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App Store downloads led by free apps; one quarter are games

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Revealing the bias towards younger users, mobile ad group Medialets has tracked iTunes' App Store and finds that free apps rule the download charts, but that game developers are thriving in the paid world and that some developers should already be successful.

With Apple having pulled actual download counts just hours after the App Store was accessible to the public, the marketing firm uses the number of ratings for each app to estimate the actual demand.

Of the top ten most rated apps available for the iPhone and iPod touch as of press time, just one -- Super Monkey Ball -- costs users any money. The rest are a mixture of free entertainment-related software, games, and social networking tools. The chart includes category leaders such as Apple's own Remote software, which leads with 1,320 ratings, as well as AIM and Facebook.

A higher average rating for a frequently rated app also provides a clue as to the real popularity of an app, Medialets tells AppleInsider.

Apple has also seen the average paid price for a posted app decline in just a matter of days. While a typical paying customer would have spent $6.03 on software from the App Store on Friday, with just 500 apps available, the number has since decreased a valuable 56 cents to $5.47 with many skewing to near-free downloads.

The early statistics suggest a heavy, if expected, leaning towards free apps in the store, and particularly for the social networking category, where free apps are the rule and paid apps are often premium versions of free apps.

Medialets' breakdown of App Store titles by category, number, and price.

The quick decline of the average paid app's price over the weekend.

For paid content, however, both customers and developers are skewing towards games. Of the 802 total apps counted in the store by Sunday, 27 percent are games, with just 21 of them available for free but nearly all available for $10 or less.

Even for apps well out of contention for the top spot, however, the income is still likely to be worth the effort. For Super Monkey Ball creator Sega, its pioneering iPhone game is estimated to have earned about $4.9 million in its first weekend based on relative data and its $9.99 official price; the $69.99 aviation weather guide ForeFlight Mobile, however, may have generated $3.4 million despite selling far fewer copies.

More modest apps are still likely to have generated significant amounts of income, with a game like PopCap's Bejeweled 2 netting about $627,000 based on the predictions.

Estimated relative income for major apps over the weekend.
post #2 of 30
Nice guesswork.

Weren't there meant to be real numbers though? As in I heard there were download statistics in the OTA AppStore app. (I can't verify this as I still don't have one yet!)

Anyway, it's easy to tell the store's a great moneymaker for Apple and 3rd parties alike. iPhone / iPod customers have today what the rest of the world (the Mac included) will have to wait for until tomorrow
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post

Nice guesswork.

Weren't there meant to be real numbers though? As in I heard there were download statistics in the OTA AppStore app. (I can't verify this as I still don't have one yet!)

Anyway, it's easy to tell the store's a great moneymaker for Apple and 3rd parties alike. iPhone / iPod customers have today what the rest of the world (the Mac included) will have to wait for until tomorrow

In the future, anything that can be digitized and sold, will be sold through the iTunes/App Store.

But it might eventually be called the iTunes/App/3D Print Store...

How about digital files for CAM systems to create clothing, shoes, replacement parts... anything that can be "3D printed"?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 30
Digg this story.

I think people need to see how much developers can make on these apps.

http://digg.com/apple/App_Store_down...es_making_bank
post #5 of 30
I must say: these numbers make that $99 entry fee seem mighty small…
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlake View Post

I must say: these numbers make that $99 entry fee seem mighty small

It sure do.

I wonder how these sales go as the list continues. Is there a sudden drop-off in money made, or does it slowly go down?

Will we ever see actual sales numbers from iTunes, or is that too explosive for developers who are not doing well?

We, the people, want to know!
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

In the future, anything that can be digitized and sold, will be sold through the iTunes/App Store.

That made me laugh. I've always maintained that the Federal Government will one day merge with the NFL.
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #8 of 30
So ForeFlight Mobile has sold about 48,500 copys plus?
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
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post #9 of 30
revaling a bias twards younger users? because older people don't play games? because why? i don't see it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
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post #10 of 30
The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable.

I'm surprised there are a large amount of games sold. Most are on the level of cell phone games. If publishers want to charge more than 5-10 dollars, they will have to put more effort into their apps.

