Apple confirmed that the store was taking off, with over 1 million downloads on its first day. But how many of those were free apps? How many were copies of Twitter for Mac or Angry Birds? What about individual developers' results?When Apple's new desktop-focused Mac App Store launched, it was expected to be a hit. One day later,
As it turns out, many Mac App Store developers are sharing details about their Mac App Store sales figures, both on their own websites and in traditional forums. Below is a selection of those results. Spoiler alert: the news is good.
For Big Developers, Big Sales
One of the most impressive examples of how the Mac App Store's launch impacted sales came from popular note-taking app Evernote. One day after the store's launch, the company talked about the massive influx of new users it saw.
In the first few days of 2011, 166,789 new users downloaded Evernote, and since the launch of the Mac App Store, more than half of them came from the Mac. About 40,000 users signed up from the Mac so far, wrote Evernote's Phil Libin on a company blog post dated Jan. 7. This is new users only, he stressed. The actual total number of downloads from the Mac App Store was 90,000 (from store launch until midnight on opening night).
Next, there's game developer David Frampton of Majic Jungle Software, makers of a top paid app, Chopper 2. He told MacRumors that Chopper 2 saw nearly 30,000 copies sold from the Mac App Store during opening day, which equated to a revenue stream of over $20,000.
LittleFin Software, makers of a home inventory app called Compartments, was seeing an average of six to 10 sales per day prior to the Mac App Store's launch. In preparation for the launch, the development shop lowered the price from $24.95 to $9.95, in the hopes of attracting a larger audience.
As it turned out, Apple liked the app, selected it as a Staff Pick and listed it on the Great Mac Apps page. On launch day, LittleFin sold 1,500 copies of the inventory app, and over the next two days, it continued to sell around 1,000 copies each.
A second app, Chronicle, was not featured by Apple, but began selling 80 to 100 copies per day - 10 times its usual sales volume. The conclusion, wrote LittleFin's founder Mike Dattolo on the company blog: "lower prices can be sustainable."
"We have always wanted to price our apps lower. But when we tried that in the past, we simply couldn't get enough volume to justify it. So like other developers, we were a little nervous about the potential for a race to the bottom in the Mac App Store, even though we came in with reduced prices ourselves," he said. "The removal of purchase barriers (everyone has an Apple ID) and the huge potential audience of the Mac App Store is providing enough volume that we can offer lower prices. Of course, our apps are simple, and belong at low price points."
RealMacSoftware, makers of web design software RapidWeaver, plus utilities like Courier and LittleSnapper, reported it sold 5,000 apps on the first day of launch. But, "as with with every product launch, unit sales will tail off," noted a recent company blog post. "The Mac App Store is no different." However, the development firm is now watching to see if the average daily run-rate for apps increases gradually over time.
For now, Courier is the only app exclusive to the Mac App Store, but the company plans to release LittleSnapper 2 and RapidWeaver 6 as App Store exclusives. Despite the tapered-off sales, the firm still considers the Mac App Store worthwhile, apparently.
According to a post on Appstorm, the utility DaisyDisk, despite not being featured, saw a big surge in interest: in first three days, the company sold a tenfold increase in sales from its own site.
Financial management application iBank also saw great sales after its Mac App Store debut, but wasn't sure if it could contribute them to the store itself. Said Scott Marc Becker, the managing director of IGG Software, "After just these first few days, I can't say whether sales at our site are up as a result of our visibility in the Mac App Store - they've been running really high, as they typically do this time of year," he said.
Another development firm, Marketcircle, maker of apps for small business told Appstorm that it saw a three-fold increase in regular daily sales of its Billings app. But because some of its products require the use of background processes and headless servers, forbidden by the Mac App Store's rules, it cannot sell exclusively through the store at this time.
Real Figures from Those Further Down in the Charts
Of course, not everyone is a multi-app development firm, staffed with employees, or with a user base of tens of thousands. What about the smaller developers?
- 4x4 Offroad Racing ($3.99): 93 units sold for a total of $371, ranked #76
- Bubble Bang ($2.99): 17 units sold for a total of $51, ranked #150
- Light Quest ($9.99): 3 units sold for a total of $30, ranked #173
- Bubblez ($2.99): 7 units sold for a total of $21, unranked (not in top 180)
That forum post has been updated since the original blog post, however. Additional opening day figures now include:
- Blush ($2.99): 452 units sold
- Off-Road Velociraptor Safari ($2.99)?: 128 units
- Crane Wars ($2.99)?: 101 units sold
- Time Donkey ($2.99)?: 13 units sold
- StuntMANIA ($4.99): 622 units sold opening day, 709 on the 2nd day
- Guns of Icarus: 449 units sold
- Galactic Gunner ($0.99): 194 units sold
- Age of Tribes ($1.99): 220 opening day, 258 the following day; now lowered price to $0.99
Even more interesting are the updated reports from these developers, some of whom say their sales increased on days after opening day.
"Stuntman Bob is selling well...and yup, better on day 2 than on day 1," wrote one developer, who said he sees the game as a "public beta" since it's his spare time project.
The developer of Offroad, Bubble Bang and Bubblez, saw sales increase when he lowered them for a weekend sale at $0.99 each. By day 3, they were at:
- 4x4 Offroad: 364
- Bubble Bang: 55
- Bubblez: 29
StuntMANIA, which got a Staff Favorites pick, quickly jumped to #21 overall in the Mac App Store in the U.S. The developer reported that on Jan. 14, it had its biggest sales day since launch: 1121 units.
And when 4x4 received a similar promotion (New & Noteworthy pick), its sales went up too.
What this all means, is that, for the most part, the trend with the Mac App Store seems to be a surge of new users upon launch, followed by steady or tapered-off sales afterwards. However, being promoted by Apple in some way on the store, as always, will send a second rush of new users. Many developers are even choosing to sell their apps exclusively through the store, like image editor Pixelmator, for example, which detailed its Mac App Store transition on its blog.
It will be interesting to revisit these results after a longer period of time, like a quarter, or half a year, to see if these trends continue. In the meantime, it appears that the outlook is good. Very good.