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Apple's App Store Tops 40 Billion Downloads; Generates $7 Billion For Developers 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-money-more-apps dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the eyes of the tech world fixed on CES this week, Apple this morning conveniently decided to issue a press release announcing that the iTunes App Store has now topped over 40 billion downloads. That's an incredible feat, to be sure, but even more incredible is that nearly half of those downloads occurred in 2012. In December alone, iOS users downloaded over 2 billion applications, setting a monthly record in the process."
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Apple's App Store Tops 40 Billion Downloads; Generates $7 Billion For Developers

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  • Unique downloads? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by future assassin (639396) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:00PM (#42509783) Homepage

    or all downloads.

    • Re:Unique downloads? (Score:5, Informative)

      by samkass (174571) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:07PM (#42509915) Homepage Journal

      or all downloads.

      They don't count updates or re-downloads in that figure.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      That is an insane level of growth. One of the things that doesn't get discussed a lot here was Verizon, AT&Ts and Sprint's sales numbers for postpay (around 70%) marketshare. I don't know however how large the global cellphone software market is x-USA.

      The other data I'd love to know is how much cloud based solutions like Dropbox and Evernote that owe a lot of their revenue to mobile app are getting.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Let's see what Apple has to say! [apple.com]

      Apple® today announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps* [...]

      *40 billion unique downloads excluding re-downloads and updates.

      Why the fuck editors wouldn't link to the actual press release, rather than idiotic networkworld clickbait is beyond me. I guess "news" doesn't like primary sources, it's easier to just let networkworld flog their useless "reportage" instead.

      • by Mikkeles (698461)

        I guess "news" doesn't like primary sources...

        Hey, if it isn't good enough for Wikipaedia, it's not good enough for /.;^)

  • by future assassin (639396) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:05PM (#42509877) Homepage

    2 Billion $ devided by 1000's of developers is not much income per dev. I'd rather see an average breakdown per dev or full breakdown.

    • by ernest.cunningham (972490) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:13PM (#42510033) Homepage

      7 Billion dollars.....
      What you have to realise is that is just payout form Apple.

      Many developers (including myself) make a living developing custom applications for businesses. So that figure is just for those who sell their wares.

    • Averages are useless since some (many?) devs aren't worth shit and are just trying to hop onto the iOS bandwagon.
    • by alen (225700)

      Most if the money is made by the top dev houses

      Just like in the play store and in hardware sales

    • $7 billion spread across 10 thousand developers is still $700,000 per developer.

      If that's 'not much income' for you, you're selling drugs on the side.

      • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:43PM (#42510549)
        A straight up average is inappropriate, as there are some massive outliers. Take a look at the top paid apps: http://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/paid-apps/ [apple.com]

        It's overwhelmingly games. And of these top 100 apps, developers like Rovio and EA are overrepresented. Meaning if your app isn't a game and your company isn't Rovio, you're probably not making much at all. Rovio and EA on the other hand are probably making well over $700,000.
        • by NatasRevol (731260) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:53PM (#42510681) Journal

          No idea, but do paid apps count if they're free, but with in-app purchases?

          That would well skew things.

        • by SomePgmr (2021234)

          The part that's relevant to most of us is that while Google Play is poised to surpass iTunes in catalog size, it brings in 1/4 the revenue.

          Not the sort of stat that puts a smile on my face.

          • At the same time, that revenue figure is only a measurement of the paid apps revenue. The unknown figure for both platforms is how much developers are making from ad revenue. This could potentially be much higher on Android.
            • The unknown figure for both platforms is how much developers are making from ad revenue. This could potentially be much higher on Android.

              I'd imagine that this is the case because when Android phones first came out, paid applications weren't available on Android Market in all countries. So developers had to price their applications at zero to reach users in those countries.

            • At the same time, that revenue figure is only a measurement of the paid apps revenue. The unknown figure for both platforms is how much developers are making from ad revenue. This could potentially be much higher on Android.

              Ahh, yes. Android developers make their money with adds, while Android users block ads.

      • by putaro (235078)

        It's not much money for a company. It's great if you can make that for an app that you made in your spare time but that doesn't happen that often.

    • 2 Billion $ devided by 1000's of developers is not much income per dev. I'd rather see an average breakdown per dev or full breakdown.

      That is an average of 7000000000/775000 or $9032.25 per app. It is pretty hard to compare Android earnings because they are mostly from third parties via advertising. For example, out of the $100,000 or so I have made on Android apps, about $200 came from the Android market itself.

      • That is an average of 7000000000/775000 or $9032.25 per app.

