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Old Aug 1, 2008, 10:50 AM   #1
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iPhone App Store Numbers Reveal Large Revenue Opportunities



On Thursday, Apple provided developers with their first look at daily sales numbers. One developer generously shared her sales numbers with 9to5Mac.

Eliza Block is the author of a well reviewed crossword puzzle game called 2 Across [App Store]. To her surprise, the part time developer found that she had earned almost US $1800 on Wednesday alone for her crossword application. Daily stats are only available for the past few days, but the included screenshot reveals 428 sales of her game on July 30th. At an average sales price of $5.99 USD, she earned about $1797.60 that day. Sales figures for the other days available (3 total) were said to be comparable.

Three days of data, of course, is not enough to determine a long term trend, and the sales were likely partially skewed as 2 Across is currently listed amongst Apple's Staff Favorites in the iTunes Store. Also interesting is that Block's app was ranked 39th in the App Store, which means the developers for the 38th most popular app, TapeMeasure [App Store] must have been making over $300/day (428 x $.70) for their $0.99 application.

Now, the sales rate of these apps may not be sustainable depending on how much of their popularity is due to the newness of the App Store. Still, at least one major developer has acknowledged the potential of the App Store. Other Ocean, the developers behind the iPhone version of Sega's Super Monkey Ball, has announced that they have created a specialized iPhone division to dedicated resources for future iPhone development. Super Monkey Ball initially held the top spot amongst paid iPhone apps, but has since dropped to a respectable 7th.

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Last edited by arn; Aug 1, 2008 at 12:38 PM.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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That is a staggering amount of money! Apple must be delighted with their 30% cut from all of the sales.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 10:55 AM   #3
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And just wait until all iPods (and possibly some mini-Mac-like tablet) can all run these apps. The market for these things is only going to grow. I suspect there will be more Mobile-OSX customers out there than Mac-OSX customers sometime within the next 5 years.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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Well, if you were to look on VersionTracker, you might be able to see how many downloads they got. I don't know if their number is based on how many link-throughs are from their site, of if they're pulling their numbers from another source.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/iphone/34757

It says 1284 downloads at the time of the post. At $9.99 a pop, they've netted $8979.01... seems kinda low IMO, but at least it's saying something.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Its all about costs...I really dont care how much revenue these people are bringing in.

I have no clue as to how much something like creating a crossword puzzle app cost. For apple, management has said the app store is not a profit making project...its just to break even and sell more iphones and touches.

For app developers...yes there will be winners..but for someone to start a whole company with future success based just on apps...i dont think they will be able to do that by selling 2.99 iphone apps. I just cant see it. I see it more or less for the big boys (sega) to start a iphone segment within the company, devote resources..hope to break even...and just be in the iphone space for future happenings.

yes, you can have one guy build a great app for under 50,000, and make a million, but to start whole companies around that....i cant see it yet (yet being the key word).
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:05 AM   #6
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I hit the store on the 21st and it looks like I made over $1,000! Woo!

I'll have to continue to create new apps and hope that people keep hitting the store. Even my small little apps making money is very nice to see.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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Time to take up coding i think. What language are the apps written in?
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:09 AM   #8
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Well, if you want to write an iPhone app, your mileage may vary.

My $2.99 puzzle app Subway Shuffle sold 28 units three days ago, and it is among the highest rated apps on the store. But it has zero visibility, because it is not listed among Apple's favorites, best of puzzles, etc.

However, that evening Apple finally posted the free, "lite" version of Subway Shuffle (8 days after I submitted it). The next day I sold 44 SS (9000+ free downloads); yesterday I sold 66 SS (7500+ free downloads).

Well, I like the trend, anyway.

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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Remember all those whiners that complained about apple waiting till $250 in sales before writing a check to the developer?
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:14 AM   #10
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Anyone else have sales data?

Anyone else have their daily sales and their rank?

