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Camera+ hits 2 million sales / Revealing details about upgrade numbers and in-app purchase sales

by John Casasanta
April 5, 201136 comments

a celebration

Fresh off the heals of the Camera+ 2.2 release including our killer feature, Clarity, I’m happy to announce that this weekend we’ve sold our 2 millionth copy of Camera+. This milestone by itself is pretty remarkable, but what makes it even more incredible is how fast we went from 1 million sales to this 2 million point… it happened in under 3 months.

To say the least, we’re all blown away by this. I recall, when the app was in development and things were beginning to come together, saying to the team the clichéd, “we’re going to sell a million of these!” I’ve been notorious for overestimating things in the past, but with the App Store, and especially with Camera+, things have gone the other way and my ballpark figures are almost always being shattered by reality… in the good way.

Here are the numbers for this round…

Camera+ Worldwide Weekly Sales

Number sold: 2,061,403
Net sales: $1,833,722

If we were to stay on the same weekly pace that we’re currently on (~160k sales per week), we’ll get to 3 million in only 1.5 months from now. But with the volatility of the App Store, our fortune could change in a heartbeat. The one thing you learn to count on as an iPhone app developer is not to count on future sales based on past performance.

Upgrade numbers

Something that’s really interesting is the rate in which people are upgrading Camera+. We’ve literally had over half our installed base update the app within 6 days. That’s over 1 million downloads in 6 short days…

Camera+ Daily Upgrades

Upgrades for version 2.2: 1,041,041

There are a lot of reports that say that many mobile apps that are downloaded are quickly discarded (this is especially true with free apps). But this data shows exactly the contrary in the case of Camera+. Sales are great and all, but it’s nice to know that people are actually using Camera+ and the steady increase in our rating over time, along with increased photo sharing activity via the app further confirm this.

In-app purchase sales figures

Even though many iPhone app developers have released sales figures for their apps, it’s very rare to see any data about in-app purchases. So I figured that some of you might be interested in the data that we have on that with Camera+.

“I ♥ Analog” effects packpurchasing the “I ♥ Analog” effects pack

When we released Camera+ 2, we added the “I ♥ Analog” effects pack as an in-app purchase for 99¢. While it provides some nice supplemental income, it ultimately is only purchased by around 5% of Camera+ purchasers on a given day. Here are the numbers…

I ♥ Analog” FX Pack Weekly Sales

Number sold: 98,169
Net sales: $68,267

Granted, we don’t aggressively push the effects pack very hard in the app, mainly because we’re very adamant about trying to provide the best possible user experience with all of our apps. Putting in a constant sales pitch for the pack would completely go against that goal.

So while almost $70k over roughly a 4.5 month period is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, it’s a relatively small amount compared to what Camera+ earns through sales of the app itself. Like I said… supplemental income. There are companies with free photography apps that are trying to have their business models revolve around selling effects via in-app purchases, but it’s very unlikely that this can be an effective business model.

That all being said, we get many, many requests for additional effects packs, so we’re working hard on bringing more quality ones to Camera+ in the future, along with many great improvements to the app overall. And speaking of which, be sure to drop by here tomorrow when we unveil some cool, new things related to the app…

Hacker News


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Who linked to this

36 comments

  1. Shafnitz
    11:50am, April 5, 2011

    I’ve had Camera+ since the day it was released. I just purchased the Analog pack after reading this. Not because I think I’ll use it, but because I really respect you guys and absolutely love Camera+. Keep it up!

  2. Amro
    11:51am, April 5, 2011

    Congrats. Nice app and great marketing == win.

  3. Chris
    11:59am, April 5, 2011

    I love your app. It needs a little more social on the website though IMO. I’d love to see a “Like” button, tweet this and comments added. Great work!

  4. Flapdoodle
    12:05pm, April 5, 2011

    Really interesting to know the figures! I bought the analog FX pack the moment I purchased the app as I am big on filters And was not disappointed. Unfortunately, after the past few updates I noticed changes to a many effects… Not so sure i am liking it better :S but Clarity was an awesome feature! I would certainly be someone who would be willing to pay for another FX pack :)

  5. Terry
    12:09pm, April 5, 2011

    Very interesting indeed. Would love to see some more FX Packs!