        76% of apps are on the app store are free, and thus don't expect any income, at least from downloads. Some of them will have in game purchases though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are 275,000 registered developers in the USA alone ( source: Apple [apple.com]). Even with an unrealistic 300K world-wide estimation, the average is less than $7000. Of course, your average developer won't even come close to that figure, as a few key players such as Rovio, EA, or Gameloft would grab a massive part of the pie for themselves.

      In other words, the gold rush is dead. There is still the occasional success story (Apple likes those stories and routinely puts some indie title in a featured space) but there

    • by narcc (412956)

      It's about 6-months old, but here you go:

      Breakdown of VisionMobile study [gigaom.com]

    • That is the kind of sales that one Call of Duty game can do.

      Now that's fine, I'm not saying everything should (or can) be a massive billion dollar hit but let's have a little perspective. What do developers tend to make?

      This would particularly be interesting if you take off the outliers. Remove Angry Birds, and any other really big hit apps and then see what it looks like for the masses of developers.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:17PM (#42510115)
    Apple's last announcements on these figures were in September and October. In September, they quoted 700,000 total iOS apps, and in October they quoted 275,000 iPad apps. That's an average rate 641 total iOS apps per day, and 427 iPad specific apps per day. (Source: Apple)

    The numbers on Android are a little hard to find. Does anyone have a figure for how many Android tablet apps are available?

    It seems the Google Play store is growing faster, with 833 apps per day on average between September and October... but based on Google's previous announcements they seem to approve apps in fits and starts, with some periods approving thousands of apps per day, and other periods where the approval rate drops to 1/3 of that. (Source: Google)

    On the Windows side, the Windows 8/RT store is growing at the same rate as the iPad app catalog, with an average 584 apps per day (before the Holidays). And the Windows Phone store is growing at about 300 apps per day over the past 6 months. I don't know how to combine these figures to compare to Android or iOS, since it's not clear how iOS counts apps for iPhone and iPad (is that 1 app or 2 apps) (Source: http://metrostore.preweb.sk/ [preweb.sk] and http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/ [allaboutwindowsphone.com])

    Anyone else have other figures available?
    • Android has 611,161 apps in the Android Market. In December, around 37,500 apps were released in the Android Market. http://www.appbrain.com/stats/number-of-android-apps [appbrain.com] Of course, this does not include apps released in other market places. For example, of my 30 or so Android apps, only 3 are released in the Android Market due to their limitations on content.
      • I based my figures from those presented here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Play [wikipedia.org]

        Google's most recent figure was 700,000 apps in the Google Play store. That's a discrepancy of almost 100,000 apps, probably more since the 700,000 figure is from October. Any ideas why the figures are so different? I'm assuming this App Brain site is crawling the Google Play store for its statistics. They have a nice set of stats, but disappointingly not the one I'm interested in: the number of tablet specific/optimise
  • Wiki tells me that 250 Million iPhones have been sold.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone [wikipedia.org]

    Apple tells us 40 Billion downloads. (Unique Purchaces)

    40B/250M = 160

    So the AVERAGE iPhone downloads 160 Applications?

    #Fishy

    • Hmmm forgot about the iPad... another 100M there.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad [wikipedia.org]

      Still 40B/350M = 114

      Still 114 is a pretty big number.

    • There's more than 500 million iOS devices.

      Some of which have been resold/wiped/reimaged, and thus count as new downloads after wiping/new account.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Factor in 82 million iPod Touch, 100 million iPads and its near say 117?
      I have 29 "apps" on my Mac via Mac App Store. Consider apps like the Mac shareware of the 1980-90's - the app does a few tasks well or like a hypercard stack and 'sells' information for a few $ or $10.
    • So the AVERAGE iPhone downloads 160 Applications?

      Not on all days.

    • Re:Citation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:51PM (#42512239)

      Fishy? Not really. Your facts are just poorly aggregated.

      For instance, you only accounted for iPhone sales, but Apple also sells the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod Touch, all of which are also iOS devices that can download and run these apps. Through March 2012 they had announced 365M iOS device sales [macobserver.com], and by the end of the next quarter (i.e. the quarter when iPhone sales were winding down before the iPhone 5 and iPad mini rumors were rampant, thus slowing sales) they still managed to sell 35M units, bringing them to over 400M iOS devices by the end of June [engadget.com]. So, already we can tell that you're off by 150M units at a minimum, and that still leaves the following six months of sales unaccounted for.

      Going forward past June, Apple has since then released the iPhone 5, a new iPod Touch, the iPad mini, and the 4th gen iPad. Whether the mini is cannibalizing larger iPad sales or not will be revealed soon, since Apple is set to do their earnings announcement for the holiday quarter in about two weeks. Even if it is, however, its sales are estimated to be in the 8-10M range [bgr.com]. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 represented over 50% of smartphone sales [bgr.com] as we got towards the end of the year, so it's safe to say that it's been selling well so far. Not to mention that iPad and iPod sales have traditionally picked up during the holiday season since they're not tied to contracts.

