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Apple's App Store Tops 40 Billion Downloads; Generates $7 Billion For Developers

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the more-money-more-apps dept.

Cellphones 177

An anonymous reader writes "With the eyes of the tech world fixed on CES this week, Apple this morning conveniently decided to issue a press release announcing that the iTunes App Store has now topped over 40 billion downloads. That's an incredible feat, to be sure, but even more incredible is that nearly half of those downloads occurred in 2012. In December alone, iOS users downloaded over 2 billion applications, setting a monthly record in the process."

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177 comments

RMS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42509719)

Hurr durr. Apple hurts developers.

Re:RMS (4, Funny)

homey of my owney (975234) | about a year ago | (#42510473)

Mmmmm, indeed. $7 billion worth of hurt.... Ouch.

Re:RMS (-1, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#42512653)

Mmmmm, indeed. $7 billion worth of hurt.... Ouch.

So, $7 billion made from 40 billion downloads equals $1 for every 5.7 downloads. Ouch indeed.

If we divide that 7 Billion over the 5 Million registered developer accounts they have made in the entire time that the store has been running (5 years) they've made $1400 each. That's not even enough to pay for the 5x$99 fees and $1500 for the Mac needed to do development.

Even more pain, ever time you hear of an individual developer making 1 million dollars, that means over 700 developers lost money.

Re:RMS (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#42512905)

So, $7 billion made from 40 billion downloads equals $1 for every 5.7 downloads. Ouch indeed.

That downloads figure includes all the free apps as well.

If we divide that 7 Billion over the 5 Million registered developer accounts they have made in the entire time that the store has been running (5 years) they've made $1400 each. That's not even enough to pay for the 5x$99 fees and $1500 for the Mac needed to do development.

That would be pretty disingenuous given developer registration is free and that the app store currently has around 775,000 apps [gsmarena.com], your numbers make no sense. Even if you made the obviously false assumption that every app was paid or supported by iAds it still works out to an average of around $9000 per app.

Re:RMS (0)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#42513263)

That downloads figure includes all the free apps as well.

Free application developers still need to pay for the yearly license fee and Mac to develop on.

That would be pretty disingenuous given developer registration is free

And that statement is downright deceitful considering you need to pay the $99 yearly license fee to get you application listed. You still need to pay for the Mac to develop on regardless of if you release anything. A free developer registration only gives you the right to look, not to touch (as in release an application).

I haven't even consider the cost in man hours.

I've said it before, the only way to make money with mobile applications is to be the one the suckers who think they can make money on mobile applications hire to make their crappy apps... Given that work can be farmed off to the 3rd world Asian nation of your choice it's hardly a guaranteed success.

Re:RMS (4, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#42513693)

And that statement is downright deceitful considering you need to pay the $99 yearly license fee to get you application listed.

Wrong, it isn't deceitful at all, nowhere near 5 million people have listed applications, in fact there aren't even 20% of that number of applications in the app store today, yet you claim 5 million people have been paying $99 a year for the past 5 years, obviously a ridiculous and baseless claim that isn't in any way even close to being conceivably accurate.

You still need to pay for the Mac to develop on regardless of if you release anything.

Not if you already have one, and you certainly don't need one to become a registered developer. Moreover i doubt many people are buying a mac solely for the purpose of iOS development.

A free developer registration only gives you the right to look, not to touch (as in release an application).

Yes and the numbers speak for themselves, the vast majority have not released any application.

Unique downloads? (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#42509783)

or all downloads.

Re:Unique downloads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42509905)

What's the difference?

Re:Unique downloads? (2, Insightful)

ageoffri (723674) | about a year ago | (#42509971)

The difference could be substantial. Take a user who got the original iPhone and bought each new version of the iPhone. If they download even one of the same apps that person has contributed multiple times. Or in the case of having problems with an app and uninstalling/re-installing, again the count is inflated. Unique downloads based off of Apple store ID is the number that really matters. Sure someone could have changed apple ID's for some reason but it will be the best way to get an accurate count.

Re:Unique downloads? (3, Funny)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#42511315)

Take a user who got the original iPhone and bought each new version of the iPhone. .

..out the back and shoot him.

Re:Unique downloads? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42509997)

According to Ars (http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/apple-40-billion-unique-app-downloads-7-billion-paid-to-developers/), its unique.

