Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why are paid Chrome Apps not doing very well?

Chrome may have launched a Web Store that is very similar to the iTunes App Store. It has tons of free apps, and some paid ones. But some surfing around shows that the paid ones are not doing very well. What does this mean for Chrome OS Apps for the future? Will they have to be free in order to get used by people?

If you go around the Web Store, and see the number of weekly installations of a popular free app, you'll see a healthy five digit number.

But if you see the stat for even the top paid app, which costs just $1.99, the number of weekly installations is a mere two digit number!

So what is happening here?
I know exactly the answer. People do not want to waste money on a little app for a web browser! Why do people buy games for the iOS, or for Android? Because it is their portable device which they carry around, and can use to enjoy whenever they want. But in this case, people don't probably want to spend some cash on a little 'app' for a web browser! It is a computer program that they use to browse the web!

An operating system can become a platform. But not a web browser. People would rather spend the same amount on an iPhone app instead of a game they can play on their web browser without an Internet connection.

But I do understand that Google is preparing this Store for the Chrome OS that is set to launch sometime next year. People will buy apps for their portable computer once they get the OS. But this paid app thing won't work for a web browser for now. I wonder if Google has made a mistake here. If people start hating paid apps and ignoring them from now on, it will create a feeling in the back of their mind of getting just free apps and games for Chrome. Then this model of non-free apps that run on a browser-based OS will go down.

See also:
4 reasons Google Chrome OS will succeed
Why Google Docs is fantastic
Getting around the new Facebook profile page (and how to like it)
Facebook notifications land in TweetDeck... for Chrome