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firewood
Jul 24, 2012, 11:42 PM
Apple appears to have reported 5.5 Billion paid out to devs, vs. a report of 4 Billion last quarter, and 650k apps in the iOS App store, of which about half are paid.

So if there were any mean average apps (probably very few, as the vast majority do less well, but a few do a lot better), they could be bringing in revenues of around $1.5k per month.



LEARN2MAKE
Jul 24, 2012, 11:55 PM
Apple appears to have reported 5.5 Billion paid out to devs, vs. a report of 4 Billion last quarter, and 650k apps in the iOS App store, of which about half are paid.

So if there were any mean average apps (probably very few, as the vast majority do less well, but a few do a lot better), they could be bringing in revenues of around $1.5k per month.

Interesting observation. Problem is the multiple hundred thousand (or million) dollar a month apps are the ones making the bulk of the revenue.

I do think there are a lot of apps around that mean level of $1.5K a month and that level of sales/revenue is probably more common than you think.

Of course the most common level of revenue is probably $0-$30 a month per app.

Greencardman
Jul 25, 2012, 09:48 AM
Don't forget the free apps could be taking some of that revenue cut through in app purchases :)

firewood
Jul 25, 2012, 01:28 PM
Anyone seen any stats on the percentage of Free apps that include IAP?

Greencardman
Jul 26, 2012, 09:53 AM
Not about IAP, but here are some casual guesses from one developer: http://daveaddey.com/?p=893

clarky07
Jul 29, 2012, 06:10 PM
I'd love to know the median as opposed to the average. Though I suspect there are quite a few around that average number.

firewood
Jul 30, 2012, 09:18 PM
I'd love to know the median as opposed to the average. Though I suspect there are quite a few around that average number.

The median is d*rn close to zero. Less than 1 download per day, depending on the category. 50% of apps available in the App store do worse.

softwareguy256
Jul 30, 2012, 10:13 PM
most of the apps on the app store are pure junk. I wouldn't even trust running them on my computer. The 30% cut that Apple gets is ludicrous from any business metric. Tack on another 15-20% in taxes and you get about 56% of what you sell. You will need to sell a lot of 2.99 apps to pay the rent for a year with these numbers. there are better ways to make money.

LEARN2MAKE
Jul 31, 2012, 03:18 PM
You will need to sell a lot of 2.99 apps to pay the rent for a year with these numbers. there are better ways to make money.

Well I pay my rent and car payment with a $2.99 app but to each his own I guess...

softwareguy256
Aug 1, 2012, 07:27 PM
OK what is the app? show it.

Well I pay my rent and car payment with a $2.99 app but to each his own I guess...

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 2, 2012, 10:52 AM
I cover getting myself nice things that a broke college student shouldn't be able to get using my revenues from Battery Status... it paid the annual fee within 3 days of going up in January. While sales have dropped over the months, it still brings in about $100/week... I was hoping to see a massive boost with Mountain Lion's release, but instead there was a day of 40 sales and 20 sales the day of ML's release and the day after, and now it has resumed averaging 10 sales per day. (I was hoping for either a more dramatic spike or a longer lasting boost... I guess I can't complain about making $150 for the week instead of $100 though...)

Greencardman
Aug 2, 2012, 11:20 AM
I was hoping to see a massive boost with Mountain Lion's release

Because they took away the battery indicator? Did you do any specific PR tied in with the release of ML? Like contacting blogs and that sort of thing?

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 2, 2012, 04:25 PM
Because they took away the battery indicator? Did you do any specific PR tied in with the release of ML? Like contacting blogs and that sort of thing?

No, that would have been a great idea, but it didn't even occur to me. I was hoping Apple would advertise it, but instead they rejected the app for its network usage. I've appealed the decision, given it uses the network just the same as the prior version, but we'll see how that goes...

I'm thinking I won't be renewing my Mac dev account and I'll find a new way of distributing my apps... Probably Steam for my games... Maybe directly through my website for my non-games.

Greencardman
Aug 2, 2012, 04:58 PM
They removed the time remaining feature from the battery icon in ML, so if you app still shows time remaining in the status bar, users might find it useful.