      As such, 450-500M is a perfectly reasonable expectation for where they are today, given that it's six months since their last announced numbers and they've updated every single product line that's relevant right before the biggest sales time of the year.

      And if we assume just 450M devices, then that would mean 40B/450M, which is around 89 apps on average, which is extremely reasonable, given that they're doubtless including all of those apps that people download, check out for five minutes, and then delete because they aren't what they're looking for. I did a quick sanity check, and I have 84 third-party apps currently installed on my smartphone, not to mention a few more on my tablet, and that doesn't include the dozens I've installed and deleted over the years. I wouldn't even classify myself as a heavy user; I actually think my usage is pretty close to typical for most users, since I don't use it as a geek tool or like a power user would.

  • I am of two different minds about the Apple "App Store", so here's my list of Apple's Goods and Bads:
    -- "App Store" is a walled garden designed to keep you in
    -- "App Store" is well maintained and crapware/spamware does not sneak in that often
    -- "App Store" has an opaque process for allowing or denying, whether you are a singleton programmer or a 8-kiloton-Grrrilla like google. You don't get to know why you got stymied or what you need to do to fix it.
    -- It provides a good "storefront" for developers to
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem. Das ist verboten.

      Actually no. It's the GPL that makes that sort of problems (as always). Ask VLC that was released on the AppStore just to be sabotaged by one (1) pissed dev payed by Nokia. There are a number of GPL licensed apps on the AppStore. Apple has no problems with them as long as the devs agree to the AppStore terms.

      Lesson to be learned : either use LGPL or better a BSD style license. (i

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem.

      This can also be phrased as "The GPL bans distribution through systems like the app store". Of course, neither of these reflects the truth, both are in equal part the problem.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:10PM (#42511773)

      -- Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem. Das ist verboten. :>(
        That last entry alone is enough to make the sumof(Goods+Bads)=Bad. That's my two centimes!

      No, it's just not allowed to package GPLv3 apps. All app stores have this problem, at least the ones with DRM (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, MAYBE Google Play, since DRM was introduced as part of Jelly Bean).

      GPLv2 apps can be distributed just fine. GPLv2+ as well, as long as nothing makes it GPLv3+. (GPLv2 and v3/v3+ code CANNOT be combined - only v2+).

      Heck, I'm not sure, but if a dev is classy enough, they could ship the source code into the IPA file too, so source code is right there with the binary.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday January 07, 2013 @06:38PM (#42511341) Homepage Journal

    Let's see 40billion downloads generate $7billion for developers.

    So each download puts about 17 cents into the pockets of a developer.

    An excellent business model for Apple.

    • Rock stars with their iTunes income must be laughing their asses off at iOS developers and their $0.17 per app download.
      • iTunes is 30% exactly the same as the App Store is.

        And the concept of a few stars getting the majority of the income is the same too.

        • And they are getting paid on a hell of a lot more than 1-in-6 downloads.
          • There are plenty of people giving free music away. They just aren't given the option to do it via iTunes.

            You don't have a rational point.

            • You just said "they just aren't given the option to do it via iTunes". Which means the artists get paid for every download. Which is exactly my point - musicians get paid for every download, app devs get paid for 1-in-6. Big difference there.
              • Which is exactly my point - musicians get paid for every download, app devs get paid for 1-in-6. Big difference there.

                Your point is that developers who chose to set their app price at zero get zero income from the download.

                Clearly your specialist subject is the bleeding obvious.

              • I see you're a Linux fan. How much do Linux developers earn per download?

                • Mac and Linux systems. I hear that some folks make a ton of money for Linux stuff they develop. IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, etc etc etc. And I highly doubt they have to have 6 customers download something to make a single dollar.
                  • I hear that some folks make a ton of money for Linux stuff they develop. IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, etc etc etc. And I highly doubt they have to have 6 customers download something to make a single dollar.

                    You're kidding. There's more like 10,000 people download Red Hat Linux for every one that pays.

                    And of course, once again, no App Store developer who puts a price on his apps has anyone downloading apps for free.

                    If you haven't realised by now the illogicality of your statement, you must have an IQ problem.

                    • You're kidding. There's more like 10,000 people download Red Hat Linux for every one that pays.

                      Obviously a lot of their community software is free, like Fedora. But they charge a lot more than a buck to their paying customers for subscription maintenance service.

    • A high % of the apps on the store are free.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        A high % of the apps on the store are free.

        That's an even better business model for Apple.

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