back to article Windows Phone devs earn double what poor Android devs pocket

Windows mobile developers need every crumb of comfort they can muster – so mobile ad network InMobi has offered a few. InMobi’s annual developer survey suggests that Windows Phone devs pocket twice the monthly revenue of Android developers. There might be far fewer users of the platform, but there is less competition in the …

  1. Cheesenough

    Windows Mobile surprising...nah! Symbian is surprising.

    There's some 5% of Symbian devs out there, that will be doing more Symbian development?

  2. To Mars in Man Bras!


    *"...The average WinPho developer took home an average of $11,400 gross per month, with 49 per cent grossing at least $10,000. That compares to $8,100 for iOS developers, and $4,900 for Android developers..."*

    If those figures represent true averages then I reckon most of us are in the wrong line of work —especially given the number of "I had a top-selling app and only made $RISIBLE-AMOUNT in 6 months" articles which abound.

    Unfortunately, I suspect those averages were calculated from within a smaller and more successful sample, than the language used suggests.

    1. John Mangan

      Re: Average?

      Upvote for your use of 'risible' - not seen frequently enough.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Average?

      I suspect those averages come out of averaging the <1% of developers that make tens of millions with the >99% of developers that make peanuts.

    4. Martin

      Re: Average?

      Nah - doesn't need to be. The "average" is probably a mean, which is a very poor average to use for something like this.

      It's like the "average bonus" figure that's given for an Investment Bank every year. It's normally something ridiculously huge, but it's massively skewed by a very few very high bonuses - and 99% of the people who get a bonus get below the average.

      Similarly, a few ultra-successful apps (Flappy Birds being one such example) skew the average figure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Average?

        "Nah - doesn't need to be. The "average" is probably a mean, which is a very poor average to use for something like this."

        The average is always the mean. The most basic statistical measurements for a population are the mode, median and mean and the standard deviation.

        The mean is pretty useless without either the mode and median or the standard deviation. Estate agents love average London house prices because that way the Candy brothers' £65 million flats drag up the apparent price of your one bed ex council flat in Tower Hamlets. It's the same effect here.

        But the quote of $10000 being exceeded by 49% puts that $10000 as close to the median, and gives some context.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Average?

      I think the difference is there are more junk apps on Android dragging the figures down for everyone else.

      Combined with the fact I can only presume many android dev's make their money by selling the data they rip from you phone, not from ads. After all does a flashlight app really need access to your phone book and location in order to work?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Average?

      The 49% figure is around the median, which suggests average is not too bad as a measure in this case. (Why not 50% used for the median - statistical illiteracy I guess, the desire to get the nice $10000 rather than a widely used measure).

      What we don't know is costs. How much do they have to spend on promotion?

      Also we don't know where the developers are based. If a lot of Android developers are in developing countries and a lot of iOS and WP developers are in the US, that might go some way to explain the discrepancy.

      Interesting but raises a whole lot of new questions.

    7. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Average? Yes Average, but Median is what matters here.

      According to the report itself, 51% of Windows Phone devs take in less than $1000 a month, so that puts the median pretty much at $1,000.

      The $1000 mark comes up at 40th percentile for iOS devs, and 55th for Android. iOS has the most equal distribution of income bands (if we can call any app store's payout distribution "equal"),

      Also, much as I'd like to dream about taking in five figures a month, the rest of the report makes it clear that earning this kind of revenue is the purview of the medium and large app studios, not the one-person developers. (73% of sole developers earned less than $1000 a month)

      I'd have loved to see a the surveyors capture a "$0-$100 per month" revenue band, because my suspicion is that this would have covered 25% of all paid-app developers.

      My gut feeling for the difference in average revenues is that Android an iOS attract more glorious failures, whereas Windows Phone is a way of extending the reach of an already successful product: publishers only bring a title to Windows Phone once it has proved that it can earn high revenues.

    8. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Average?

      Unfortunately, I suspect those averages were calculated from within a smaller and more successful sample, than the language used suggests.

      That is indeed the case - the sample is based on developers which have infested their app with the "monetization" provided by the ad network which authored the report. So people who decided to honestly earn a living by making their app sell for X $$ need not apply.

  3. Pig Dog Bay


    There's very little money to be made in apps in my experience, where on earth do these average earnings per month come from? Please let me know, I must be missing out!

    These days I write apps for other people, like the adage about Gold Rushes, better to sell the picks and shovels.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BS

      "Youtubers" earn on average $33,333,333

      You: $0

      Me: $0

      Pew pie die (or whatever his name is): $100,000,000

      1. asdf

        Re: BS

        @AC: exactly usually don't upvote ACs but here ya go.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Windows Phone devs earn double what poor Android devs pocket"

    People who write COBOL for mainframes probably earn more than your average Java developer.