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable.

I'm surprised there are a large amount of games sold. Most are on the level of cell phone games. If publishers want to charge more than 5-10 dollars, they will have to put more effort into their apps.

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.

I don't agree. I've been buying programs and games for my Palm based phones ever since I first bought my Samsung i300 not too long after 9/11, when We first got cells.

I can assure you that many, if not most programs on that platform, and from what I've seen on other platforms as well, as pure garbage. At any price. Price does NOT denote quality.

These programs are priced low to sell more, which seems to be happening. While many are fluff, that's true everywhere, even for Mac programs.

It is true that this is the first round of programs, and all are really ver 1.0, even though some claim otherwise, mostly because they've been available on those other platforms, where they are just as bad, and often cost more (though I suspect that will change, with those prices coming down).

Rarely are programs at their best at ver 1. Give them, and us, a break, some are damn good.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable.

I'm surprised there are a large amount of games sold. Most are on the level of cell phone games. If publishers want to charge more than 5-10 dollars, they will have to put more effort into their apps.

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.

I have seen and bough several excellent apps. More are coming.

I'm surprised that people expected so much when the devs only had a few months.

If anybody here can make better apps, go for it and post 'em.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable.

I'm surprised there are a large amount of games sold. Most are on the level of cell phone games. If publishers want to charge more than 5-10 dollars, they will have to put more effort into their apps.

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.

I don't think that's true at all. I've found a number of free apps that were very well done as well as paid for apps. I've got 5 paid for apps and a number of free apps and I really like all of them. Especially Shazam - it's funny - Verizon spends a whole pre-movie commercial touting their music identifying service (which you pay for) and then Shazam has one out for the iPhone that's free!
post #14 of 30
It's not entirely clear what these numbers are supposed to represent - sure the article makes statements like 'the amount earned in the first weekend' but the chart shows the much less certain 'estimated relative income'.

In general, these income numbers strike me as wildly exaggerated.

$4.9million for $9.99 Super Monkey Ball is basically 500,000 units sold. If there are about 5-6million iPhones (is this about right?) that means about 1 in 10 bought Super Monkey Ball in the first weekend.

Given the fact that many users would have to upgrade to 2.0 and work out how to use a completely new process and there were issues in getting the whole thing up ... let alone such a huge percentage deciding to buy that one game ... this seems fairly unlikely to me.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

It's not entirely clear what these numbers are supposed to represent - sure the article makes statements like 'the amount earned in the first weekend' but the chart shows the much less certain 'estimated relative income'.

In general, these income numbers strike me as wildly exaggerated.

$4.9million for $9.99 Super Monkey Ball is basically 500,000 units sold. If there are about 5-6million iPhones (is this about right?) that means about 1 in 10 bought Super Monkey Ball in the first weekend.

Given the fact that many users would have to upgrade to 2.0 and work out how to use a completely new process and there were issues in getting the whole thing up ... let alone such a huge percentage deciding to buy that one game ... this seems fairly unlikely to me.

I don't think so. It's been pointed out that the ver 2.0 software is almost exactly like the ver 1 software, in looks, and in use.

When people buy a new device like this, the first thing they do is buy something for it. Games are a no brainer category. Since Monkey Ball has gotten so much publicity, it's easy to believe its sold that well. It's one of the first things I'll buy when I get mine.
post #16 of 30
Don't forget the people who have an iPod Touch and downloaded the software for it.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #17 of 30
meigross,

Even so, one in ten is an enormous uptake rate. Most iPhone users are just users - they don't upgrade in the first weekend, and know nothing about Super Monkey Ball - I don't know anyone whose upgraded yet (2 parents and about 5 or 6 friends) let alone bought Monkey Ball. That's hardly representative but a 1 in 10 uptake in the first w/e would be good stats for the 2.0 upgrade let alone some game.

delany
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I don't think that's true at all. I've found a number of free apps that were very well done as well as paid for apps. I've got 5 paid for apps and a number of free apps and I really like all of them. Especially Shazam - it's funny - Verizon spends a whole pre-movie commercial touting their music identifying service (which you pay for) and then Shazam has one out for the iPhone that's free!

