App Store developer revenues top $900 million

Of the more than 2 billion iPhone and iPod touch applications downloaded since Apple's App Store opened in mid-2008, about 30 percent--approximately 610 million--fall into the premium app category, translating to total developer revenues of $900 million, according to iPhone analytics firm Pinch Media. While paid apps constitute about 30 percent of all downloads, Pinch Media notes they make up about 77 percent of the App Store's 100,000 total available applications--the firm's research indicates that premium apps average 9,300 downloads, while free apps average 71,000 downloads.

Although Pinch Media's findings indicate that premium App Store downloads average $12,100 in revenue ($8,500 net to the developer), the firm is quick to point out that the arithmetic can be misleading because the most popular applications generate a very disproportionate percentage of sales. Pinch notes that a small segment of developers earn substantially more than $8.500 per app, and most do far worse. Pinch data also indicates that the average 99-cent iPhone app is not downloaded significantly more often than the average $4.99 app--in fact, its research suggest that the relatively strong sales performance of apps priced at $4.99 is an indicator of their quality.

For more on the iPhone app revenue projections:
- read this Pinch Media blog entry