Android’s piracy problem

MLB.com recently launched their updated app in the Apple Appstore as well as the Android marke. But just because the app was launched on both platforms, doesn’t mean the two are looked at the same from the company. In speaking with Business Insider, MLB.com CEO Bob Bowman stated “There’s also a bigger piracy problem on Android, probably twice that of iOS.”

One of the common stereotypes of an Android user is that they are true geeks. This might have some credibility, and might not. Either way, one thing is certain, the OS is designed to be hacked, played with and customized. This is the Android way, and this is the way it was designed to be from the beginning. This brings great pride to the Android community of course. With all of the available custom ROM’s, and different ways to hack the devices, there is plenty to keep you busy and entertained. But sometimes, things can go too far.
Andreas and I have discussed many times about the fine line between competition and destrcution in the app world. You can get great apps for nothing, and you can blow you money on garbage. This is of course the normal pros and cons of a market system. The better apps do their best to win out, or get bought out. Hopefully the others fall to the wayside. The biggest emerging issue in the app world seems to be piracy though. Judging by the history of stealing content, it ain’t going away anytime either.
These sentiments are expressed by many voices across the world, and most recently by the CEO of a major company. Bob Bowman says that app sales are 5 to 1 for Apple’s iOS devices when compared to Android even though Android has a larger market share. He also goes on to say that “Google needs to do a betterjob curating its appstore,” and that “Besides the risk of malware, there’s also an issue where phony apps getputup for sale inthe market using the same name as MLB’s official app–“At Bat” — and people inadvertently buy them and then wonderwhy they don’t work.”
Whether you agree with Mr.. Bowman’s statements or not, you have to respect and listen to where he is coming from. Here is a man in charge of online distribution content for one of the biggest sports in the world, and he has an obvious and urgent issue with Android. iOS is the clear winner in his eyes. Pirating exists in many forms, and nothing will change that down the line. It has existed in different forms for thousands of years. The question you have to ask yourself now is “how will this affect the Android platform?” If this is the sentiment of one of many developers, this could be a HUGE problem for Android. Why would a comany want to invest more money into a platform they don’t see much of a return from?

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.