  6. Taylor
    12:10pm, April 5, 2011

    This has probably been said a hundred times already, but I would buy a version of Camera+ optimized for iPad in a heartbeat. With the SD card camera connection kit, the potential for photography workflow on the iPad is huge. Just in case you don’t have enough on your plate already…

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Jordan
    12:11pm, April 5, 2011

    I personally think it’s actually somewhat insane that you guys sell Camera+ for 99 cents. I literally use the app every single day and love it! I am sure you guys have done the research and found this keeps you in the top apps. People should be paying more for Camera+ though. $5 easily.

  8. Clair
    12:28pm, April 5, 2011

    Great app! Love the Clarity button. Use it every day to post updates from the rose garden.

  9. Nox Dineen
    12:29pm, April 5, 2011

    Wow, thanks for sharing this info, most developers are stingy with revenue details. The numbers are totally deserved. I got my iPhone during the period you guys were locked out of the App Store, after volume snap (killer feature, btw). After seeing people swear by Camera+, and seeing what they did with it, I was ecstatic when version 2 was released. It’s still the cornerstone of my iPhone’s dock and my go-to photo app.

    I’m a bit surprised to see that the in-app purchases are so low. I bought the pack within minutes of downloading the app, and I feel it was totally worth it. I hope you’ll still consider adding additional packs in the future, I always hope to see one whenever Camera+ releases an update.

    It’s great to see you comment that you don’t push additional purchases, favouring great user experience over short-term profits. Your app is the only iPhone app I’ve ever bought as a gift (and I’ve done it more than once).

  10. Exilio
    12:45pm, April 5, 2011

    I second what Shafnitz said. More developers should be as innovative and transparent. Thank you and I look forward to your continued development of Camera+ and any other apps you will release.

  11. l0c0b0x
    1:19pm, April 5, 2011

    Great application! It amounts to 20% of what I do on my iPhone! Thanks!

  12. Kuswanto
    2:38pm, April 5, 2011

    Thank you for revealing your sales figure. Camera+ is my main app to snap photos.

  13. Jeremy Olson
    3:02pm, April 5, 2011

    Wow. That’s pretty insane. Congrats!

    As you know I did $1 for V1 of my app and it did pretty well (nowhere near this though). I’m going to try releasing 2.0 (a huge upgrade) on the free+ model – free with ads, IAP to get rid of ads. It’ll be interesting to see which model proves more successful for my market (very frugal college and high school students).

    Based on what I’ve got lined up I think I’ll have the same, if not more, amount of buzz for V2 so I’m very interested to see how the free+ will compare. Maybe it will be a train wreck. We’ll see; should come out tomorrow.

  14. Axian
    3:50pm, April 5, 2011

    I bought the Camera+ app once Apple approved it the second time around and didn’t think much of it. I thought it was another Instagram effects factory without posting ability, but recently I’ve rediscovered it after Clarity feature was introduced.

    I have to say, now Camera+ is my go-to app for pretty much anything. All that success isn’t hype as I initially suspected. It’s leagues ahead of other, similar apps on the market.

    I can’t say enough good things about it. And the analog effects are great too. Stellar job.

  15. kc!
    3:58pm, April 5, 2011

    I purchased the app to see the volumesnap hack, and quickly filed it away as novel. When V2 came out, it immediately became my go-to camera app (replacing the stock camera in the iphone dock). When I upgraded to V2, I purchased the analog pack immediately and continue to use the filters (nostalgia and diana are my favorites).

    I too was very surprised to find out that more people aren’t purchasing the additional filter packs. Hopefully this won’t discourage you from adding more packs in the future as I was very much looking forward to some new effects.

    And while everyone is discussing it… I am still not too sold on the Clarity feature. the 8 times I have tried to use it, it just make all the people in the photo look like zombies. Granted I haven’t used it on architecture (where it really seems to shine), but still glad we have the options and especially glad to see a company so dedicated to always improving themselves and their products.

    PS. Thank you for sharing your sales figures too!

  16. Daniel cuccia
    6:54pm, April 5, 2011

    I WANT IT on my iPad 2 as well!!!!Please guys!!!!

  17. Andrew
    7:09pm, April 5, 2011

    Could you please consider annotating your charts with significant events, e.g. release of a new version, marketing campaign, featured in App Store etc. This would give more insight into what maybe driving sales.

  18. Aaron Koolen-Bourke
    7:18pm, April 5, 2011

    John, thank you very much for being so open about the progress of Camera+. As a tiny independent developer myself that has just released my first iOS game (TrapIt) it’s helpful to get some inside knowledge on people’s experience with various services of the app store.

    Thanks again
    Aaron Koolen-Bourke (Camera+ owner)

  19. dr. me
    7:39pm, April 5, 2011

    Wow, I totally tried to read your blog post but I just can’t because there’s almost no contrast between the text and the background. Eye strain city.

