Is $19.99 the new $3.99 for iOS apps?

A lot of data has recently been shared about revenue numbers of popular iOS apps. Overcast, Manual, Dash for Mac, Unread and Monument Valley to name the articles I've bumped into the most.

Charles Perry wrote an excellent peice called The Shape of the App Store where he examines Overcast's data to make sense of how many is making a living off of the App Store, and what it takes to do that. He discussed this in further details on his podcast with his co-host Joe Cieplinski - a discussion I really enjoyed listening to.

The apps I mentioned above are all consumer apps, except for Dash which you can say targets "professionals" in that it's a tool for programmers.

B2B software, and B2B SaaS is getting a lot of talk and it's becoming very clear that cloud based business software is expected to cost more than just the $19 a month - perhaps $99 is the new $19?

But how does that look on the App Store?

Charles wrote this in his article:

Even number 1,908 on the U.S. Top Grossing list makes over $100,000 per year. In fact all apps above number 3,175 on the U.S. Top Grossing list produce enough revenue to at least make its developer the United States household median income for 2014 ($53,891). And this is just for a single app. Most indies I know develop more than one app simultaneously. Developers who can put together a collection of apps that rank at about 6000 on the U.S. Top Grossing list (about $25,000 in revenue per year) stand a good chance of building an app business that can sustain them and their families.

So how many apps do you need to sell to make $100,000 a year and at what price?

If $99 is the new $19 for B2B SaaS apps, is $20 the new $3.99 for B2B iOS apps? What about $50?

Let's see how the different price points stack up to earning $100k / year after Apple taking their 30% cut.

So pricing your app at $19.99 it takes 7,142 to make $100k. At $39.99 it takes 3,572. And at $49.99 it takes 2,858.

As always you need to make a really good app that solves a problem people know they have and are willing to pay for. But you can focus on a pretty targeted niche when these numbers are your target, and you're still not asking for a monthly subscription, you're not asking for 100s of dollars and since you're targeting a B2B niche, most buyers are people spending a company's money - not their own.

Want any examples of premium priced B2B apps in the App Store?

This was examples I found just by searching for GIS in the App Store. Any app developer will agree, that none of these looks particularly impressive. Of course we don't know how many units are sold a year.

Martin H. Normark

Product and UX Hacker. Web and iOS developer.

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