Do you send out any pr emails? I try and send out three per week, sometimes more, just letting people know we exist. I'd be interested to see what happens to your numbers (now that you've been gracious enough to release them) if you were to send out one email a day in August to blogs or writers that that talk about the new battery status in ML or just people that talk about Mac apps in general. It could be the MacRumors Business, Legal, and Marketing Forum August Challenge :)

dejo
Aug 2, 2012, 05:08 PM
I was hoping Apple would advertise it...

What would give you such hope?

LEARN2MAKE
Aug 6, 2012, 11:05 PM
OK what is the app? show it.

LOL. Getting weird.

My point was that lots of people make good money from apps, many of the people on these boards even. But I am thinking your original remark was somewhat trolling and I shouldn't have fell for it. Good luck with whatever you do. Point taken you don't think app development is worthwhile so it probably wouldn't be for you.

Anyways thanks for the interesting stats @firewood. Lots of opportunity in Mobile right now!

softwareguy256
Aug 8, 2012, 05:19 AM
Unless you are one of them, don't say anything. Show your moneymaking app or stop spreading rumors based on what you "heard" or believe.

LOL. Getting weird.

My point was that lots of people make good money from apps, many of the people on these boards even. But I am thinking your original remark was somewhat trolling and I shouldn't have fell for it. Good luck with whatever you do. Point taken you don't think app development is worthwhile so it probably wouldn't be for you.

Anyways thanks for the interesting stats @firewood. Lots of opportunity in Mobile right now!

LEARN2MAKE
Aug 8, 2012, 05:55 PM
Unless you are one of them, don't say anything. Show your moneymaking app or stop spreading rumors based on what you "heard" or believe.

Ok you are right, I make no money from apps and neither does anyone else. It is not a good way to make money. Sorry for spreading all of the crazy rumors that it is a great opportunity.

Also thanks for your great words of wisdom you have made the world a better place. These boards are lucky to have you.

wackymacky
Aug 9, 2012, 04:28 AM
Unless you are one of them, don't say anything. Show your moneymaking app or stop spreading rumors based on what you "heard" or believe.

Just last week I went out with a friend who has bought a house, boat and car with money he has made from his Apps. (well he now employs over 20 people in his Apps business writing code for iOS, OSX android and Win though it all started off with iOS)

I should have quit my job which pays 6 figures to set up with him when he did, 'cause he made over 7 figures pa for the last 3 years. I didn't have the balls to put my families regular income on the line

Sure there aren't many who make it so well though there are a few.

I suspect though that it was getting in when the App store was new was the key to many's success.

HotRodGuy
Aug 9, 2012, 07:18 AM
I work with app developers and companies on a daily basis; there are MANY people out there making a living on apps


What you'd be amazed is how much advertising dollars go out to promoting apps and what people are willing to pay per install for getting their FREE apps installed on someones phone.

jnoxx
Aug 9, 2012, 09:11 AM
Our company alone has 12 Full time iOS Developers who all get a big chunk of cash and a car for consulting etc etc.
I don't get why you are saying people can't make any money of apps?
B2B applications are wellll worth the money, big companies pay top notch for easy apps or some high end CRM systems.. :/ So like the other guy said, stop making suggestions because you can't actually hit it yet..
Look at the creators of Angry Birds, they had like 6 failing games before Angry Birds.. if they would've given up, they would've had nothing.. But looka t them now, billion dollar company, because of the movies/advertisements, and now their new game.. it's just totally irrelevant what you just said ;/

LEARN2MAKE
Aug 9, 2012, 11:44 AM
Thanks for some support guys.

@jnoxx - if you were talking to me, thanks. I was being sarcastic saying no one makes money because @softwareguy256 was basically calling me a liar because I wouldn't specifically tell him what apps make what money. I just thought his replies were rude and condescending this entire thread and didn't want to feed his trolling.

@HotRodGuy and @wackymacky - Thanks, but be careful because @softwareguy256 will want to know what specific developers and apps are making the amount of money you claim or he will accuse you of spreading rumors...

I too make a living off of apps right now, but you don't have to believe me if you don't want to. I'm not going to give specifics.

----------

I suspect though that it was getting in when the App store was new was the key to many's success.

