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Mobile Apps May Not Pave The Way To Developer Riches, Sales Average Less Than $1,250 A Day

Jan 13 2014, 5:51pm CST | by

Mobile Apps May Not Pave The Way To Developer Riches, Sales Average Less Than $1,250 A Day
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Less than 0.01 percent.

That’s how many mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018, according to new research from Gartner Inc.

Of paid applications, about 90 are downloaded less than 500 times per day — and earn less than $1,250 a day. So those looking at mobile apps as a road to riches might have to think again.

“This is only going to get worse in the future when there will be even greater competition, especially in successful markets,” Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said in a statement. “Our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognize this may find profits elusive.”

Gartner estimates that there are more than 200 companies creating mobile application development platforms and millions of developers creating mobile apps. There’s no question that consumers are using them — lots of them. In 2013, mobile app use “grew a whopping 115 percent over 2012,” with consumers using mobile apps more now than they ever have,” according to research also released today by mobile ad platform Flurry.

Apple, which  offers more than 1 million apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, said last week that customers spent more than $10 billion on apps in 2013, including more than $1 billion in December alone. Developers, who get a 70 percent cut of their app sales from Apple, have earned a total $15 billion since the store was launched in 2008.

Even counting Apple’s success, many consumers are still not not paying for a whole lot of them. By 2016, 94.5 percent of all mobile apps downloaded will be free apps, Gartner predicts. Says Delaney, the “bounty of good, free” mobile apps has set “high expectations” as to what consumers are willing to pay for.

Flurry says the most popular categories of apps downloaded by mobile users in 2013 were messaging and social apps, followed by utilities and productivity apps.

Source: Forbes

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