  20. Edward Ho
    8:04pm, April 5, 2011

    Really a great job with the app. I use it all the time. Congrats on the great sales!

  21. MikeNNN
    8:28pm, April 5, 2011

    I agree with Shafnitz. You folks deserve a lot of support for making a great app at an unbelievably low price.

  22. Elbert
    9:01pm, April 5, 2011

    I don’t like to use the filters, that’s why I didn’t purchase the Analog pack. Perhaps others feel the same way?

    If you build QR and barcode reading to Camera+, then pass the image to RedLaser, that would be awesome!

  23. Michael Z.
    9:12pm, April 5, 2011

    I still have some beta builds of this app on my computer. Beta testing this app was a breeze. It was already almost perfection. Just seeing how much it has grown today is mindblowing. I’m still very fortunate that I was given an opportunity to beta test this machine of an app. Thanks tap tap tap.

  24. Roberto
    10:37pm, April 5, 2011

    Been a fan from the beginning. Great work guys!

  25. Idan
    1:10am, April 6, 2011

    To be honest, come up with better packs, and people will buy…

  26. JonnyC
    3:37am, April 6, 2011

    Great app, many wonderful features. Except one: “Straighten”. When?

  27. Oriesko
    5:38am, April 6, 2011

    Yeah, v.2 is really good as LightBox ceased to be a necessary step. I love all effects and Clarity is a real killer!
    What I’m missing is two things:

    – Straighten pic. Please!!!
    – Video taking ability. Doesn’t need to have the same editing abilities as pics, could be only basic capturing and saving into a CameraRoll, so I could finally ditch the built-in Camera app.

    And actually third thing is missing ;)
    The official explanation of that Cat’s eyes period in the first graph. It was pretty crappy times these days when you guys disappeared for 4 months and haven’t reply to any of your pissed customers at all. And I still remember that feeling.

  28. mhoutman
    5:41am, April 6, 2011

    John, congrats with these awesome figures.

    I am big fan of your apps and here comes also my frustration why we haven’t seen an update for Convert since august 2009 !

    I can’t mix this with all your efforts bringing Camera+ to an huge success. PLEASE don’t forget the other apps too !

  29. Aaron Campbell
    7:49am, April 6, 2011

    I purchased them right away.. it adds nine more filters to the application. How about creating a couple more? (why judge in-app purchase sales with only one thing available for purchase. I’m sure Lisa can find the time to come up with some more creative filters!)

  30. Max Berkowitz I MAXSiPHOTOS
    5:23pm, April 6, 2011

    No. 1 app in my camera bag!

  31. Gregg
    2:28pm, April 15, 2011

    Love the app. Love the company. Love Lisa. Love the marketing. Love everything about you in fact. By far the best app I’ve ever purchased ! :) Txs

  32. Sansive
    5:24pm, May 4, 2011

    Heures (matin ou soir) n’a eu aucun effet cliniquement significatif sur le taux et le degre d’absorption acheter du cialis.

  33. Shelby Ostrander
    9:29am, May 5, 2011

    I am trying to purchase the I love Analog FX pack, but it says “You Can’t Purchase This – You must purchase the app that this item is for before you can purchase the item. Well, I’m in Camera +. What app are they referring to? I’d love to buy it, but it’s not letting me. Much help would be appreciated! Thank you!!

  34. Daniel
    11:59am, May 29, 2011

    Same problem here in app purchase doesn’t work. It just say that my attempt to purchase failed and wether I want to retry

  35. Jeremy
    2:43pm, June 23, 2011

    thank you for sharing!!
    very inspiring

    2 questions

    1. can a company contract you to make an app for them or do you have someone you recommend to get one made
    2. I would love to feature you on our success profiles interviews…who is the best person to contact?

    here is the one we just did

    Amazing interview with Bathrobe Millionaire working 30min per day made $9 million NET CHECK THIS OUT http://empiresteals.com/can-someone-make-9-million-only-working-30-minutes-per-day-jason-did

    thanks!

    Jeremy

  36. Greg Berdan
    11:02pm, February 28, 2012

    I’m tired of the I love analog pack never being unlocked despite my purchase of it. Got through the restore purchases routine and it says they were restored but they never are. In app purchases always seem like a shitfy scam to me… maybe this is why it wont work. Just be smart and charge us a decent price for a full operational app with no in app purchases. Not like you guys have released any new packs. Make the analog pack part of the app and be done with this mess.


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