Wow (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#42510023)

That is an insane level of growth. One of the things that doesn't get discussed a lot here was Verizon, AT&Ts and Sprint's sales numbers for postpay (around 70%) marketshare. I don't know however how large the global cellphone software market is x-USA.

The other data I'd love to know is how much cloud based solutions like Dropbox and Evernote that owe a lot of their revenue to mobile app are getting.

Re:Unique downloads? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510981)

Let's see what Apple has to say! [apple.com]

Apple® today announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps* [...]

*40 billion unique downloads excluding re-downloads and updates.

Why the fuck editors wouldn't link to the actual press release, rather than idiotic networkworld clickbait is beyond me. I guess "news" doesn't like primary sources, it's easier to just let networkworld flog their useless "reportage" instead.

Re:Unique downloads? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | about a year ago | (#42511461)

I guess "news" doesn't like primary sources...

Hey, if it isn't good enough for Wikipaedia, it's not good enough for /.;^)

How many developers? (2)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#42509877)

2 Billion $ devided by 1000's of developers is not much income per dev. I'd rather see an average breakdown per dev or full breakdown.

Re:How many developers? (4, Insightful)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about a year ago | (#42510033)

7 Billion dollars.....
What you have to realise is that is just payout form Apple.

Many developers (including myself) make a living developing custom applications for businesses. So that figure is just for those who sell their wares.

Re:How many developers? (2)

twistofsin (718250) | about a year ago | (#42510091)

Averages are useless since some (many?) devs aren't worth shit and are just trying to hop onto the iOS bandwagon.

Re:How many developers? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42510161)

Most if the money is made by the top dev houses

Just like in the play store and in hardware sales

Re:How many developers? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42510261)

$7 billion spread across 10 thousand developers is still $700,000 per developer.

If that's 'not much income' for you, you're selling drugs on the side.

Re:How many developers? (4, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42510549)

A straight up average is inappropriate, as there are some massive outliers. Take a look at the top paid apps: http://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/paid-apps/ [apple.com]

It's overwhelmingly games. And of these top 100 apps, developers like Rovio and EA are overrepresented. Meaning if your app isn't a game and your company isn't Rovio, you're probably not making much at all. Rovio and EA on the other hand are probably making well over $700,000.

Re:How many developers? (3, Interesting)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42510681)

No idea, but do paid apps count if they're free, but with in-app purchases?

That would well skew things.

Re:How many developers? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year ago | (#42510809)

The part that's relevant to most of us is that while Google Play is poised to surpass iTunes in catalog size, it brings in 1/4 the revenue.

Not the sort of stat that puts a smile on my face.

Re:How many developers? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42510885)

At the same time, that revenue figure is only a measurement of the paid apps revenue. The unknown figure for both platforms is how much developers are making from ad revenue. This could potentially be much higher on Android.

Countries with no paid apps (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42511081)

The unknown figure for both platforms is how much developers are making from ad revenue. This could potentially be much higher on Android.

I'd imagine that this is the case because when Android phones first came out, paid applications weren't available on Android Market in all countries. So developers had to price their applications at zero to reach users in those countries.

Re:How many developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42511045)

I made about $30k last year writing iOS apps in my spare time, about 5 hours per week on average. Comes out to over $100 per hour. My apps are not games, and I do a revenue split with the content owners.

Re:How many developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510637)

Yeah, great to be one of those 10000. Sucks to be one of other 265000 ("275,000 registered iOS developers in the U.S." sez Apple's site [apple.com]), though.

Re:How many developers? (5, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42510699)

Many of whom have not released an app.

I'm a registered iOS developer, it's free.
Nice to be able to take a look around at what is possible.

Re:How many developers? (1)

kondor6c (1278766) | about a year ago | (#42511975)

Yes, becoming a developer is free, you get access to documentation and some videos (which require you to be on OS X and Safari). However if you want to push applications to the AppStore, it requires a fee of $99 per year, and to use Xcode 4 you need to have an Apple device.

Re:How many developers? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42512025)

That was kind of my point.

LOTS of people aren't going to put out $100 just try out an app on the AppStore

Re:How many developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42512629)

You're retarded. >95% of iOS developers don't get any of the 7Billion. iOS development is a fool's lottery designed to suck time and resources away from morons like you... in fact most app store devs are in this boat and don't even know it.

Re:How many developers? (2)

miroku000 (2791465) | about a year ago | (#42510395)

2 Billion $ devided by 1000's of developers is not much income per dev. I'd rather see an average breakdown per dev or full breakdown.

