 dollars. Even though the Angry Bird is now 2000 times times as successful as Trism on Android, 1 million dollars is still paler than the game's popularity on iOS and the earnings of around 10 million dollars.

So, a rather wonderful picture emerges. Anyone with a little bit of attention to tech news can feel the crazy growth of Android over the past year, with hot new machines moving from the design rooms of major handset makers to the assembly line, and Motorola even reviving. Everyone in the tech circle is talking about Android, and of course the craze is spreading to China. A succession of development conferences are overcrowded and passionate Chinese developers are eloquent on the stage. It's easy to create the illusion of another tens of billions of dollars in the industry, and back to reality, the lack of audit and management of the android harsh is a mess, and the top team can only earn some money outside the support of themselves.

"Domestic focus on Android application development team in fact very few, full-time to make a living very difficult, most of them are also a few platforms." "Zhu Heng, who has been a developer of Android since 2008, said to global entrepreneur, and questioned the million-dollar success of the Angry Birds that Google preaches about:" There shouldn't be so much advertising revenue floating around. ”

Zhu's team superdroid in the domestic Android developers. Many of the venture capitalists who are concerned with it are involved with this type of development team, but the 4 development teams that are focused on Android applications have not been invested. If hot money, which is the best at small and eager to find its way out in the Chinese market, chooses to wait and see-is this overly noisy industry really overvalued?


People's belief in Android can easily be explained by a series of numbers.

For example, Canalys of the UK Market Research Institute, Android smartphone shipments rose by as much as 886% and 1309% in the second and third quarter of 2010, now accounting for 25% of the global smartphone market, above the iphone's 17%. Andy Rubin, Android's father, recently said on Twitter that more than 300,000 Android devices are being activated every day, Rubin Apple's iOS device.

In the Chinese market, Android phones are still non-mainstream. A 300多万部 of China's Android phone Holdings, which many insiders recognise, is a far cry from Nokia's three-quarter sale of 60 million handsets in the Chinese market in 2010. But like the explosive growth it is experiencing around the world, Android phones are also thought to win the mass market in China and enter a fast-growing period in 2011. Founder Chen, who serves Android users and developers, told global entrepreneur that he expects 10 million Android handsets to be available in the Chinese market by the middle of 2011.

Apple's iOS platform is always the object of Android, and the hottest apps on iOS are always games. Over the past two years it has accumulated 1 billion of dollars to global developers, and the recent popular fencing-fighting game Infinity Blade has significantly increased the level of sophistication of the iOS game picture. But these are hard to replicate on Android platforms.

Compared with the Ios,android platform development is much less difficult, the operating efficiency is the bottleneck. The game program has a great amount of computation, which requires higher hardware and software support, such as system platform, CPU and memory. The Android phone's hardware configuration itself is inferior to the iphone and the specs are not uniform, and with the limitations of the programming language it uses, mature and simple games like "Angry Birds" are difficult to run, not to mention the development of real Android game gods.

The most frustrating thing is that even large, well-funded companies cannot solve these technical problems, and small development teams can only over-extravagant. To write a slick game app on the Android platform, you must have super-class programmers-all the games on top-configured handsets are all right, and once the hardware environment deteriorates, you must optimize the game code in order to run smoothly. Reaching Super-class programming level or spending 10 times times as much on iOS app development is too high a requirement for a weak Android game developer.

Even with good gaming and other apps, it's still harder to get Android users to pay. The Android platform is free of nearly 60% apps, and almost all fee applications have cracked versions or free, homogeneous apps, making users reluctant to pay. If you have to buy a paid application, the lack of payment channels or a very complex way of doing things can be enough to reassure users.

For China's Android developers, the most viable way to make money right now is to use ads for free, but that's the same future unpredictable. The amount of advertising is not within the control of the developer, and the advertising growth rate is far less than the application growth, which means that every ad non-transposition income is reduced. At the same time, the number of Android fees is too small to have a direct impact on display ads for free applications. Google's mobile advertising company AdMob statistics show that 85% of the application of the built-in ads are used by other applications-if there is not enough charging applications, free application ads from where?

Zhu Heng more than once to the Economist that the current advertising revenue on the Android platform has dropped very sharply: "We are now hanging of Google advertising revenue is only a fraction of the original." "Fewer people are placing Android ads in the Chinese market. The employees of the company, which provides mobile advertising optimization tools, found that an Android app had only 16 different ads for display.

The hardware and software environment is passable, the development difficulty is extremely high, the user is unwilling to pay, the advertisement resource is scarce, this is the Chinese Android developer in the infinite scenery behind the real survival situation. It is almost impossible to have a chance to get rich overnight, but there are still people with hope waiting for the myth. A lot of development teams can sustain it simply because the dollar is spent on the renminbi.

As a result, few independent teams, such as Superdroid, focus exclusively on Android development applications, and 80% of developers are serving large companies that need to lay out Android platforms. As long as the independent development team has the strength, most will also take account of iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows Phone and other platforms to gain more revenue and reduce risk.

The tough survival of the moment doesn't mean Android is a one-way street for developers. After all, it's still a wildly bullish platform for sales that have surpassed the iphone and will continue to soar.

Another good news is that major mobile device-related companies are beginning to emulate Apple's Ifund with Kleiner, offering Angel investments to potential Android developers. In China, Lenovo, which is rushing to move through Android to the mobile internet, has announced a "Le fund" with an initial amount of 100 million yuan, and is happy to help developers solve frequent piracy and payment issues (please refer to for details). In addition to equipment manufacturers, the domestic three major telecom operators are also actively pushing the Android platform, hoping to pull the user's data consumption.