Care to write a review or 2?

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=88789

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With Apple having pulled actual download counts just hours after the App Store was accessible to the public, the marketing firm uses the number of ratings for each app to estimate the actual demand.

This is I think the Achilles heel of the study. I don't think you have to download the apps to actually write a review.

I picked up on a Google Reader app from John Gruber or TUAW, and went to check it out. The rating was pretty poor, like around 2. As I skimmed through the reviews, it looked like a third of them were giving the app a 1 simply because it costs $9.99. That was the only thing they mentioned in their review. Things like "$10 -- FAIL". So, I pretty sure they didn't buy the program, but are "driving revenues" for purposes of this study.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable.

I'm surprised there are a large amount of games sold. Most are on the level of cell phone games. If publishers want to charge more than 5-10 dollars, they will have to put more effort into their apps.

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.

On one hand I agree, to the extent of the axiom that 90% of everything is crap. Its the reason I never understood the angst of the pre SDK days, demonizing apple for not allowing 3rd party apps.
On the other hand, its the reason that I like the Apple Store approach (albeit with the recognition that it needs to extend its rating/rankings/recommendations system to help weed through the crap.) One-stop-shop and simple installation.
Frankly, I've read the reviews (on App Store and elsewhere, such as http://toucharcade.com) and the apps I've downloaded have been great (particularly Dizzy Bee!)
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The low average price demonstrates the overall quality of the apps. There aren't many worth buying at all, most of them are thrown together and don't have much functionality. I think you will see that average price increase when developers have more time to create something respectable..

The other thing I notice is the large amount of useless apps priced at 99 cents. Yuck! Also, the number of apps that do the same thing is ridiculous (especially the Light clones that aren't free).

Right now we're seeing random, garbage developers trying to take advantage of the iPhone hype, hopefully the outstanding apps will weed them out.

Yeah, it is so lame for new developers to be able to enter the field to compete with larger, entrenched companies! How dare people set up small businesses to get ahead and do so by selling introductory apps at low prices!! It really galls me that there is so much selection and a healthy developer ecosystem in the iPhone 2.0 already! Can't MS and EA and Sega just run everyone else out of business already?!?!?!
The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

meigross,

Even so, one in ten is an enormous uptake rate. Most iPhone users are just users - they don't upgrade in the first weekend, and know nothing about Super Monkey Ball - I don't know anyone whose upgraded yet (2 parents and about 5 or 6 friends) let alone bought Monkey Ball. That's hardly representative but a 1 in 10 uptake in the first w/e would be good stats for the 2.0 upgrade let alone some game.

delany

It is a good uptake. But look at Apple's stat. I believe that they said in the first three days, 10 million apps were downloaded. How many more since then?

That makes this believable, if we use the charts provided here.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh71 View Post

This is I think the Achilles heel of the study. I don't think you have to download the apps to actually write a review.

I picked up on a Google Reader app from John Gruber or TUAW, and went to check it out. The rating was pretty poor, like around 2. As I skimmed through the reviews, it looked like a third of them were giving the app a 1 simply because it costs $9.99. That was the only thing they mentioned in their review. Things like "$10 -- FAIL". So, I pretty sure they didn't buy the program, but are "driving revenues" for purposes of this study.

That does seem to be a problem.

One jerk didn't like some books, and stories, that were being offered, and gave each one star, saying that they should have all been included at the one price. I've seen a couple of others.

A few have given five stars saying that they don't have the phone yet, but the apps look great, and others have given one star for the opposite reason.

Apple should work it so that unless you've actually downloaded the software, whatever it is, you can't write a review.

It's not fair to write something without using it, though downloading it isn't actually proving its use. But, it's better than nothing.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apple should work it so that unless you've actually downloaded the software, whatever it is, you can't write a review.

It's not fair to write something without using it, though downloading it isn't actually proving its use. But, it's better than nothing.