That is an average of 7000000000/775000 or $9032.25 per app. It is pretty hard to compare Android earnings because they are mostly from third parties via advertising. For example, out of the $100,000 or so I have made on Android apps, about $200 came from the Android market itself.

Re:How many developers? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42512127)

That is an average of 7000000000/775000 or $9032.25 per app.

76% of apps are on the app store are free, and thus don't expect any income, at least from downloads. Some of them will have in game purchases though.

Re:How many developers? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510431)

There are 275,000 registered developers in the USA alone (source: Apple [apple.com]). Even with an unrealistic 300K world-wide estimation, the average is less than $7000. Of course, your average developer won't even come close to that figure, as a few key players such as Rovio, EA, or Gameloft would grab a massive part of the pie for themselves.

In other words, the gold rush is dead. There is still the occasional success story (Apple likes those stories and routinely puts some indie title in a featured space) but there are a vast, vast number of mostly fine apps and games that will never recover the development costs.

It is still very possible to make money in the app store, but the rules are now similar to any other market: expend wisely your arm and your leg in marketing, and pray you acquisition cost per user is justified by the returns. In other words, you need to be a publisher with big pockets or be prepared to give your soul to one. And be wary of publishers in mobile. In a brick-and-mortar world, shelf space is limited and publishers don't like to release a title that sells nothing, so at least they'll make some marketing effort most of the time. Not necessarily the case in mobile.

Ya as a comparison (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#42511681)

That is the kind of sales that one Call of Duty game can do.

Now that's fine, I'm not saying everything should (or can) be a massive billion dollar hit but let's have a little perspective. What do developers tend to make?

This would particularly be interesting if you take off the outliers. Remove Angry Birds, and any other really big hit apps and then see what it looks like for the masses of developers.

Re:Ya as a comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42512065)

Some guy here linked to this survey [gigaom.com]

The only real lesson I got from there is "don't quit your day job". 34% of Apple dev's and 44% of Android devs make less than $500 per app per month, and 95% make $2-3k per app per month on average (and, if general distribution didn't change much since 2011 [gigaom.com], the profits distribution is reeeeeeeal skewed towards the top) with $22-27k to make it, so if you're lucky you'll break even in 7-8 months.

Re:Ya as a comparison (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42512189)

This would particularly be interesting if you take off the outliers. Remove Angry Birds, and any other really big hit apps and then see what it looks like for the masses of developers.

The "masses of developers" haven't put the work in to developing their app that the Angry Birds programmers did.

Doesn't pay much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42509975)

So on average one dollar for every six download.

Re:Doesn't pay much (3, Insightful)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | about a year ago | (#42510055)

Since Apple is paying for the infrastructure, it's actually quite good. You try paying for your own servers and bandwidth - you won't be making anything after 6 downloads.

Re:Doesn't pay much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510723)

It's not 1999 anymore, there are a gazillion infrastructure-as-a-service companies out there with the most prominent being Amazon. You can host a static site and downloads from S3 for twelve cents a gig. Servers are available by the hour from dozens of vendors and monthly from dozens more for prices similar to what people pay for their personal phone service. With proper automation (Chef/Puppet/CFEngine/etc...) you can spin things up in minutes. If you don't want to DIY you can go anywhere from AppEngine/Heroku style hosting all the way to vendors that will take care of everything. All for a lot less than Apple no-competition gouging.

Re:Doesn't pay much (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#42510197)

You have to factor in free downloads.

I would assume that the free, gimped, holiday version of angry birds is one download (remember kids, the first taste of crack is always free) and the full version would be another.

By the way, does the 7b included ”in app” ad revenue and purchases?

Horrible ROI. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42511785)

So on average one dollar for every six download.

iTunes music and video sales must be a freaking goldmine compared to that - 6 app downloads just to make a buck??? If it weren't for ad revenue, this model wouldn't work at all. Might as well not even bother.

Re:Horrible ROI. (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42512535)

That's 1 paid download against 5 free downloads. The 5 free downloads were never expected to get any money from downloading.

If it weren't for ad revenue, this model wouldn't work at all. Might as well not even bother.

Have you considered telling Google their business model is flawed, and they might as well give up?

And Apple's cut... (0)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year ago | (#42510041)

Generates $7 Billion For Developers

and $3 billion for Apple at 30cents out of every dollar. Quite a tidy sum for the gatekeeper, is it any wonder that Microsoft would like to wall their own garden?

