Apple App Store Turns 4: A Look Back at the Numbers
Something for Everyone
The App Store launched on July 10, 2008 with 500 applications. As of June 2012, the store offers more than 650,000 applications. Of those, approximately 236,000 are for the iPad and a whopping 567,000 are for the iPhone.
The App Store is available in nearly 200 countries. The top 10 countries downloading the 100 most popular free apps are the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Australia and South Korea.
Since its introduction in June 2009, in-app purchasing has helped to drive app revenues for developers. Among the 100 highest-grossing apps in all countries, revenue over the last two years has tripled, "solely driven" by in-app purchases, says Distimo. Further, the proportion of revenue from free applications with in-app purchasing has increased from 7 percent to 68 percent.
Looked at Another Way...
In June 2010, 7 percent of app revenue came from in-app purchases within free apps, while 22 percent came from in-app purchases in paid apps. In June 2012, those figures evolved to 68 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Games have been a primary driver of the in-app purchasing trend. As of June 2012, approximately 21 percent of all free games included it; but among the games included in the 300 most popular free apps in the United States, 77 percent of those featured ways for users to spend real money.
With Rising Numbers, Increasing Competition
While increasing numbers of apps mean greater choice for consumers, they also mean that the attention paid to each app is reduced. The number of downloads "among the 200 most popular applications per available app in the Apple App Store for iPhone," wrote Distimo, "decreased from 15.4 at its height to 8.4 in June 2012."
"Localization is of the utmost importance for successful global app development," writes Distimo. While some apps, like Angry Birds, are able to attract a global following, in most countries, the top 200 most popular and highest-grossing applications, says Distimo, are related to localized content.
Show the Devs the Money
While downloads are skyrocketing, the payout to developers isn't keeping pace. While the volume downloads for the 200 most popular apps has increased by 13 percent, the average selling price has fallen by 16 percent. Over the last two years, reports Distimo, "the daily revenue among the top 200 most popular paid applications decreased by 5 percent over the past two years."
While games have been a large driver of in-app purchases, the overall category is actually beat by the Newsstand. In this category, 91 percent of the top 300 most popular free Newsstand applications feature in-app purchasing.
Onward and Upward
Since July 2008, the App Store has seen more than 30 billion downloads, which have generated more than $5 billion in revenue for iOS developers. Expect those numbers to keep climbing. In May 2012, Apple made the App Store available in 32 additional countries.