500 sales a day for the 39th ranked app seems pretty good.
if we get more data points we might be able to graph how many sales a day each place in the app store is.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:15 AM   #11
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Time to take up coding i think. What language are the apps written in?
Cocoa.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:19 AM   #12
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Cocoa.
Objective C (IIRC, Cocoa is the name of the API framework Apple uses). I got as far as downloading the SDK and buying a few Objective C starter books back when the SDK was first released - seeing these figures makes me wish I'd knuckled down and learnt the dang thing...
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:19 AM   #13
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Holy crap.

If I can make a successful App, like that Crossword one, or even with a turnout half as good, I would be quitting my lame ass part time job...

I want Leopard.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:19 AM   #14
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Well, if you were to look on VersionTracker, you might be able to see how many downloads they got. I don't know if their number is based on how many link-throughs are from their site, of if they're pulling their numbers from another source.
I think that is indeed the number of people who followed that particular link. For an App Store app, the link simply opens iTunes to that product's App Store page. It can't tell if the person actually bought the app.

By the way my little app came out yesterday and I'm happy with its first day sales. It's EmailContact. Guess what it does! Here's the VersionTracker entry which I added last night. It says 17 "downloads", but you can't count those as sales, more like page "hits" that came via VersionTracker.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:21 AM   #15
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They are quite impressive figures.

I remember the time when Steve Jobs disclosed to the WSJ that the 'App Store' was another 'hobby' of Apple's, and they didn't really intend make a buck on it.

All I can say, is;

Yeah, right.

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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:33 AM   #16
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I remember the time when Steve Jobs disclosed to the WSJ that the 'App Store' was another 'hobby' of Apple's, and they didn't really intend make a buck on it.
Some hobby. Next thing you know is the Steve Jobs stamp collection is going to be worth millions.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by maehara View Post
Objective C (IIRC, Cocoa is the name of the API framework Apple uses). I got as far as downloading the SDK and buying a few Objective C starter books back when the SDK was first released - seeing these figures makes me wish I'd knuckled down and learnt the dang thing...
Apple has some great PDF tutorials to compliment the videos in iTunes. I've printed a few out and bound them, learning Obj-C as we speak. I do have some familiarity with C++ however, which Apple says def helps.

A bit of a long shot, but I hope to have some apps ready before I start grad school later this month!
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:37 AM   #18
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reveals 428 sales of her game on June 30th
Er, that would be "July 30th".

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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:38 AM   #19
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Some hobby. Next thing you know is the Steve Jobs stamp collection is going to be worth millions.
Somehow I just can't quite picture Jobs pouring over his collection of Penny Reds and "Inverted Jennies" or fussing about with albums and "seconds".
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:41 AM   #20
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not surprising. lot's of apps were sold for palm handhelds as well.

in the future simple apps, games and utilities will be free.

more complicated apps like wordprocessing, good games, dictionaries will be where people spend money.

so for most it's not going to be a sustainable source of income. but anyway it's nice to see that developers get some money for their work.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:51 AM   #21
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well before people get all giddy...just try to estimate how much the iTunes store costs Apple to run. Then you will figure out why Jobs calls it a break-even venture. They make no money on it.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:55 AM   #22
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i wish i was more of a computer geek in school

i could retire on the app store with a few good apps. it's a gold mine. i'm not buying any new apps for a few months, i'm gonna wait for more apps at more competitive prices. these early apps will get the big revenue.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 12:09 PM   #23
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I'm a total idiot! Why or why did I go into the Movie business instead of staying at home and learning how to do this stuff! Agrh!!!!!
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 12:10 PM   #24
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i could retire on the app store with a few good apps. it's a gold mine. i'm not buying any new apps for a few months, i'm gonna wait for more apps at more competitive prices. these early apps will get the big revenue.
I downloaded the SDK and wrote an app, now I am waiting to get approved to be a developer. Anybody have experience with how long this takes to get apple to take my $99 and let me upload my app? I want to upload it to my ipod and test it out which you can't do until you get approved. I only know c, but from the online resources and sample coding programs I was able to figure it out enough to get an app working. It probably took me a combined 48 hours of work to write something that somebody who knew objective c and the apple development toolscould have written in a half hour, but next time around it should be easier.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 12:32 PM   #25
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wow, i've got to start developing for the iphone!
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