I started an app company last year that is doing great, and one this year that is doing well also. You just have to create something that appeals to a good amount of people which is definitely easier said than done. It is definitely not too late though. Getting in early I think had its benefits but I still think it is early for mobile apps and that they will be around for a while.

softwareguy256
Aug 9, 2012, 08:30 PM
Get to the specifics, give me anmes and software apps. I'm sure your "friend" if he exists would not mind the free publicity.

Just last week I went out with a friend who has bought a house, boat and car with money he has made from his Apps. (well he now employs over 20 people in his Apps business writing code for iOS, OSX android and Win though it all started off with iOS)

I should have quit my job which pays 6 figures to set up with him when he did, 'cause he made over 7 figures pa for the last 3 years. I didn't have the balls to put my families regular income on the line

Sure there aren't many who make it so well though there are a few.

I suspect though that it was getting in when the App store was new was the key to many's success.

LEARN2MAKE
Aug 9, 2012, 10:18 PM
Get to the specifics, give me anmes and software apps. I'm sure your "friend" if he exists would not mind the free publicity.

LOL called it! @wackymacky, I believe you no need to "prove" anything, you don't need to give anmes (whatever that is) or anything else.

firewood
Aug 11, 2012, 05:56 PM
I work with app developers and companies on a daily basis; there are MANY people out there making a living on apps...

It's a game of numbers and ratios.

There are thousands of iOS app developers making big money or supporting large teams, divisions or even companies with App store revenue. Thousands. That might be MANY in terms of numbers. And another equally large group making money doing development consulting and/or developing in-house enterprise apps.

However thousands of successful developers out of hundreds of thousands of total registered developers out there submitting apps and doing consulting is on the order of a 1% professional success rate. Maybe 2% or 3% max. That's not a very high probability. Making the ones who can "prove anything" rare.

BlizzardBolt
Aug 11, 2012, 11:31 PM
LOL called it! @wackymacky, I believe you no need to "prove" anything, you don't need to give anmes (whatever that is) or anything else.

Show the app?

Don't just post around on the webs and make stuff up.
Until the app is shown, we won't believe you.

dejo
Aug 11, 2012, 11:37 PM
Until the app is shown, we won't believe you.

Even if an app name is revealed, how does that prove anything? One would have to show download numbers (and probably revenue). Something they might not be willing to expose.

BlizzardBolt
Aug 11, 2012, 11:50 PM
Even if an app name is revealed, how does that prove anything? One would have to show download numbers (and probably revenue). Something they might not be willing to expose.

I'm sure most of us here just wants to know the name, we don't care about the download numbers because at this point the person is pulling something from the cloud, saying he has an "app". For all we know with no proof, it is just a figment of his imagination.

Merax
Aug 12, 2012, 12:07 AM
Some of the earlier posters are correct - most apps have hardly any sales (so the median income is near zero), but the ones that do well often do really really well so the average isn't too bad.

As someone else noted, part of the problem is that many apps are bad, but another issue is that it is difficult to be discovered among 325k others. The top apps get a spotlight on the "Top x" lists, which creates a positive feedback loop for them. If your app isn't on one of Apple's lists, it's unlikely anyone will find it just by browsing.

We were fortunate enough to be featured on the "New and Noteworthy" list shortly after release, and we had good sales while that lasted, but now it's down to a sale every other day or so.

KarlJay
Aug 12, 2012, 01:46 AM
What exactly would be proven (that isn't known already) by him naming his app?

Consider some facts: Apple paid $5 Billion.

Conclusion: SOMEONE made a few bucks.

One developers claim to have made X dollars, doesn't detract from the primary point. ... If it wasn't him, it was someone. What possible difference would it make if it was him/me/you, or someone else?

The point still remains, the math is still the same.

Several great points have been raised: there is a glut of trash apps out there.

I just read about a lawsuit concerning the use of the phrase "Pull My Finger" and it applies to apps...
This is similar to the DotCom bubble, some made it big, some didn't, but there was a bunch of garbage/spam/scams out there.

Example: I just downloaded two free video related apps. 1 required IAP to do anything beyond very basic recording, the other required location services before it would record.
Both were deleted and are a waste of space on the App Store. A 'free' app should offer something of basic value without requiring an IAP.

