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(Semi)Final numbers for July

by John Casasanta
August 13, 200825 comments
Note: Instead of editing the Donkeys and Pickaxes post as I had originally planned, I decided that it made more sense to write this new post instead.

We’ve finally received our financial reports for the month. At this time, we’re still missing some territories, such as Canada, but overall the US overwhelmingly makes up the bulk of the sales (>90%) so the final-final numbers won’t vary by much.

Where To?

Where To?
  • what it is: makes your iPhone behave more like a real GPS device by helping you find points of interest around you
  • price: $2.99
  • number sold: 24,094
  • gross sales: $72,041.06
  • net sales: $50,597.40
  • more info: at the App Store

Tipulator

Tipulator
  • what it is: the tip calculator that’s actually fun to use
  • price: 99¢
  • number sold: 3,168
  • gross sales: $3,136.32
  • net sales: $2,217.60
  • more info: at the App Store

So the total sales for the month was $75,177.38 and after Apple’s cut, we ended up with a grand total of $52,815.

The sales are reported for the period of June 29th to August 2nd. But because the App Store opened July 10th, the period is actually 24 days. So over the course of those days we took in an average of around $2,200 per day.

As I mentioned above, I didn’t update my previous post. I had originally planned to fill in the missing bars on the chart in it with the missing daily figures. But unfortunately we never got those figures (and likely never will). It appears that we only have access to the previous seven days of sales numbers and the oldest rolls off each new day. So on that note, I present you with… the brick chart:

July 2008

This is rather unfortunate because we’d like to assess the effectiveness of some of the ways we’ve promoted our apps. But it’s hard, if not impossible, to do this without good data. This is one of the downsides of putting all the control into Apple’s hands. As an admitted control-freak, it makes me a bit uneasy but I’ll learn to deal with it and compensate.

Gravity Rides Everything

It’s worth pointing out that our sales have dropped significantly over the past few days. We were teetering around the 50th rank for Where To but then slipped under it. It seems that once you drop past that, you’re on a free-fall since the App Store on the iPhone only shows 50 in its top list, compared to 100 in iTunes on the computer.

I’m willing to bet that it’s a quick ride into oblivion once you fall off the Top 100 chart and I’m really hoping we don’t get to find that out anytime soon for Where To. This happened to Tipulator but it was a different situation since it never ranked very high at all to begin with.

We went from selling around 450/day when we were ranked around 50 to around 250/day when falling below. And we dropped like a rock… in just two days we fell to around the 75th rank.

So we’re now in “damage-control” mode to try to get it back up. If any of you are interested in hearing about the marketing side of running a software business, let us know in the comments and I’ll consider writing up some of the details of what we’re doing…

Follow-up: We received the numbers for Canada today. 512 copies of Where To and 212 copies of Tipulator were sold, bringing our net up to $54,038.60.

tap tap tap is a leading iPhone and iPad app developer and publisher.

We’ve been creating top-notch apps since the App Store first opened. Our apps are used by literally millions of people in all corners of the world. A few of our favorite and most popular apps we’ve created are:


Who linked to this

25 comments

  1. Alexander Repty
    7:05am, August 13, 2008

    John,

    first of all, congratulations to a successful first month, and I’m hoping that Groceries and I’m here will be even more successful.

    As for your parting words, I would definitely be interested in learning about the marketing part, so I would greatly appreciate an article about that.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  2. Eddie
    8:38am, August 13, 2008

    I would also like to hear about the marketing side of producing iPhone apps.

  3. Tiggs
    8:39am, August 13, 2008

    Wow! congratulations on your first months’ success. I would be interested in all your marketing efforts.

  4. Brendan
    9:46am, August 13, 2008

    Oh, yes, please. I too would like to hear about the marketing efforts!

  5. Joe
    10:39am, August 13, 2008

    I think everyone’s curious about how to market iphone apps since apple has such control over the distribution channel. Advertising too, it seems that it might be the case that advertising is really ineffective….

  6. Tom
    11:19am, August 13, 2008

    Very interested in your marketing efforts and the results. Thanks for all the work you’re doing sharing your information.

  7. Bridger
    2:43pm, August 13, 2008

    I would love to hear about your advertising efforts too. I have been wondering exactly how to market my iPhone game as the distribution is so different than anything else.

  8. Jim
    8:38pm, August 13, 2008

    Please do add comments about marketing efforts. It’s very interesting to see how developers address this matter in the young iPhone/iPod touch market.

  9. Ryan T.
    9:00pm, August 13, 2008

    Thanks for this interesting sales info and keep it coming! I think the marketing aspect of these applications will be interesting. I suspect that we will see review sites(TouchArcade, iPhoneAlley) rise to the top very soon. We already see plenty of reviews in various forums. It won’t take long for the Digg equivalent to show itself!

