Apple Numbers Reveal That Apps Won’t Make You Rich

Posted by at 11:05 am on January 8, 2013

iphone 4sForbes has done an interesting analysis on some recently released numbers from Apple that make it pretty easy to clarify the success of iOS apps and the AppStore where they are sold. Here are the raw numbers from Apple:

Apple today announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps, with nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone. The App Store has over 500 million active accounts and had a record-breaking December with over two billion downloads during the month. Apple’s incredible developer community has created over 775,000 apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide, and developers have been paid over seven billion dollars by Apple.

What it says is that the average app download makes its developers 17.5 cents. That’s including all in app purchases and revenues by the way, that’s not just the original sale. It’s also not much changed from the 16 cents per download from the previous numbers.

So the average app, over its lifetime, earns around $9,000. That’s the mean though: the median would be much much lower. For we’ve very much got a power law going on here. A few apps are making tens of millions, one or two over $100 million, and most make nothing at all or close to it even if they’re trying to charge. Which means that if you are thinking that developing apps will get you a mansion and a yacht (like Elmer Fudd, Millionaire) you might want to get a couple of Powerball tickets as your plan B.

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