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The dominance of 'free' App Store games, as seen in one handy chart

The dominance of 'free' App Store games, as seen in one handy chart

August 25, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

August 25, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Earlier this month, mobile marketing firm AppLift took Apple App Store data reported by the mobile-minded folks at Pocketgamer and expanded upon it to produce a handful of graphs charting the contemporary state of the iOS marketplace.

The most interesting takeaway for game developers is that roughly 66 percent of apps on the App Store are free; another 15 percent are $0.99, and (as you can see in AppLift's graph, embedded above) the percentage drops off even more steeply from there as the price point gets higher.

Given that the paid apps outnumbered free apps on the Store in 2010, it seems clear that freemium has become the dominant economic model on mobile.

That's likely due to its proven earning potential, as analytics firm Distimo reported that in-app purchases accounted for 81 percent of all revenue generated on the U.S. App Store earlier this year. In some countries, it's even higher -- in Japan and China, for example, revenue from IAP made up nearly 94 percent of all spending on the App Store.

Developers should also note that the Games category now accounts for nearly 20 percent of all apps on Apple's App Store. That's actually a significant drop when you consider that nearly half of all apps on the App Store were games when it launched in 2008.

Finally, it's interesting to see from AppLift's report that Apple typically sees the highest volume of app submissions near the end of the year, between November and January. That's because many developers seek to time their launches so their app is front and center on the App Store during the holiday buying season, and game makers should plan their iOS debuts accordingly.

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