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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    fuyutsukifuyutsuki Posts: 293member
    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?
  • Reply 2 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    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"?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    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
  • Reply 4 of 29
    phlakephlake Posts: 91member
    I must say: these numbers make that $99 entry fee seem mighty small…
  • Reply 5 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,737member
    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!
  • Reply 6 of 29
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    So ForeFlight Mobile has sold about 48,500 copys plus?
  • Reply 8 of 29
    revaling a bias twards younger users? because older people don't play games? because why? i don't see it.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,737member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    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!
  • Reply 13 of 29
    delanydelany Posts: 51member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,737member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Don't forget the people who have an iPod Touch and downloaded the software for it.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    delanydelany Posts: 51member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 29
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    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
  • Reply 18 of 29
    mh71mh71 Posts: 44member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    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!)
  • Reply 20 of 29
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    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?!?!?!

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