Having their mobile apps downloaded without being paid for is one of top problems facing developers new research shows.
A study by technology media company UBM Tech found that more than a quarter of app developers have had their apps stolen from mobile users who found one way or another to get their hands on a copy without paying for it.
Among those surveyed, one developer said of their 8 million total downloads more than 1.5 million had been pirated, most of which happened overseas in Russia and China. Another developer said their analytics show that while their app has 11,862 unique users, they have just 1141 paid downloads from the app store meaning more than 90 percent of their users obtained the app without paying for it.
The research also discovered that 26 percent of developers who use in-app purchasing have had those stolen as well. One developer surveyed said while the numbers may spike from time to time, about half of their in-app purchases in any given time period are stolen.
Developers are also struggling to get their apps noticed. The study revealed that discoverability was the biggest problem within the current app development market.
Those surveyed described app stores as crowded and overpopulated with low-quality apps, while others also noted that users' expectations for free apps made it hard to charge even .99-cents for higher-quality mobile apps.
Additionally, developers cited platform and device fragmentation as another large issue, with those surveyed feeling there are too many devices and operating systems to support, to many app stores and too many competing platforms.
Overall, games continue to dominate the mobile app landscape. Nearly 70 percent those surveyed created new games, compared to just 37 percent who focused on entertainment and 32 percent who specialized in education apps. Other popular categories included lifestyle, brand marketing, enterprise and health and wellness.
The study was based on surveys of more than 250 mobile app developers
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.