Ah yes, reality. Finally the novelty wears off for people. Others are reporting that making iPhone apps won’t make you instantly rich. Go figure. As I say below, as one had to do was Do The Math. 6 months ago and you might have saved a buck or 10,000.
Below is what I posted on August 11:
- Users have now downloaded more than 60 million programs for the iPhone and iPod touch, or roughly 2 million per day.
- Revenue from those applications came to about $30 million. 70% went to the developers; Apple kept 30%. (Free apps apparently accounted for the vast majority of the downloads, since average revenue per download is 50 cents.)
- If sales continue at the current pace, Apple stands to clear at least $360 million a year. “This thing’s going to crest a half a billion, soon,” Jobs told the Wall Street Journal. “Who knows, maybe it will be a $1 billion marketplace at some point in time…. I’ve never seen anything like this in my career for software.”
- Of the $21 million that developers cleared in the first month, roughly $9 million went to the creators of the top 10 best sellers. Sega Corp., for example, says it sold more than 300,000 copies of its $9.99 Super Monkeyball game in 20 days.
- Jobs believes a rich array of applications is what will distinguish the iPhone from competing cell phones. “Phone differentiation used to be about radios and antennas and things like that,” he told the Journal. “We think, going forward, the phone of the future will be differentiated by software.”
Wired reports on the above and restates the claims it will be a billion dollar market place soon.
I say DO THE MATH.
Let’s say they actually did sell $30,000,000 in apps. I think it’s safe to say there are at least 10,000 developers slaving away on these apps. Maybe as high as 100,000. So each developer is going to split between $3,000 – $30,000. From the above you can assume that most of the money went to the top 10 apps (all developed by the big companies). So an independent developer is probably pulling maybe $500 for this.
That’s not enough to sustain an independent developer market place. Well, actually, it’s the kind of market dynamic that sustains most of the music and tv industry. So scratch my logic. Let me put it this way then. For all you GET RICH QUICK folks… this is not a way to get rich quick. Nor were facebook apps, or .NET or XML or semantic web or open social or casual games and ever other manner of EMERGING PLATFORMS.
Another set of numbers. A basic interactive ad campaign development project goes between $10,000 and $75000 in development and typically only takes 2-5 developers 3 weeks to execute. It’s boring work a lot of the time. It’s not using the latest and greatest. It takes interacting with humans and doing phone calls. BUT it’s still less work and far more profitable than building emerging apps.
The app store numbers are impressive, especially with a user base (savvy internet users) that hate to pay for things. The platform is real and substantial.
Before you throw away the current gig you have and start “IphoneAppDevShop.com”, do the math.