I see where your going with this and sort of agree, but. You need to be able to get input from people who didn't buy something because it was missing a certain feature. Like an ebook reader that can't read PDFs. Or another ebook reader that will only read only one particular file format. Both are important reasons that impact your buying decision. -- And what about the "Pst, over there is another product that I think is better".
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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

I see where your going with this and sort of agree, but. You need to be able to get input from people who didn't buy something because it was missing a certain feature. Like an ebook reader that can't read PDFs. Or another ebook reader that will only read only one particular file format. Both are important reasons that impact your buying decision. -- And what about the "Pst, over there is another product that I think is better".

But those aren't reviews, and can't be. Just because some feature isn't there, isn't a good reason to knock software down, without taking the entire thing into account. That requires that it be used.

Perhaps Apple should break it into two parts, reviews, and feature requests.

Would that do it?
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But those aren't reviews, and can't be. Just because some feature isn't there, isn't a good reason to knock software down, without taking the entire thing into account. That requires that it be used.

Perhaps Apple should break it into two parts, reviews, and feature requests.

Would that do it?

No, they are reviews. Granted not full reviews but reviews none the less. They helped me in my buying decision. I got neither.

I've been wanting an ebook reader and was thrilled to see these two apps. But neither app had the file limitations listed in their descriptions and it wasn't until I read about the inability to display PDFs that I even though of this as a potential problem. So these review from other non-purchasers were helpful. -- I did see those other reviews that you referred to. Yes, they were a waste of bandwidth and not helpful.

(To be fair the file compatibilities were listed on both of their web sites.)
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post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

No, they are reviews. Granted not full reviews but reviews none the less. They helped me in my buying decision. I got neither.

I've been wanting an ebook reader and was thrilled to see these two apps. But neither app had the file limitations listed in their descriptions and it wasn't until I read about the inability to display PDFs that I even though of this as a potential problem. So these review from other non-purchasers were helpful. -- I did see those other reviews that you referred to. Yes, they were a waste of bandwidth and not helpful.

(To be fair the file compatibilities were listed on both of their web sites.)

No matter how many times you say it, they aren't reviews. A review requires one to actually USE the product.

Anyone could just as easily have gone to the developers site, most have them at the push of the mouse button, and seen for themselves, as they obviously did. Listing a couple of features that aren't there can't be construed as a review..
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No matter how many times you say it, they aren't reviews. A review requires one to actually USE the product.

Anyone could just as easily have gone to the developers site, most have them at the push of the mouse button, and seen for themselves, as they obviously did. Listing a couple of features that aren't there can't be construed as a review..

Than we disagree on what a product review is. Anything that provides me with factual information to make a buying decision on is a review. Even those very loud people on this site who constantly scream that the MBA is worthless because it does not have an optical drive are giving reviews. I may disagree with them on the need for the drive and wish that they would calm down with their rants but they are giving accurate reviews of the MBA. You do not need to purchase something to notice and announce that a major feature is missing. And that is a review. A negative review but a review none the less. And as I said these reviews/comments did remind me that I was overlooking a very major factor in ebook readers, what files formats did they read.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Than we disagree on what a product review is. Anything that provides me with factual information to make a buying decision on is a review. Even those very loud people on this site who constantly scream that the MBA is worthless because it does not have an optical drive are giving reviews. I may disagree with them on the need for the drive and wish that they would calm down with their rants but they are giving accurate reviews of the MBA. You do not need to purchase something to notice and announce that a major feature is missing. And that is a review. A negative review but a review none the less. And as I said these reviews/comments did remind me that I was overlooking a very major factor in ebook readers, what files formats did they read.

That's not a review. Your concept of what a review is, is contrary to accepted practice.

What you are talking about is a preview, or possibly an overview, or a "first look", or a listing of the feature set, with comments. There are numerous terms that would fit.

But as is commonly understood, an actual "review" is something that is done with the product in hand, and is commentary on its use.

You are trying to force a common use for a word into a different category. You can really confuse people to say you've "reviewed" something, when you've done no such thing, and have only read the specs.
post #30 of 30
Anybody sent in their $99 and got nothing for it? I got a serial # but it just takes me to the same page you get without it (the iPhone Developer Program page).
--Johnny
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