The bottom line is that a bunch of amateur developers are spamming, and they not only deserve to make nothing, they should be removed from the App Store.

Apple is stuck with a problem: What do they do with all the TRASH they have attracted? It's a distraction to buyers looking for quality apps, it causes problem for REAL developers trying to get noticed in the sea of trash.

@softwareguy256, let's reverse the question: you name your app(s)... maybe then we'll see why you seem disappointed in the money they're pulling in.

BTW, I think the study cited showing 80% sharing 3% was for games, can anyone confirm that?

HemiMG
Aug 12, 2012, 09:17 PM
most of the apps on the app store are pure junk. I wouldn't even trust running them on my computer. The 30% cut that Apple gets is ludicrous from any business metric. Tack on another 15-20% in taxes and you get about 56% of what you sell. You will need to sell a lot of 2.99 apps to pay the rent for a year with these numbers. there are better ways to make money.

I have a feeling you are trolling, but please, define "any business metric". Most retailers take a 50% cut. Publishers and distributers also take a large cut. If you put your software onto GameStop shelves, you'll be lucky if you make 15% of the sale price. By that metric, I'd call 70% pretty nice. That is exactly why musicians and authors love digital sales so much. 70% is far more than they are used to getting.

firewood
Aug 13, 2012, 08:19 AM
Apple is stuck with a problem: What do they do with all the TRASH they have attracted? It's a distraction to buyers looking for quality apps, it causes problem for REAL developers trying to get noticed in the sea of trash.


One problem is that Apple advertises the number of apps in their App store as a competitive advantage. As long as other app stores tout X 100k apps, Apple may wish to publicize an equivalent magnitude or even greater number.

Another problem is that with such a deep "long tail" library, ones customers pure useless trash may well be another customer's gold. There are apps below the median in popularity ranking that fulfill unique specialty needs and get a tiny number of downloads plus glowing reviews from satisfied customers (which I know personally as both a customer and developer of a few such apps, though they may be financial failures for the developer if developed with a profit motive).

softwareguy256
Aug 14, 2012, 05:55 AM
I know that most people see this as their way out of poverty and therefore when I say otherwise I will be disliked. But the statistical odds of failure are very much on my side and the fact is no one here has shown so far that they make more money in apps than even a Mcdonalds worker. Save your breath, show success and stop talking so much.

I have a feeling you are trolling, but please, define "any business metric". Most retailers take a 50% cut. Publishers and distributers also take a large cut. If you put your software onto GameStop shelves, you'll be lucky if you make 15% of the sale price. By that metric, I'd call 70% pretty nice. That is exactly why musicians and authors love digital sales so much. 70% is far more than they are used to getting.

firewood
Aug 14, 2012, 08:30 AM
But the statistical odds of failure are very much on my side and the fact is no one here has shown so far that they make more money in apps than even a Mcdonalds worker.

While it is true that only a minority of developers make more than minimum wage per annum from any app, it is also true that most small developers who do, don't like publicizing their income numbers (as it can be a lot more than minimum wage). But a google search will turn up several who have posted download counts for their paid apps.

One way to consider app development is as a form of gambling. The odds against winning may be a bit worse than playing roulette. But the payoff may be inversely much better. Enough better to make it a smart gamble to place your bet?

You can do your own research.

Tander
Aug 14, 2012, 09:20 AM
Interesting discussion here guys.

I have just started app development. However, not to make money really. I know unless I make a really unique and 'cool' app, I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon.

However, I have two goals in mind where I think it differs to some developers.

1. To either start my own App development company here in SA (Where the market is still new)

2. Get hired as an app developer for a company.

And the last reason - I just want to make something cool on an iOS device. :cool:

If you're only doing it to try get cash - you're probably not going to go too far.

KarlJay
Aug 14, 2012, 05:36 PM
Interesting discussion here guys.

I have just started app development. However, not to make money really. I know unless I make a really unique and 'cool' app, I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon.

However, I have two goals in mind where I think it differs to some developers.

