There you go -> @jonathanstark: $10b paid out over 5 yrs divided by 6m iOS devs equals roughly $333.40 per iOS developer per year, right?
— Mister Mo (@Mister_Mobility) June 10, 2013
Yes; the above sounds just right. Yesterday, Apple announced that they have 6M developers onboard iOS and have paid a total of $10B in revenue to these developers till date. That is $1,666.67 per developer in all, and spread over 5 years, this amounts to only $333.33 per developer. Many develop for free. In addition, most developers who sell their apps clearly don’t make enough to earn a living from those apps. Consider that Apple also claimed that their pay out represents three times as much as has been paid out to “all other platforms combined”, and one has to start asking, With all the hype about app stores, how many developers really earn a living from app stores?
It doesn’t sound like there a lot of them who do so. I mean, perhaps the average Android app developer’s income in the last five years has been what – $100? That is N15,000; right? Cripes! That’s not even valid as one month’s income.
I am guessing that developers earn much more from other channels than from app stores. One such channel would be taking on contract jobs to develop apps for corporates, services et al. You know, just the same way web developers are contracted to setup corporate websites. I am guessing that the average developer would put out freeware on app stores to demonstrate his competence and then market himself for such contract jobs. That makes sense. That has to be it, because for all the noise that has been made about making money from app stores, it looks like only a tiny handful of developers earn anything meaningful from those.
App stores clearly directly benefit consumers, but not so much developers. Emeka Okoye is a developer, and he has this to say on the matter:
— Emeka Azuka Okoye (@EmekaOkoye) June 10, 2013
I am with him on this. Very few developers make money from consumer apps via app stores. The numbers don’t lie.