Analyzing The App Store: Blockbusters, Stragglers And Everything In Between


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Is anyone making money from all these apps? That’s the big question that Alex Ahlund, the former CEO of AppVee and AndroidApps, which was recently acquired by mobile app directory Appolicious, tried to answer in a guest column for TechCrunch.

Ahlund asked for sales data from developers to provide some overall metrics. He said of the 96 respondents, the range included everything from blockbusters to stragglers. He said the takeaways should be considered informational, and not true averages because of the variance involved:

— The average total number of units sold was 101,024 within a period of 261 days.
— The average number of units sold per day was 387.
— The average price was $5.49, although the data skews due to the $49.99 outlier. In most cases, the price point was $0.99.
— The average total development cost amounted to $6,453, including 3.89 updates.
— On average, iPhone developers are seeing a return of more than 15 times their initial, albeit small, development costs.

For comparison purposes, he also ran the numbers after removing the top 10 percent most successful applications — which brings everything back down to earth. In that scenario, 23 percent of the apps sold less than 1,000 units since their launch (ranging from 12 to 370 days), and only 10 percent achieved sales of 127,000 to 3 million units.

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