One of the interesting things announced at WWDC is that Apple are adding an iTunes Connect facility for developers to transfer app ownership. The most obvious use for this, and the one everyone is talking about, is when a developer wants to sell an app.
Perhaps slightly less obvious is that it also enables developers to ‘upgrade’ from personal to business developer accounts …
By sheer good fortune I was smack in the middle of the second iteration of the Enigmatic Ape business plan when WWDC happened. I happened to be thinking about rhythm, business cycles and planning, and the huge market disruption of the iOS 7 announcement made me realise something which, in retrospect, ought to have been screamingly obvious : if you’re working in Apple’s ecosystem, the WWDC keynote is Day 0 of your business year.
So I made this to visualise my annual cycle and the place of a few significant events that are annual and more or less immovable for the foreseeable future.
App store pricing is done in tiers, you can’t just set an arbitrary price for your app, in app purchase, or news stand subscription, you have to pick one of the predetermined price points. That still leaves you with quite a bit of flexibility though, because there are 87 of them, 88 if you count free as tier 0.
In US Dollars (at the time of writing), Tier 1 is 0.99, Tier 2 is 1.99, Tier 3 is 2.99 and so on all the way up to Tier 50 at 54.99 where the gap increases to USD 5 for a while, jumps USD 10 Between Tiers 60 (99.99) and 61 (109.99), and 61 and 62 (119.99), USD 5 between 63 (124.99) and 64 (129.99) then settles down to USD 10 all the way up to Tier 77 at USD 249.99. Then you get USD 50 increments up to Tier 82 at USD 499.99 and then USD 100 increments all the way up to Tier 87 at a whopping USD 999.99…
In part 1 of the ‘App Store Noob’ series, I chucked out some big old aggregate numbers, and in part 2 I’m going to chuck out some more.
As noted previously there are 155 App Stores, and between them they employ a total of 20 different languages and 24 currencies.
Distribution wise, these lean heavily towards English and US Dollars, as you can see from the following rather cak handed Excel charts. Better charts later, I promise.
It should be noted that the languages and currencies employed by the various App Store web fronts are mostly not the languages and currencies native to the host countries, so this shouldn’t necessarily be taken as an upper limit on any localization efforts you might need to make to get into various markets.
It does rather suggest that your first non English localization target should probably be Spanish, being as it’s the second largest App Store language. People using those 18 stores are probably going to have a much better first impression of your app if the language in your App Store copy and in your app is the same as the language used in the store, primarily because they won’t have to do any cognitively expensive context switching.
Next time, I’ll briefly outline the pricing structure before we get onto pulling some more interesting numbers. To be going on with, here’s some charts and tables.
Last time, I said I’d be writing a series of posts linking to various stuff you’ll probably want to know about the App Store if – like me – you’re an App Store noob. If you’re an indy trying to write a business plan, the first thing you’re going to want to know is stuff like market size, total market revenue, etc. These numbers aren’t especially hard to come by, but to kick off the series, here they are gathered together.
Later on, we’ll see that by themselves these aggregate numbers might not be quite as helpful as you might imagine, but you’ve got to start somewhere. As of May 2013, the officially available bignums are as follows.
I have a whole series of posts coming up on the Apple iTunes App Store, starting with a great big dump of links that you can use to start figuring out what all the important numbers are, what kinds of analysis people have done on them so far, and how you can do some of your own.
To be going on with, here’s a teaser trailer. Question : How many of the top grossing apps in a given store are using the freemium, in app purchase, or iAd revenue models ? We’ll ignore the effect of rank for now, more on that later. How can we get some rough figures ?
For the moment, the air in the Enigmatic Ape basement lair is not riven by the hideous sound of tormented masonry drills heroically grinding themselves to molten destruction in “heritage” brick. Nor indeed is it redolent with a heady mix of aromatic adhesives, plaster dust, burning brick dust, hot metal and builder’s fags.
Ordinarily, the absence of these things would not be at all notable, but, but there’s been a bit of unfortunately scheduled lair rennovation going on just recently which has really hammered – with an actual hammer and a variety of hammering drills – home the fact that “sounds of nearby drilling going horribly and expensively wrong” is a poor playlist for coding to.
There’s always a lot of chatter among the ‘industry analysts’ (surely an affliction, rather than a profession ?) these days about how Apple should care more about it’s market share.
They’ve been particularly noisome in banging on about this for the last year or so as Android handsets have gained market share. Saner folk have, for a similar length of time, been attempting to point out that while Apple may only hold around 9% of the total world cell phone market, they go home with around 75% of the profits. And yes, that’s all cell phones, not even just smartphones.
I have a whole bunch of podcasts that I dip in and out of, but these are the ones I listen to pretty religiously.
If, like me, you’re a relative newcomer to the world of Apple development, these podcasts will hopefully help you get up speed on the history, technology and culture of the industry, as well as keep you up to date on current goings on.
If you’re also hoping to make money at it, many of them also provide some pretty good insights into the business end of things.
Over recent years, there’s been a lot of success getting developers and business managers talking about development paradigms (MVC, OOP) from the 1960s and 1970s and business and development methodologies (Lean, Agile, Kanban) from the 1950s. Despite all this new and exciting stuff, a significant amount of software development, particularly corporate in house stuff, is still done by wandering up to a developer or team lead and giving them a project to do, preferably by Tuesday, if you think you can fit it in ? Thanks ever so much!
If you’re familiar with this situation, you’ll also be familiar with some other fun stuff : Developers nesting in the building late at night shotgunning red bull, schedule slippage, and a general feeling of complete lack of control over your development process being amongst them.
The situation usually arises because the IT / development folks are eager to deliver business value, which is super, but are either unwilling or unable – due to attitude, process or miscellaneous human factors – to ‘push back’ when things aren’t going to plan (always assuming there is a plan).
This is A Bad Thing™. Not just for developers but for the whole business. A manager of my acquaintance during my corporate days came up with a very colorful allegory, which describes the situation nicely. Imagine you are standing on one side of a wall. Periodically, someone throws a hand grenade without a pin in it over the wall. You can either keep hold of the grenade, or you can throw it back. […Read More…]
As part of Enigmatic Ape’s ongoing start up I was at a ‘Legal Issues’ workshop at the North East Business and Innovation Centre the other day. It was excellent and I thoroughly recommend it for anyone in the NE who is just getting started, or thinking of getting started in business. While we were chatting about the advantages (or otherwise) of being VAT registered, I realised that I wasn’t quite sure about the status of App Store sales with regards to VAT. We came up with an answer we thought was right, but it was clear that a little more research on my part was required to make sure it actually was. This is what I found out.