    That doesn't mean that supporting a dead platform is everyone's preferred career choice.

  5. Joerg

    Just Microsoft b*ll and nothing else.

    Just fake numbers. Fake stats. Nothing else.

    Microsoft is so desperate at trying to save that mess of a Windows8.x=10 and WindowsPhone with the atrocious childish Metro/ModernUI that they keep lying and telling b*ll. Now they want to trick developers into believing that they would earn a lot more on the dead WindowsPhone crap that Microsoft is soon going to rename as SurfacePhone. With so few customers it is not that they are all buying whatever expensive crap a developer publishes on the Microsoft crap store. Anyone really believing these lies must be retarded.

    WindowsPhone is dead. And Windows8.2=10 sucks too. The Windows Store is a shame as well.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Just Microsoft b*ll and nothing else.

      It's a survey. They probably surveyed a disproportionate number of WP developers employed in Redmond who work on salary. Which makes sense actually, as elsewhere they're as rare as albino unicorns.

  6. SecretSonOfHG

    A lot of questions about this data

    Not sure (and don't want to register) if these two questions are addressed in the report, but my feeling is that they can skew the figures a lot.

    - Is the data weighted by number of developers in each platform? the bulk of the Play Store is made up of applications whose developers have little, if any income from them. But Android's barrier of entry for developers is very low compared with iOS (you have to own Apple HW plus the iStore fee) or Windows (you need a Windows license plus MSDN/whatever) thus to some degree you need a lower income to get the same revenue out of Android.

    - How they split the revenue of developers working on multiple platforms: the highest selling apps are usually developed for all platforms, and likely have the largest sales figures in WP.

  7. Jess

    If it is actually good because it is a niche market with no competition, then I suspect if many developers move to it, perhaps as a result of this article, that will cease to be the case.

  8. RyokuMas
    Thumb Up

    Tallies with my experiences...

    For every individual mobile game I've launched on multiple platforms, the Windows Phone version has done better than iOS and Android.

    ... probably easier to be a fish in a smaller pond where you're a one-man studio.

  9. ratfox

    Sounds reasonable, but sampling is everything

    I assume that all the amateurs and hobbyists who are coding an app or two for fun are mostly coding it for Android, since they are more likely to have an Android in the first place. On the other hand, people who develop anything for Windows are more likely to be professionals who fully intend to make real money out of it.

    You would probably get similar results comparing say Python vs. Cobol developers. People who code in Python are dime-a-dozen and go from professional to high-schoolers, but nobody codes in Cobol unless they have somebody paying them good money for it.

  10. Planty Bronze badge

    Who funded the survey??

    Not hard to work out. You would also have to be a total pleb to believe it.

  11. W. Anderson

    deepening delusional thinking

    If the Microsoft Mobile ecosystem is diminishing - according to Microsoft's own filings, why then would any sensible person - mobile developer - who is competent with mathematics think that more developers will be attracted to the Microsoft mobile development marketplace, and thus significantly expand the MS Mobile base.

    Just last week Microsoft officially announced "abandonment" of efforts to have their cross-platform mobile tools work on Android, which controls about 80% of the global Mobile software platform. Even at Mobile World Conference recently in Barcelona, Spain, about 95% of (Mobile) iOT products and services offered or planned were Android and Linux based.

    Microsofties are still blowing smoke out of their anuses.

  12. channel extended


    More abuse of stats by a marketing dweeb. The average by it self means almost nothing. To truly get good information you need to know the average, the mean, and the mode. This article could just as easily said that Windows dev's make less per capita, due to the relative size of the various markets.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm glad to see that both Windows Phone developers are earning a decent living...

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: Well

      Given that you* trot out the exact same "joke" every time there's a Windows Phone related article, I would wager that even a Firefox OS developer would earn a better living that you would as a stand-up comedian.

      * I'm guessing that this is the same person posting as an AC every time. I don't hold much hope for humanity if it's actually two or more people who are this banal...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are they located and who are the apps targeted at?

    Probably lots of Android developers in countries with lower cost of living, so they can make a go of it for less than someone based in the US or UK could.

    The share of Windows phones sold into the corporate market, and the share of apps purchased for that market, has to be a lot higher than for Android or iPhone. If for example 1% of Android app sales, 5% of iPhone app sales and 20% of Windows app sales are corporate focused apps - which would be sold for more - that's going to raise the developer's average revenue. There are probably a lot more iOS devs doing corporate apps than Windows devs, but they are still a small percentage overall, with their revenue averaged down by the low revenue from devs doing what they love (i.e. games) even though there's less money in it.

  15. P. Lee

    click fodder for the marketing firm.

    Happily, I read the article and already can't remember who was pushing it.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like