Re:And Apple's cut... (2)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#42510349)

And suggests ~$10 billion in revenue; assuming $1 per download, that suggests 1 out of 4 downloads was paid. Even at $5 per download that suggests 1 in 20 downloads was paid. I find even that hard to beleive.

Especially given how many people I know that spend a large amount of their free time downloading free apps, messing with them for 10 minutes, and then deleting them.

Hell, that's even how I approach mobile apps. For example I bought my son a "toy guitar" for christmas; it pretty much needs constant tuning. so I went through 7 or 8 different free guitar tuning apps before finding one I liked.

I'd have thought that sort of thing would have been the largest portion of downloads. Alongside the big ones ... twitter, facebook, instagram, does groupon have an app (?), netflix, etc, etc... and that stuff is also all free.

I've got to believe that they are including in app purchases and so on to get up to those final totals.

Re:And Apple's cut... (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42512269)

And suggests ~$10 billion in revenue; assuming $1 per download, that suggests 1 out of 4 downloads was paid. Even at $5 per download that suggests 1 in 20 downloads was paid. I find even that hard to believe.

Apple's users don't mind paying for getting something with better quality. That's the major reason why, despite the larger numbers of Android phones, developers prefer the iOS platform.

And yes, the figure will include in-app purchases. It's the "paid out to developers" figure, so is not just downloads.

For example I bought my son a "toy guitar" for christmas; it pretty much needs constant tuning. so I went through 7 or 8 different free guitar tuning apps before finding one I liked.

Sure, and there will be other people like you. And then there will be people who are not like you. People tend to overestimate the number of people that are similar to themselves.

Re:And Apple's cut... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#42512783)

For example I bought my son a "toy guitar" for christmas; it pretty much needs constant tuning. so I went through 7 or 8 different free guitar tuning apps before finding one I liked.

Erm, most of those cheap guitars come with electronic tuners. You must have really cheaped out to get a "toy" guitar without a tuner. Besides, a decent chromatic tuner is about $30 in Australia (so it's probably cheaper where you live). If you wasted more than 1 hour of your time on free apps, you lost money.

Beyond this, you wont find a decent tuner application on a phone because the microphone on a phone is made for the frequency range of the human voice which is 85Hz to 225Hz, a six string in normal tuning has a frequency between 82Hz (E2) and 1318Hz (E6). Even hitting an open top E (E4 = 329Hz) is beyond what the hardware is meant for. To properly tune a guitar you need test both the open and 12th fret, so on the top E string that's E4 at 330Hz and E5 at 659Hz.

Re:And Apple's cut... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510467)

They also handle the bandwidth for downloads, electricity and expenses for servers, and cost of performing credit card transactions. I suspect that $3 billion in revenue doesn't go very far after accounting for all of the expenses.

As for why Microsoft wants one, it's probably because Balmer has no clue what he's doing and sees that everyone else has an app store now, so Microsoft must also clearly have one.

Re:And Apple's cut... (4, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | about a year ago | (#42510807)

Bandwidth, etc. doesn't cost anything...
But credit card transactions is a big expenditure here... Try finding a payment provider that takes less than 30% or 30 cent?
Maybe you can get it cheaper if you are a big player like Apple, but when both Google, Amazon and Paypal are priced at 30% or 30 cent, I imagine that VISA and MASTER card prices are pretty much up there...

Re:And Apple's cut... (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#42511719)

The payment card industry negotiates rates based on many things, including what your card handling practices are, if your entire network and organization is PCI compliant [pcisecuritystandards.org], volume, average transaction size, etc.

For example, I work for a company that does about $100B in retail revenue annually. Our holy IT mantra is to not do anything that even remotely would run afoul of the PCI audit, because losing certified compliance would cause the transaction fees to go up, which is literally a billion dollar mistake.

Re:And Apple's cut... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42512329)

Or you find just somebody else to do your credit card processing, and negotiate both sides. CC clearing houses, T-SYS, are greedy, and they don't want to lose a Billion $ in recurring revenue.

You'll notice that Sony didn't actually suffer great harm after their multiple cluster F*s

Re:And Apple's cut... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42511795)

"Bandwidth doesn't cost anything"?? What planet do you live on?

Perhaps you mean it's relatively inexpensive when you're talking about $7B of revenue, but I can assure you that the bandwidth and infrastructure (whether Apple owns it or they're paying a CDN) costs quite a bit.

