Monday, August 5, 2013

It you're a software developer and thinking about developing an app keep these figures in mind.

I've heard a couple of unconfirmed figures in terms of the sales of apps.
1. The top 20 apps represent 50% of app purchases.

2. The top 200 apps represent 80% of app purchases.

I read once that 80% of paid Android apps are never downloaded more than a 100 times.

Apple recently reported that 90% of the apps in their app store are downloaded at least once a month. Whilst this sounds good, keep in mind that once a month means just 12 downloads a year and with apps being around a $1 each, that isn't much money. That also means 10% of apps are not downloaded more than 12 times a year.

The problem for developers is to get a realistic picture of what to expect for their efforts. Most developers are good developers but most are not in the top 20%, which means be realistic as to how much you think you'll earn from developing an app. In general, unless you have a hit (like finding gold in the gold rush days) chances are the return won't be that great. In fact if you factor in your costs and time you'll probably have made a substantial loss.

If Apple, Google and Microsoft would provide better statistics it would make it easier for developers to make better informed decisions. Without real information to make decisions many developers will invest considerable effort for little return. Of course it probably isn't in the interest of the app store owners to let developers know the actual statistics because then many would realise their efforts won't generate them much income.
For example Apple recently announced they've paid App developers $10 billion. There are 900,000 apps. If just 200 make 80% of the money, that means on average developer makes around $2,000, which for an IT person is one to two weeks pay. I'm sure developers put in a lot more time and resources than that. Buying an Apple computer for development alone would consume most of the money.
I'm not saying don't develop apps, just make sure you have your eyes wide open if you do. Apple makes a great deal of money and most developers simply give away their time to make the Apple App store look good. The same would be true for Google and Microsoft's app stores.

Kelvin Eldridge
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Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
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