App Promo surveyed iOS developers and got some interesting results. The most staggering number from the survey is that 60% of apps don’t generate enough revenue to break even. Take a look (click to enlarge):
The key thing to note for aspiring developers is the importance of marketing an iOS app. Without promotional support for your app don’t expect anything close to success and don’t think you can rely on using free social media either.
As with most tech news, Ars has a good analysis of App Promo’s research with interviews with some developers. They look at the difficulty of even getting an app discovered (this is an ongoing problem with the App Store and Apple knows it) to the costs of developing the app and where the money can be made making iOS apps.
“Development costs are generally much higher than folks realize,” Kafasis said. “Making an app still requires tens of thousands of dollars in development, if not hundreds of thousands. Recouping that kind of money 99 cents—or really, 70 cents—at a time is not easy.”
Part of the problem can be attributed to consumer expectations. Whereas $20-30 was not an uncommon price for desktop software created by small developers in the past, the App Store quickly led consumers to expect to pay 99 cents, or maybe $1.99 for most mobile apps. Many more are free, supported with in-app ads or “freemium” in-app purchases.
“Paid apps, despite likely being only $1, is a surprisingly high barrier of entry,” McCarron told Ars