WWDC survey suggests 70% of planned iPhone apps may be free

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
If a survey of developers attending Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference this week is of any indication, the average cost of a third-party iPhone application will fall well below $3.00, with the vast majority being made available at no cost at all.



Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who appears to be the Wall Street analyst making the best use of his invitation to the annual conference, took some time Monday following Steve Jobs's opening keynote to chat with 20 Apple developers mingling amongst the crowd of 5,200.



He found that 50% of them were in attendance because they plan to focus solely on developing applications for iPhone and iPod touch, while the remaining 50% are doing the same in addition to writing software for Macs.



In a surprising revelation, half the iPhone developers said they were authoring what Munster calls "Enterprise apps." Specifically, the analyst said 15% of the apps will tap into the iPhone's location-based services, 10% will be entertainment oriented, 10% will specifically be video games, and another 15% will be other Enterprise-level apps.



"We see this as a positive indicator of the potential for Enterprise adoption of the iPhone," he said. "We found the average cost of iPhone apps on the App Store to be $2.29, with 71% being free."



This startling stat may alone explain why Apple has started to encourage developers to consider charging for some of their apps in the future. The company will receive 30% of the revenue from all applications sold over the App Store to help offset the costs of marketing and operating the download service, but won't receive any reimbursement for operational costs associated with serving up free software.



In speaking to iPhone developers, Munster also discovered that 70% of them have written applications for other mobile platforms, but approximately the same percentage of their iPhone-bound apps will not be made available for rival platforms.



In particular, those developers pointed to the iPhone's standout feature set, which will drive unique applications that cannot easily be ported to software on rival mobile phones.



"Ultimately, we believe this creates added value for the iPhone over and above other mobile platforms," Munster said. He added that all but one of the developers surveyed said that the iPhone developer tools made application development easier than they had expected, with the majority going out of their way to praise Apple for providing the most intuitive and easy to use mobile development platform they've ever experienced.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Its a small sample to start making assumptions with, but it's a start. I was surprised at the low price of some of the apps @ $9.99. I thought they would be more in the range of $14.99 - $19.99. So, a pleasant surprise then. Only 15% based on location aware phones. Has anybody else asked the question about the underlying privacy concerns with a location aware phone. Who can find out that information. Is there a historical log of where you have been? Can the boss check to see where you are, can the wife snoop to check where you have been?



    I think those numbers will change over time to become 50- 50.



    Pete
  • Reply 2 of 39
    And for iPhone Apps, only 10 people participated in the survey !!
  • Reply 3 of 39
    stukdogstukdog Posts: 53member
    I think the reason for this is because a lot of the apps will be tied to other services. For instance, who would pay for an ebay app to participate in auctions?



    I think a lot of people see the iPhone app as a way to further their online service or the Mac desktop app.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Considering the quality of the apps featured at WWDC, it doesn't seem like much of a surprise that most of them are free. Most of the apps demoed were really just front ends for websites optimized for the iPhone.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    The developer feedback on Apple's efforts to make it a top-notch development platform is encouraging! As for the apps that aren't just front-ends for existing web services, the pessimist in me wonders how many of those apps are free because they are going to be advertising supported?
  • Reply 6 of 39
    mh71mh71 Posts: 44member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    Considering the quality of the apps featured at WWDC, it doesn't seem like much of a surprise that most of them are free. Most of the apps demoed were really just front ends for websites optimized for the iPhone.



    Well, the guys selling the medical flash cards and such are going to be charging real money. If I were a doctor and I saw that CAT Scan app demoed, I think I would buy an iPhone and that app just for its own sake. And that is just one app and it showed a high level innovation and value add for the customer.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    I was looking forward to no more than 25% free apps. I think it devalues the iPhone and creates 25 flavors of the same type of app. When people charge those that are successful have money to innovate and maintain their product, the free ones stagnate a lot of times.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    fuyutsukifuyutsuki Posts: 293member
    I have a little something that I'm learning Cocoa so I can get started on. Thinking of a fairly low price, but not free. I'd kind of like to be able to switch over to this whole developer thing.



    AppStore is what makes the iPhone so intriguing right now. It's a lot harder to get started out on the Mac, even though of course I am actually studying that ? because they are so closely related. Apple are welcome to 30% for all the advantages of delivery, transactions, anti-piracy and advertising that they are establishing.



