According to Lightspeed, a venture capital firm that manages over $2 billion in capital, the profit Apple earned through the iPhone and iPod Touch app store is chump change (for Apple).
We all heard Apple's big claim, boasting the sales of over 1 billion iPhone applications, both free and paid. Using a bit of logic and a good deal of educated guessing, Lightspeed estimated that apple has only earned $20-$45 million through the store.
Here's how they got these numbers:
- 1 billion apps sold
- Of those, approximately 25-60 million were paid apps. (This figure was assumed through a summation of the estimates provided by iPhone industry participants.)
- The average app price is $2.65, while the median app price is $1.99.
- Lightspeed used the average, rather than the median, to estimate Apple's profit. (What does this mean? It means that Apple probably earned even less than $20-$45 million.)
- Multiply the average price by the estimated number of apps sold, and there you have it.
It's important to note that app store sales are growing exponentially, and these numbers are constantly growing. Also, any Apple customer (having experienced the hefty Apple hardware costs), can agree that Apple does not use iTunes and the App Store as a means of direct profit, for they use it as a means to drive hardware sales.
In reality, if there was no app store, there would be a lot more iPhones still sitting in the warehouse. Apple sold 13.7 iPhones in 2008.