The participation of big players is the Gospel of the developer, and it's obviously more likely to be a success than a solo fight. From another angle, this also means that "in China, individual developers do not have too much space, can only rely on channels, relying on the relationship with operators, relying on the manufacturers to engage in a built-in application of suction fees." Not relying on any of the above superdroid mainly for overseas market development applications, users pay to download and carry display ads is its main source of income. Zhu Heng is not willing to disclose specific income, only that the support of their own team absolutely no problem. To be sure, more products and more income than their own, it is likely to make more money than to work in large companies.

"Fundamental Crux."

Zhu Heng's "Chinese character" is the biggest difference developers face when it comes to Android and Apple's iOS platform-the latter is more like the traditional software industry, making a good game and selling it in the app Store; Android must be part of the industry chain. In fact, the most secure way for the application developer to make money in the country is to have it built into the phone. There are only two ways to do this: collaborate with the third party apps that play the Android application market channel with N-Multiple, Android and Jifeng networks, or with larger players in the upstream communications industry.

For most developers, it's not easy to get involved in the industry chain. Want to build into the phone must be the control of mobile phone hardware production and marketing channels, whether they do is aboveboard "licensed" or hidden in the underground "parallel" business-pay the "entry fee", such as a mobile phone first activated to pay two yuan.

This is where most Android app developers ' short boards are. They are far from Tencent on the mobile internet to do q-service as strong, can be in the mobile phone before the manufacturers to study how to integrate their products. This not only requires a killer product such as QQ, but also requires years of accumulation and huge sums of money. More importantly, these young people, who are surfacing with the internet and the more emerging mobile internet, are either dismissive, unwilling to associate with the "old-timers" of the communications industry, or simply do not understand what the world is like.

In essence, the communication industry that has matured for many years is a rather traditional industry. Its channel and upstream and downstream trust relationship is very different from the Internet, more close to the business model of the last century-Shanxi coal train a train to be shipped out, to wait for the sale of coal all the way to the coal mine settlement. Such a trust is not a two-day deal, and the traditional channels established by a clear division of labour are very robust and inflexible, and there will be no major changes in the years, and no intrusion into others ' territory. In the fast-changing Internet and mobile Internet, the rules of the game are rigid and even ridiculous. The Android development team on the market is basically doing it on other platforms. "It's a world that today is doing Windows Mobile apps that can do Android apps tomorrow." Cooperation in the calculation of days, no need to have the trust, but also can copy other people's ideas. Chen told the global entrepreneur. A typical example is that the United States for mobile devices, a new type of instant Messaging products Kik released less than two months, the domestic rapid emergence of two of the same kind of imitation products quick chat and rice chat.

More importantly, small players, like developers at the back of the industry chain, have no bargaining power in front of powerful handset makers and channels. Do the traditional communications industry do not care to talk to him about the cooperation of mobile Internet recruits how much money, how many users tomorrow, can make a few billion, only care about the product can be immediately, can not immediately find another one. By virtue of the "smart" mobile phone software platform Skye can make a quarterly income on the billion, to a large extent by the traditional handset manufacturers and mobile phone design company "Lidengkequ" Word-of-mouth (for details please check in "Skye:" The Middle Route ").

This simple and crude approach is one of the healthiest business practices to pay for a single delivery, and most of the mobile Internet operators who are accustomed to making money from future expectations are struggling to get it. Too many people think that as long as a few good ideas can easily succeed, with this naïve and thoughtless ideas desperately squeezed into the already mixed mobile internet world. Plus the Gold VC, the internet giant into the talent after the plundering, this is just beginning to emerge from the industry unusually impetuous. In Beijing and Shanghai, there are several mobile internet themed salons every month, and developers are so busy that they really make very little money because they can't get good products to the traditional communications industry.

In contrast, n-Net and Android, the type of mobile Internet application that links developers, end-users and upstream vendors, is more like a business. At the very least, they are trying to forge a strong alliance with the upstream communications industry at the same time as they flaunt their new sharpness. According to Chen, N-Net is closely related to MediaTek and can get each other's technical documents every week and build its own app store programs and software in the phones using MediaTek's chips. Now, n multiple nets, Android NET and Jifeng Network have already got venture capital.

"Mobile internet is still in the traditional communication industry chain. Android application channels and developers are at the end of the industry chain, to wait for the front of all the steps to be our turn. So the most important thing right now is to participate in the development and maturity of the whole industry chain. Chen said to the Economist. He believes that the Internet into the communications industry to merge into the new mobile Internet at least 3-5 years, now "should be used as a traditional industry mentality to do mobile internet."

Chen regards each of his departments as a commissary, asking everyone to know how much they have entered today, how much they have sold, how much money they have made, and how they have recovered their costs. "You have to know that everything in the schedule will come out on time, what features you need and when to release, but you don't have to think hard about how big and when the mobile internet market is going to be next year." "The entrepreneurial experience of the past few years has made him realize that he always looks at things in a macroscopic way, but he doesn't see anything at all," he said. Because for the vast majority of developers and entrepreneurs, the big trend is that they can not determine or even fundamentally affect things, but there are too many people hope that in the troubled waters.

In fact, it's not hard for Android developers to survive-throw out unrealistic fantasies and do what's right now, regardless of size, as long as it's good for the industrial chain. Unfortunately, this too simple truth is always buried in the noise and turmoil.

Android application channels and developers at the end of the industry chain, to wait until the front of all up before our turn. So the most important thing right now is to participate in the development and maturity of the whole industry chain.

Global Entrepreneur

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