    In other words: back to Xcode.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    In other news, a survey of 3 random people off the street reveals 100% of people are female.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post


    I have a little something that I'm learning Cocoa so I can get started on. Thinking of a fairly low price, but not free. I'd kind of like to be able to switch over to this whole developer thing.



    AppStore is what makes the iPhone so intriguing right now. It's a lot harder to get started out on the Mac, even though of course I am actually studying that … because they are so closely related. Apple are welcome to 30% for all the advantages of delivery, transactions, anti-piracy and advertising that they are establishing.



    In other words: back to Xcode.



    If this turns out well, Apple may consider using this to sell Mac software.



    Good for you for charging something for your software. Your time and effort is a valuable resource.



    I wonder how many people will continue development of software for the hacked iPhones given that their is an App store with a lot of free software.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We found the average cost of iPhone apps on the App Store to be $2.29, with 71% being free."




    This kind of statement usually bugs me. Who cares what the average selling price of all the apps available is? If there are 10 really popular apps that cost $10 and most people want/need 3-5 of them, it doesn't matter if there are 10,000 other free apps out there--each user would be spending $30 to $50 on apps.

    An average app cost means nothing until you can make it an average of apps downloaded. Obviously that data will not exist for a month or so, but the $2.29 means absolutely nothing.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post


    I was looking forward to no more than 25% free apps. I think it devalues the iPhone and creates 25 flavors of the same type of app. When people charge those that are successful have money to innovate and maintain their product, the free ones stagnate a lot of times.



    Perhaps if an app is not up to Apple quality standards or if they have 2,000 weather apps, they will be kicked back to the developer or rejected? It's really up to the consumer to determine which apps will fail or succeed.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    yodamacyodamac Posts: 59member
    So what's the future of Web Apps now?



    I have so many Web Apps bookmarked on my iPhone home-screens that I can't imagine being able to actually fit them all on an 8 or 16GB iPhone (along with my music, et al.)



    I think I'd want many of those apps to remain Web Apps and not become App Store versions...



    Who's going to make Web Apps anymore?... Anyone?....
  • Reply 14 of 39
    bytorbytor Posts: 20member
    I still have my original Palm Pilot (US Robotics/ Made in the USA). I remember when development began for that platform. It was great to have a lot of free applications available to plug holes in the platform. As the platform matured, developers became more savy at programming and began writing some very cool applications for which they charged for. I believe that this is the way this platform will begin and eventually transform into a great profit generator for Apple. Bottom line is that we want free apps. Its a great way to encourage development.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post


    So what's the future of Web Apps now?



    I have so many Web Apps bookmarked on my iPhone home-screens that I can't imagine being able to actually fit them all on an 8 or 16GB iPhone (along with my music, et al.)



    I think I'd want many of those apps to remain Web Apps and not become App Store versions...



    Who's going to make Web Apps anymore?... Anyone?....



    Web apps were always a stopgap measure.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post


    I was looking forward to no more than 25% free apps. I think it devalues the iPhone and creates 25 flavors of the same type of app. When people charge those that are successful have money to innovate and maintain their product, the free ones stagnate a lot of times.



    I'm curious to see if any sort of rating system is implemented precisely for this reason. If I have a choice of 10 apps that do the roughly the same thing, I really don't want to have to beta them all.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Yeah but 100% of games won't.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    tomlevtomlev Posts: 1member
    anyone know where i can find a list of upcoming apps (besides the one's at wwdc)? interested in seeing what is going to be out there. saw this video on some upcoming products

    (http://youtube.com/watch?v=irXCMdRprfw) but am looking for more info. any thoughts?
  • Reply 20 of 39
    jbcarojbcaro Posts: 47member
    I don't have an iPhone yet, but maybe I'm missing something here. When I go to the Apps Store on Apple's web site via desktop computer I don't see any prices for any of the apps. Are they listed only if viewed on an iPhone/iTouch?



    Also it would be nice to see the size of the file that will be installed on the iPhone/iTouch. Maybe this is also only shown when viewed by iPhone/iTouch.
Sign In or Register to comment.