Re:And Apple's cut... (5, Insightful)

paulpach (798828) | about a year ago | (#42511819)

I am a game developer, and I have my game in apple store, it is called Block Story.

I have my app in the apple store and google play. There is nothing compelling me to use google play for example, I could sell the game from my own web site but I would be crazy to do this. I still voluntarily pay that 30% to have the app in google play and apple store.

Why do I do it? well, you really can't dismiss all the work they do for you (both stores), consider:

  • * They market your app, putting them in "most recent" list, as well as in the "people who bought this also bought" list of other apps. This marketing alone is well worth the cost.
  • * They handle international payments. I don't have to worry about the dollar conversion, I get to focus in what I am good at: game development.
  • * I don't have to deal with PCI compliance, which I would have to do with my own store
  • * I don't have to deal with refunds, they take care of it.
  • * I don't have to deal with credit card processing. Huge nightmare
  • * I don't have to deal with bandwidth. When my free app is downloaded 300K times, this is an issue.
  • * I don't have to deal with updates. I publish my update, and they take care of notifying users, and installing the updates

They charge 30%? you know what, they earned it.

Re:And Apple's cut... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#42512853)

I have my app in the apple store and google play. There is nothing compelling me to use google play for example

Just to be a pendant,

There is something compelling you to use Google Play, the services and advantages you listed in your post. What you mean is there is nothing forcing you to use Google Play.

They charge 30%? you know what, they earned it.

This is a commission, standard procedure really. They're handling the store front, you're making the merchandise. It's worked well this way for centuries. This I have no issue with.

My problems with the Apple App store are:
1. They double dip. First you have to pay a yearly fee, then 30% of the income.
2. They total editorial control over what I can sell. If Google Play refuse to sell my application, I can go elsewhere (other app stores or sell it myself) with Apple, you're SOL and the reasons Apple reject your application seem whimsical and random.

Comparisons (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42510115)

Apple's last announcements on these figures were in September and October. In September, they quoted 700,000 total iOS apps, and in October they quoted 275,000 iPad apps. That's an average rate 641 total iOS apps per day, and 427 iPad specific apps per day. (Source: Apple)

The numbers on Android are a little hard to find. Does anyone have a figure for how many Android tablet apps are available?

It seems the Google Play store is growing faster, with 833 apps per day on average between September and October... but based on Google's previous announcements they seem to approve apps in fits and starts, with some periods approving thousands of apps per day, and other periods where the approval rate drops to 1/3 of that. (Source: Google)

On the Windows side, the Windows 8/RT store is growing at the same rate as the iPad app catalog, with an average 584 apps per day (before the Holidays). And the Windows Phone store is growing at about 300 apps per day over the past 6 months. I don't know how to combine these figures to compare to Android or iOS, since it's not clear how iOS counts apps for iPhone and iPad (is that 1 app or 2 apps) (Source: http://metrostore.preweb.sk/ [preweb.sk] and http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/ [allaboutwindowsphone.com])

Anyone else have other figures available?

Re:Comparisons (2)

miroku000 (2791465) | about a year ago | (#42510495)

Android has 611,161 apps in the Android Market. In December, around 37,500 apps were released in the Android Market. http://www.appbrain.com/stats/number-of-android-apps [appbrain.com] Of course, this does not include apps released in other market places. For example, of my 30 or so Android apps, only 3 are released in the Android Market due to their limitations on content.

Re:Comparisons (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42510993)

I based my figures from those presented here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Play [wikipedia.org]

Google's most recent figure was 700,000 apps in the Google Play store. That's a discrepancy of almost 100,000 apps, probably more since the 700,000 figure is from October. Any ideas why the figures are so different? I'm assuming this App Brain site is crawling the Google Play store for its statistics. They have a nice set of stats, but disappointingly not the one I'm interested in: the number of tablet specific/optimised apps.

Indicator of mobile device usage (1)

devforhire (2658537) | about a year ago | (#42510343)

I think this is more just an indicator of mobile device usage. Apple's tooting their own horn, but I'm sure the android numbers are respectable which could mean closer to 65+ billion app downloads and growing at 2 billion+ a/month. The developer number is meaningless but makes Apple look charitable.

