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

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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  • by ageoffri ( 723674 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:09PM (#42509971)
    The difference could be substantial. Take a user who got the original iPhone and bought each new version of the iPhone. If they download even one of the same apps that person has contributed multiple times. Or in the case of having problems with an app and uninstalling/re-installing, again the count is inflated. Unique downloads based off of Apple store ID is the number that really matters. Sure someone could have changed apple ID's for some reason but it will be the best way to get an accurate count.
  • 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.

  • by Celarent Darii ( 1561999 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:14PM (#42510055)

    Since Apple is paying for the infrastructure, it's actually quite good. You try paying for your own servers and bandwidth - you won't be making anything after 6 downloads.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:36PM (#42510431)

    There are 275,000 registered developers in the USA alone (source: Apple []). 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 are a vast, vast number of mostly fine apps and games that will never recover the development costs.

    It is still very possible to make money in the app store, but the rules are now similar to any other market: expend wisely your arm and your leg in marketing, and pray you acquisition cost per user is justified by the returns. In other words, you need to be a publisher with big pockets or be prepared to give your soul to one. And be wary of publishers in mobile. In a brick-and-mortar world, shelf space is limited and publishers don't like to release a title that sells nothing, so at least they'll make some marketing effort most of the time. Not necessarily the case in mobile.

  • by jopsen ( 885607 ) <> on Monday January 07, 2013 @06:02PM (#42510807) Homepage
    Bandwidth, etc. doesn't cost anything...
    But credit card transactions is a big expenditure here... Try finding a payment provider that takes less than 30% or 30 cent?
    Maybe you can get it cheaper if you are a big player like Apple, but when both Google, Amazon and Paypal are priced at 30% or 30 cent, I imagine that VISA and MASTER card prices are pretty much up there...
  • by paulpach ( 798828 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:14PM (#42511819)

    I am a game developer, and I have my game in apple store, it is called Block Story.

    I have my app in the apple store and google play. There is nothing compelling me to use google play for example, I could sell the game from my own web site but I would be crazy to do this. I still voluntarily pay that 30% to have the app in google play and apple store.

    Why do I do it? well, you really can't dismiss all the work they do for you (both stores), consider:

    • * They market your app, putting them in "most recent" list, as well as in the "people who bought this also bought" list of other apps. This marketing alone is well worth the cost.
    • * They handle international payments. I don't have to worry about the dollar conversion, I get to focus in what I am good at: game development.
    • * I don't have to deal with PCI compliance, which I would have to do with my own store
    • * I don't have to deal with refunds, they take care of it.
    • * I don't have to deal with credit card processing. Huge nightmare
    • * I don't have to deal with bandwidth. When my free app is downloaded 300K times, this is an issue.
    • * I don't have to deal with updates. I publish my update, and they take care of notifying users, and installing the updates

    They charge 30%? you know what, they earned it.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:55PM (#42512269)

    And suggests ~$10 billion in revenue; assuming $1 per download, that suggests 1 out of 4 downloads was paid. Even at $5 per download that suggests 1 in 20 downloads was paid. I find even that hard to believe.

    Apple's users don't mind paying for getting something with better quality. That's the major reason why, despite the larger numbers of Android phones, developers prefer the iOS platform.

    And yes, the figure will include in-app purchases. It's the "paid out to developers" figure, so is not just downloads.

    For example I bought my son a "toy guitar" for christmas; it pretty much needs constant tuning. so I went through 7 or 8 different free guitar tuning apps before finding one I liked.

    Sure, and there will be other people like you. And then there will be people who are not like you. People tend to overestimate the number of people that are similar to themselves.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:57PM (#42512297)

    80% of zero is zero.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.