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10 Most Lucrative iPhone Apps–for Apple

10 Most Lucrative iPhone Apps–for Apple
By
The iPhone App Store: These Apps Are the Big Winners for Apple

The Washington Post recently reported that Apple has made as much as $45 million from the sales of iPhone apps. However, the true profit for Apple has been in iPhone sales, stimulated by the more than 50,000 apps available in the App Store. Fortune reports that the iPhone’s sales increased by a remarkable 245% in 2008. The availability of an app for just about everything is widely believed to be the driving force behind these sales numbers.   

This led us to wonder which apps are helping Apple the most. We’ve gathered this information together into a top 10 List of apps contributing to Apple’s coffers. We used a variety of sources to come up with our conclusions:

  • The iTunes “Thanks a Billion” page: This page lists the all-time top 20 paid app and top 20 free app downloads from Apple’s App Store.  Keep in mind that this doesn’t give us sales figures or download totals, just a list from one through 20 of the most downloaded paid apps and the most downloaded free apps.   
  • Discussions with developers:  Although we can’t release exact sales figures, these talks have helped point us in the right direction. 
  • The price of each app (some top-paid apps are $0.99, while some are over $5.00). 
  • The iTunes top 20 downloads for 2008.
  • The iTunes top 20 downloads for recent weeks.
  • Media reports on Apple’s App Store.
  • The knowledge that Apple gets to keep 30% of all sales revenue from applications sold via iTunes. The developer keeps the other 70%.

Please keep in mind that this list represents our best estimation of the iPhone’s most lucrative applications. Some entries on this list may surprise you, just as they surprised us. If you feel you know of something we didn’t include, we invite your feedback. Please leave your tips, suggestions, and comments below.


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  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 7:08 PM
    Maybe people don't realize the pure amount of drivel created on the internet nowadays. Having a $99 dollar fee to put up any app, including free ones, limits the selection to those created by people with the earnestness to create something remotely worthwhile. If anybody could create an app and put it up for free, there would be no way for apple to sort through the shear number of crap programs. It would turn the app store into youtube; a few thousand videos worth watching in a sea of millions of idiots with camera phones.
  • 0 Hide
    CR0W M@GN3T , June 10, 2009 7:12 PM
    aggie11Maybe people don't realize the pure amount of drivel created on the internet nowadays. Having a $99 dollar fee to put up any app, including free ones, limits the selection to those created by people with the earnestness to create something remotely worthwhile. If anybody could create an app and put it up for free, there would be no way for apple to sort through the shear number of crap programs. It would turn the app store into youtube; a few thousand videos worth watching in a sea of millions of idiots with camera phones.


    Nicely said. The fee is definitely important as quality control for the app store.
  • 0 Hide
    theuerkorn , June 10, 2009 7:41 PM
    aggie11Having a $99 dollar fee to put up any app, including free ones, limits the selection to those created by people with the earnestness to create something remotely worthwhile.

    Agree.
  • 1 Hide
    TCeleste , June 10, 2009 10:45 PM
    "Maybe people don't realize the pure amount of drivel created on the internet..."

    Rest assured that I'm painfully aware of the drivel. But it's important to keep in mind that Apple has a process in place for screening apps (and yes, that process needs some fine tuning).

    My opinion is that this process should be what weeds out the useful from the drivel. To me, the $99 fee just weeds out lower income developers, and those willing to create low price or free apps.
  • -1 Hide
    anamaniac , June 11, 2009 6:47 AM
    Wow...

    All of those seem like a complete waste of time...

    Jailbreak that damned thing already...
    Free homebrew FTW!
  • 0 Hide
    td854 , June 11, 2009 9:48 AM
    TCelesteTo me, the $99 fee just weeds out lower income developers, and those willing to create low price or free apps.


    Seems to me like a "developer" would have to be pretty low budget (living in a cardboard box?) to not be able to afford a measily $99.
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , June 11, 2009 1:06 PM
    ... with most of the games is like '90 are back... almost the same resolution and 3D graphics... there would be interesting to see such games as NFS 1 & 2, Terminal Velocity, Duke Nukem 3D and stuff like that ported to the iPhone...
  • -1 Hide
    TCeleste , June 12, 2009 8:05 PM
    td854Seems to me like a "developer" would have to be pretty low budget (living in a cardboard box?) to not be able to afford a measily $99.


    Actually, living in a college dorm, or just being laid off, may be sufficient for $99 to be a lot of cash. I think there's a bit of a double standard at play here.

    I know it's not possible because of the licensing, but what would happen if Linus Torvalds suddenly demanded $99 from everyone wanting to develop a Linux application? The entire open source community would be up in arms (and rightfully so, in my opinion).

    What about if Bill Gates demanded $99 from every Windows developer? He'd be accused (again, rightfully so) of abusing his position to pilfer $99 from every Windows developer.

    But Steve Jobs gets a free ride, no questions asked, like it's some kind of corporate entitlement.
  • 0 Hide
    Primus462 , June 12, 2009 8:51 PM
    I just checked out Enigmo in the app store and it is listed as $2.99. This article is only 2 days old and claims the app costs $0.99. What gives?
  • 0 Hide
    TCeleste , June 13, 2009 10:34 AM
    Apparently a change in price. App developers are permitted to put apps on sale, and to change prices.
  • 0 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , June 15, 2009 2:25 PM
    Primus462I just checked out Enigmo in the app store and it is listed as $2.99. This article is only 2 days old and claims the app costs $0.99. What gives?


    Oh please. This is an app STORE, and its not like Apple started charging the fee overnight. This has been in effect since day one. I do not develop apps but I agree with the first couple statements about needing the fee to weed out the useless Youtube like environment. If you cannot round up the cash, it's simply not for you. If you are really talented and cannot afford it, I'm sure someone would be willing to invest in you. Comparing Steve Jobs to Linus and Bill in that scenario is not at all accurate.
  • 0 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , June 15, 2009 2:33 PM
    TCelesteActually, living in a college dorm, or just being laid off, may be sufficient for $99 to be a lot of cash. I think there's a bit of a double standard at play here.I know it's not possible because of the licensing, but what would happen if Linus Torvalds suddenly demanded $99 from everyone wanting to develop a Linux application? The entire open source community would be up in arms (and rightfully so, in my opinion). What about if Bill Gates demanded $99 from every Windows developer? He'd be accused (again, rightfully so) of abusing his position to pilfer $99 from every Windows developer. But Steve Jobs gets a free ride, no questions asked, like it's some kind of corporate entitlement.


    Sorry, this is what I meant to quote.
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