Citation? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#42510345)

Wiki tells me that 250 Million iPhones have been sold.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone [wikipedia.org]

Apple tells us 40 Billion downloads. (Unique Purchaces)

40B/250M = 160

So the AVERAGE iPhone downloads 160 Applications?

#Fishy

iPad (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#42510441)

Hmmm forgot about the iPad... another 100M there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad [wikipedia.org]

Still 40B/350M = 114

Still 114 is a pretty big number.

Re:iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510683)

You can't even compile the extremely limited list of iOS devices, inside the space of 2 posts, and you expect people to take you seriously?

Re:Citation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510453)

Ever heard of their new-fangled device called an iPod?

Re:Citation? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42510571)

There's more than 500 million iOS devices.

Some of which have been resold/wiped/reimaged, and thus count as new downloads after wiping/new account.

Re:Citation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510847)

There's more than 500 million iOS devices.

[Citation needed]

Some of which have been resold/wiped/reimaged, and thus count as new downloads after wiping/new account.

And some of them probably broke, lost in the ocean and what not... So let's not count them...

That said, 160 downloads per device is not an unlikely average, kids these days...

So - only $14 in app sales per device?? (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42511835)

Those numbers are hideous. Compare that to a Windows PC, where the average user probably buys $200 or more in software.

Re:So - only $14 in app sales per device?? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#42511907)

Wait, are you comparing the majority/monopoly of the entirety of the computing platform to a small mobile, hardware specific OS?

Re:Citation? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#42510679)

Factor in 82 million iPod Touch, 100 million iPads and its near say 117?
I have 29 "apps" on my Mac via Mac App Store. Consider apps like the Mac shareware of the 1980-90's - the app does a few tasks well or like a hypercard stack and 'sells' information for a few $ or $10.

Re:Citation? (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42512239)

Fishy? Not really. Your facts are just poorly aggregated.

For instance, you only accounted for iPhone sales, but Apple also sells the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod Touch, all of which are also iOS devices that can download and run these apps. Through March 2012 they had announced 365M iOS device sales [macobserver.com], and by the end of the next quarter (i.e. the quarter when iPhone sales were winding down before the iPhone 5 and iPad mini rumors were rampant, thus slowing sales) they still managed to sell 35M units, bringing them to over 400M iOS devices by the end of June [engadget.com]. So, already we can tell that you're off by 150M units at a minimum, and that still leaves the following six months of sales unaccounted for.

Going forward past June, Apple has since then released the iPhone 5, a new iPod Touch, the iPad mini, and the 4th gen iPad. Whether the mini is cannibalizing larger iPad sales or not will be revealed soon, since Apple is set to do their earnings announcement for the holiday quarter in about two weeks. Even if it is, however, its sales are estimated to be in the 8-10M range [bgr.com]. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 represented over 50% of smartphone sales [bgr.com] as we got towards the end of the year, so it's safe to say that it's been selling well so far. Not to mention that iPad and iPod sales have traditionally picked up during the holiday season since they're not tied to contracts.

As such, 450-500M is a perfectly reasonable expectation for where they are today, given that it's six months since their last announced numbers and they've updated every single product line that's relevant right before the biggest sales time of the year.

And if we assume just 450M devices, then that would mean 40B/450M, which is around 89 apps on average, which is extremely reasonable, given that they're doubtless including all of those apps that people download, check out for five minutes, and then delete because they aren't what they're looking for. I did a quick sanity check, and I have 84 third-party apps currently installed on my smartphone, not to mention a few more on my tablet, and that doesn't include the dozens I've installed and deleted over the years. I wouldn't even classify myself as a heavy user; I actually think my usage is pretty close to typical for most users, since I don't use it as a geek tool or like a power user would.

and how many of those... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510429)

...are Fart noise generators, knockoff WiFi detectors, or sme other useless piece of garbage

Apple's Goods and Bads (1, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#42510697)

I am of two different minds about the Apple "App Store", so here's my list of Apple's Goods and Bads:
-- "App Store" is a walled garden designed to keep you in
-- "App Store" is well maintained and crapware/spamware does not sneak in that often
-- "App Store" has an opaque process for allowing or denying, whether you are a singleton programmer or a 8-kiloton-Grrrilla like google. You don't get to know why you got stymied or what you need to do to fix it.
-- It provides a good "storefront" for developers to sell their wares at a decent pricepoint with low overhead (30% is low, right?) added on to it
-- It makes it impossible to be an independent software developer and sell software that can be installed by the enduser so you could set up your own infrastructure and sell direct to the customer and keep more profits
-- Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem. Das ist verboten.
:>(
That last entry alone is enough to make the sumof(Goods+Bads)=Bad. That's my two centimes!

