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  1. #1
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    [moved] Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    With all the OVI to Apple comparisons (mostly by Apple apologists bashing Nokia - OMG! You can make a video call on your phone!?!?) I thought I'd post a link to this article. Most people I know with an app on the iPhone app store have made less than $100. I hate to go all "Nokia Fanboy", but if there's any place to do it, Forum Nokia would be it.

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=217801029

    Martin surveyed 100 development teams, received 85 usable responses, and found that 52% of the developers had earned less than $15,000 for their efforts and 33% earned less than $250.

    For those bringing in more significant sums, the breakdown is as follows:

    * 2%, $15,001-$50,000
    * 1%, $50,001-$100,000
    * 1%, $100,001-$250,000
    * 1%, $500,001-$2,000,000

    About 38% did not disclose revenue.

  2. #2
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    Re: Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    This may be very well true, but certainly depends on what kind of applications these developer did. It is not because there are 1,000 flash lights that all of them will make money. In any case, I don't see the point of bashing AppStore, at the moment it doesn't look like any of the publishers on the Ovi Store is going to be a millionaire either.

    P.S. true you can't make video phone call with iPhone but I still have to see somebody that actually uses this feature, video calls on mobile have been an abysmal failure (ask to 3/Hutchinson-Wampoa for details)

  3. #3
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    Re: Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    Adding what I've managed to discover...

    There is a small number of figures that Apple publish, and a large number that they don't. But taking figures from various analysts, it seems that:

    • About 20% of applications on the Apple store are free.
    • Free apps account for somewhere in the region of 95% of downloads.
    • The average price of a paid app is £2/€2/$2.80.


    So, 1,000,000,000 downloads equals 50,000,000 paid downloads, equals €100,000,000, equals an average €2,500 per paid-for-app average (based on Apple's claim of 50,000 apps, so 40,000 paid for), of which the developer gets €1,750.

    Add to that the fact the downloads are not evenly distributed, and a small number of top-downloaders gets a hugely disproportionate share of the volume, and I'd say that most apps are not even hitting the average.

    Which means that most developers with a single app will probably not even recoup the cost of the Mac they had to buy to do the development in the first place.

    Since Ovi's modus operandi is broadly the same as Apple's, I would expect a similar story.

    The problem appears to be the mix of freeware and paid apps on the same store. Read the last section in this article ("Free!").

    Graham.

  4. #4
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    Re: Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    Quote Originally Posted by grahamhughes View Post
    Read the last section in this article ("Free!").
    Woo hoo! I'm "rational" ...at least according to their test.


    We had a meeting a couple of months ago with a guy from Sony's mobile game division. He said in previous years they usually got a mix of demo apps from graduates looking for work: Win Mobile, PC, J2ME, and even Symbian. He said this year every single submission was an iPhone app so they were considering leaving the iPhone market. His thought was that if every school in the US is teaching software development on iPhone, you've got a huge group of students that will be cranking out apps and they'll be giving them away for free, since publicity (getting hired) is more important than revenue. Even though most of the apps will be mediocre (Hershey's kiss), they'll still be free.


    I hope Nokia doesn't try to compete head-to-head with the iPhone app store. Not because they can't, but because the iPhone app store isn't a very good model - for developers or consumers. I'd rather see Nokia do a mobile store based on the XBOX Live Arcade model. Not only do I think XBLA is a better model, it keeps Nokia from having to best Apple to be seen as successful. If Apple has 1,000,000 apps, Nokia will need 1,000,000 apps to be viewed successful. I'd rather Nokia create something better and be able to use Apple's numbers against them, rather than needing to match them.

  5. #5
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    Re: [moved] Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    I totally agree with pat, that XBLA is a very good model Too me it is definitely one of the best app stores around today, so I sure hope Nokia will take a look at it for inspiration

    I have also been eying the XNA Community Games (think they are renaming it to Indie Games now). I kind of like the model with using peer reviews to 'guarantee' some level of quality, however it is not yet available here (Denmark), so I cannot really tell how well it works in practice. Some info on Community game sales:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=22970

    And here is some sales charts for XBLA:
    http://news.vgchartz.com/news.php?id=3527

  6. #6
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    Re: Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    Quote Originally Posted by proberts View Post
    Woo hoo! I'm "rational" ...at least according to their test.

    I hope Nokia doesn't try to compete head-to-head with the iPhone app store. Not because they can't, but because the iPhone app store isn't a very good model - for developers or consumers. I'd rather see Nokia do a mobile store based on the XBOX Live Arcade model. Not only do I think XBLA is a better model, it keeps Nokia from having to best Apple to be seen as successful. If Apple has 1,000,000 apps, Nokia will need 1,000,000 apps to be viewed successful. I'd rather Nokia create something better and be able to use Apple's numbers against them, rather than needing to match them.
    Apple and Nokia are in direct competition with their smartphones, and phones are not seen as competing with the XBOX. Going to compare App Store and Ovi Store is the natural thing to do, and comparing Ovi Store with XBLA is not. Nokia made mistakes, and Apple is exploiting those mistakes. If Apple makes mistakes, Nokia is going to exploit these mistakes too, at least that is what they should do.

    What you saw happening in App Store and will see in Ovi Store is that the right price of an app is set by the market. And that is the way it should be in a free economy. Nobody is forced to develop for any platform at all, if your think you can't make enough money, move to a field where you can.

    Because both Apple and Nokia can make money from running their stores (which is fine by me) they won't let free apps take over everything because at some point running the Store becomes too expensive.
    Sander van der Wal
    www.mBrainSoftware.com

  7. #7
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    Re: [moved] Apple iPhone Developers Mostly Don't Make Much Money

    It wasn't my intention to directly compare Ovi and XBLA, I merely wanted to suggest that looking at some of the things that works well for XBLA would be beneficial for Nokia and Ovi.

    Specifically for games the presentation in the store: multiple screen shots, optionally a short trailer video and structured information on basic features like: number of players, online play, co-op, etc. - yes, I know these don't necessarily directly apply to mobile games, the point is having the basic features shown in a structured way instead of relying on the publisher mentioning them in the description text, so for mobile it might be: online yes/no, sound yes/no, turn-based yes/no.

    I also think the 'try first by later' works really well on XBLA, while there currently isn't a good solution for doing this on Ovi.

    I didn't provided links to sales info to suggest you could directly compare those to Ovi (or iPhone AppStore), it's a different price point and a different target market. The sales figures does however show that some XBLA and many XNA Community games aren't exactly earning tons of money either.

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