1. To either start my own App development company here in SA (Where the market is still new)

2. Get hired as an app developer for a company.

And the last reason - I just want to make something cool on an iOS device. :cool:

If you're only doing it to try get cash - you're probably not going to go too far.
One thing that I've noticed on iOS job postings... they want to SEE your app. It's almost become the method of proof for developers. Actually, I think the idea of 'show me your app' is great. You can write (or have someone write for you) the best resume, and NOT be able to code a simple 'pull my finger app'

Showing a potential employer what you can do, is close to proof positive for them, and clears the BSers.


Second point: you're only doing it to try get cash - you're probably not going to go too far.
There is nothing wrong with trying to get cash, many are trying to do exactly that. The problem is they are selling a crApp app and not taking the time to research and develop something better.

Discussion like this one, can help to clear the air about the 'gold rush' and maybe some will realize that it's not as easy money as they think it is. Remember, Mag built a quality flashlight in a flooded market, they stuck to their game plan and made great money. Some got rich during the Great Depression.
Point: Wanting to make money and the ability to make money is fine, it's there and will be for a long while, it's the "why is my finger pull app not making me rich" part that needs to be worked on.

The bursting of the DotCom bubble didn't ruin the Internet for everyone, it just flushed out most of the 'me too' sites.

Tander
Aug 15, 2012, 01:56 AM
One thing that I've noticed on iOS job postings... they want to SEE your app. It's almost become the method of proof for developers. Actually, I think the idea of 'show me your app' is great. You can write (or have someone write for you) the best resume, and NOT be able to code a simple 'pull my finger app'

Showing a potential employer what you can do, is close to proof positive for them, and clears the BSers.


Second point:
There is nothing wrong with trying to get cash, many are trying to do exactly that. The problem is they are selling a crApp app and not taking the time to research and develop something better.

Discussion like this one, can help to clear the air about the 'gold rush' and maybe some will realize that it's not as easy money as they think it is. Remember, Mag built a quality flashlight in a flooded market, they stuck to their game plan and made great money. Some got rich during the Great Depression.
Point: Wanting to make money and the ability to make money is fine, it's there and will be for a long while, it's the "why is my finger pull app not making me rich" part that needs to be worked on.

The bursting of the DotCom bubble didn't ruin the Internet for everyone, it just flushed out most of the 'me too' sites.


You make some very valid points and I have taken something away from your post, which I believe will help me in my future app development endeavors.

We can take a look at the company we're making apps for, Apple. In 2007 the market was flooded with different cell phones, all doing pretty much the same thing. But, Apple came out with a phone that changed the way we all think about phones.

Today, the iPhone is one of their most profitable products. So good intact, their competitors have tried to copy it too.

R.

firewood
Aug 15, 2012, 08:31 AM
One thing that I've noticed on iOS job postings... they want to SEE your app.

Very true and valid point, money wise. I know several iOS developers who achieved far greater income from job and consulting offers that directly resulted from having a quality app in the App store, than from selling any apps on their own.

Tander
Aug 15, 2012, 08:49 AM
Very true and valid point, money wise. I know several iOS developers who achieved far greater income from job and consulting offers that directly resulted from having a quality app in the App store, than from selling any apps on their own.

This is more or less what I was trying to get across.

KarlJay
Aug 15, 2012, 11:11 AM
Very true and valid point, money wise. I know several iOS developers who achieved far greater income from job and consulting offers that directly resulted from having a quality app in the App store, than from selling any apps on their own.
This is actually a very good thing, I've seen many people BS their way into a job. It's about time we got some real proof instead of just smooth talk.

LEARN2MAKE
Aug 15, 2012, 12:34 PM
Save your breath, show success and stop talking so much.

How is this for success:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/technology/personaltech/apps-that-offer-a-lift-during-downtime.html?_r=1&ref=personaltech

They just picked it up one of my apps out of the blue, which was a nice surprise!

The iOS Dollar Origami+ app in the article is one of my apps. And yes I do make much more than a McDonald's worker. I don't feel the need to share exact numbers though. I don't know why you have such a big problem with the fact that some people (myself included) are making a living from mobile apps. I will not post or send my sales reports, tax returns or anything else, sorry...

The NYTimes article did boost sales a bit over the weekend, but even without it that app does make consistent money. It is a quality unique app. Check out the free version if you don't want to pay a dollar.

Just because you failed to make any money on the app store does not mean that it can't be done. You should stop disparaging anyone who doesn't agree with you, it is getting old.