Re:Apple's Goods and Bads (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510941)

>Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem. Das ist verboten.

Actually no. It's the GPL that makes that sort of problems (as always). Ask VLC that was released on the AppStore just to be sabotaged by one (1) pissed dev payed by Nokia. There are a number of GPL licensed apps on the AppStore. Apple has no problems with them as long as the devs agree to the AppStore terms.

Lesson to be learned : either use LGPL or better a BSD style license. (if any free software license is required). OR convince your own devs not to shoot themselves in the foot.

Re:Apple's Goods and Bads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42511683)

Or simply inform somewhere in the app where the source ca be found. The App store is nbot designed for code distribution, and it interests only few of its users.
The VLC case is a perfect example of an "holier than the pope" kind of attitude.

Re:Apple's Goods and Bads (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#42511379)

Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem.

This can also be phrased as "The GPL bans distribution through systems like the app store". Of course, neither of these reflects the truth, both are in equal part the problem.

Re:Apple's Goods and Bads (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42511773)

-- Their awful awful policy makes it impossible to package and distribute any GPL code through their ecosystem. Das ist verboten. :>(
  That last entry alone is enough to make the sumof(Goods+Bads)=Bad. That's my two centimes!

No, it's just not allowed to package GPLv3 apps. All app stores have this problem, at least the ones with DRM (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, MAYBE Google Play, since DRM was introduced as part of Jelly Bean).

GPLv2 apps can be distributed just fine. GPLv2+ as well, as long as nothing makes it GPLv3+. (GPLv2 and v3/v3+ code CANNOT be combined - only v2+).

Heck, I'm not sure, but if a dev is classy enough, they could ship the source code into the IPA file too, so source code is right there with the binary.

What's with the weird attitude? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42510829)

Apple this morning conveniently decided to issue a press release announcing that

What's with this? Why not say "Apple this morning issued a press release..."? What is the aim of this editorializing in the summary?

Well and truly (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42511341)

Let's see 40billion downloads generate $7billion for developers.

So each download puts about 17 cents into the pockets of a developer.

An excellent business model for Apple.

Re:Well and truly (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42511857)

Rock stars with their iTunes income must be laughing their asses off at iOS developers and their $0.17 per app download.

Re:Well and truly (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42512479)

iTunes is 30% exactly the same as the App Store is.

And the concept of a few stars getting the majority of the income is the same too.

Re:Well and truly (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42512953)

And they are getting paid on a hell of a lot more than 1-in-6 downloads.

Re:Well and truly (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42513165)

There are plenty of people giving free music away. They just aren't given the option to do it via iTunes.

You don't have a rational point.

Wait. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42513221)

You just said "they just aren't given the option to do it via iTunes". Which means the artists get paid for every download. Which is exactly my point - musicians get paid for every download, app devs get paid for 1-in-6. Big difference there.

Re:Wait. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42513379)

Which is exactly my point - musicians get paid for every download, app devs get paid for 1-in-6. Big difference there.

Your point is that developers who chose to set their app price at zero get zero income from the download.

Clearly your specialist subject is the bleeding obvious.

$7bn not the only revenue stream + 30% cut != bank (1)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about a year ago | (#42511475)

$7bn is a very tidy sum for developers of paid apps.

That sum doesn't not include iAd revenue, or more significantly, all the money developers make creating custom made applications for businesses. So developers can make decent bank developing on iOS.

Others on here are arguing about the 30% cut Apple are taking.

For that 30%, they are paying for all the infrastructure, credit card transaction fees, iTunes card costs. If a super market charges $20 for a iTunes voucher, at least here in NZ, they would have made some money, plus GST of 15% is included in that price.

So $20 credit probably brakes down to something like:

15% GST = $2.69
SuperMarket cut = $2
Apple = $15.39
Developer payout = $14

Leaves Apple with $1.39

Now not all transactions will cost Apple that much, such as when iTunes credit is purchased via credit card, then GST is still factored within that $20 plus credit card transaction fees would leave Apple with about ~$3.20.

The point is, after you take away POS costs, infrastructure costs (data centres, human phone support etc), they do not make as much money as you think they do from their 30% cut.

There are probably a dozen things I have missed but I am sure /. will point them out to me :P

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