The App Store - No Gold Rush for Developers

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app store- apple online store, appstoreAfter news about some great success stories of applications released  on Apple's iPhone platform, some might conclude that the app store is a gold mine for developers. But according to a recent article by Dan Frommer of the Silicon Alley Insider, the reality for most developers is far from a gold rush.

Aqua Hoops, a simple and fun game app for a decent price of $0.99, serves as a good example. Sales started out strong when the game appeared in the app store's most recent list and reviews created additional positive buzz. In one day Aqua Hoops sold 350 copies, creating a net revenue of $245 for developer E.J. Mablekos, after Apple's 30% cut. If the game continued to sell as many copies throughout the year, it would generate a decent profit of $89.000. But after the initial buzz Aqua Hoops' sales dropped to about 60 copies a day or $42 net revenue, which comes out to $15.000 a year - not enough to quit the day job.

Creating apps with viral qualities might increase the chance of success through keeping users interested and involved in the app. But Aqua Hoops and many other examples show, that the app store is a hit-based business and does not guarantee success, even for great apps.

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  • Ebo

    While it may not be a gold rush, pulling $15k per year from a single 99 cent app doesn't seem like such a bad start to me. I would imagine as a developer refines their app(s) they learn more about what works and doesn't work. If you can achieve that kind of success with 4-5 apps, you are sitting on $60k-75k per year. While you wont be on MTV Cribs any time soon, that is certainly enough to either live on - or at the very least have a decent secondary income. Also, with the iPhone/Touch customer base increasing at a fair pace, the chances of sustained sales seem to be pretty good.

  • Steve

    I would like to know if anyone knows about people not coming up with there own ideas BUT copying another easy app on the app store and what those people of the original ideal feel about that , even when the person under cuts them in price for the same app, any input i see alot of it