  10. Strange
    12:14am, August 14, 2008

    I am curious about iTunes rankings. For instance I have an app that outranks tipulator on iTunes when ranked by popularity.. However I have less sales than tipulator… By far.

  11. Jonas Lund
    5:53am, August 14, 2008

    I’m definetly interested in hearing about the marketing side. Comming out of the technical side of things and planning on releasing some apps, it’s hard to have an good idea about what works marketingwise.

  12. Sam Kass
    6:26am, August 14, 2008

    I posted ChessClock’s numbers at http://www.samkass.com/chessclock (via Google Documents). I’m selling substantially fewer copies than you…

  13. Sam Kass
    8:41am, August 14, 2008

    Sorry, the numbers are linked from the blog at http://www.samkass.com/chessclock/chessclock2/index.html, not the page I mentioned in my last post.

  14. Bill Downs
    1:01pm, August 14, 2008

    If your willing to write up the details I would love to read about it. Congrats!

  15. Chris
    2:11pm, August 14, 2008

    Thanks for sharing this data, it’s extremely valuable and provides plenty of motivation as I develop my iPhone coding skills.

    I’m definitely interested in hearing about all facets of software development.

  16. Aslam
    3:05pm, August 14, 2008

    John,

    Thanks for posting all this info. I am not a programmer nor will I ever be, but I do find this info truly interesting. It’s an insight into a business that I would never get otherwise and I’m grateful that someone like you is willing to break the traditional silence and share the inner workings of your business.

    Please do post more about the marketing efforts.

    Waiting with Bated Breath,
    Aslam

    P.S. Here’s an open call to any others in a similar situation as John to share your information. I know that his sharing has resulted in this blog being promoted to my top favourites RSS feed collection and me paying a lot more attention to his applications.

  17. Kyle Buttress
    7:53pm, August 14, 2008

    I think it’s true for a lot of us that entering into this market. That sharing our knowledge is going to benefit all of us.

    Aside from the comment Is there have you seen a correlation in sales to an update to your software. Because it would seem that this helps keep the product to the front of the queue. Just a thought.

  18. Sam Kass
    8:16am, August 15, 2008

    Don’t know about John, but ChessClock being updated from 1.0 to 1.1 didn’t statistically change my daily stats. I think it’s really all about breaking the top-100 and top-50, and/or getting a review in a major publication.

  19. J Susbilla
    5:07pm, August 15, 2008

    Not only are your applications built well. You guys have a great eye for design & user interface. Keep up the good work! I too am a developer and I am working on an iPhone application. As inspiring as you guys are to me, I would love to hear about any marketing efforts that may have succeeded or not.

  20. daniel renaud
    10:21am, August 19, 2008

    i would be very interested in hearing your marketing stories.

  21. Endre Stølsvik
    10:27am, August 19, 2008

    Amazing honesty here! I simply love it! Yes, I’d like to know about your marketing!

  22. Carla
    12:26pm, August 19, 2008

    I’d also be interesting in learning about your development cycle. How long did it take? What level of usability testing did you use? How many team members?

    Thanks for sharing!!

  23. bob corrigan
    1:49pm, August 19, 2008

    I can bring some product management insights to promoting your products, since it seems that since your launch you nailed your “early adopters with cash” demographic and are now wallowing on the shoals of the “early majority”, to borrow a concept from Crossing the Chasm.

    One of the things the AppStore does not do for you is position your offering against direct and indirect competitors - that’s your job. It just makes the products available.

    So I’d ask if you know how your app stacks up capabilities-wise against other either functionally identical or near-identical offerings. Are you competing against a better-known player? What is your target market? What are your distinctive competencies? Have you contemplated “versioning” your product into different function sets at different price points?

    These are all issues I’ve dealt with throughout my career, but never more urgently then when I was the InstallShield PM. Drop me a line if you want more help. Creating an effective marketing plan is hard - deciding what “space” in the mind of the consumer you want to own, and how to build products that support that effort, is even harder. Most small software vendors start with ideas and run with them, as opposed to starting with positioning and going from there.

    bob

  24. Grae
    10:17pm, August 21, 2008

    Man, your apps are awesome! Love the attention to detail (something missing from the majority of apps in the app store IMO).

    PLEASE can you add Australia to the “Where to?” app. I would use this all the time.

  25. MJWeb
    2:48pm, August 22, 2008

    I commend you for advertising. I see very few ads for iPhone apps. You’re ahead of the curve by marketing.


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