by Tom Kaneshige

Make Money with an iPhone App

Jan 25, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Develop an iPhone app and pocket $500 a month - not so hard.

Apple just reported a whopping quarter: all-time highest revenue and profit. It sold 8.7 million iPhones and 3.36 million Macs during the quarter. This follows a string of blowout quarters.

Can you grab a bite out of Apple’s success?

Sure, ride the coattails of Apple’s iPhone and become an app developer. “It’s not hard getting $16 to $17 a day, or $500 a month, with an iPhone app,” says Krishna Subramanian, founder of Mobclix, which operates a mobile ad exchange marketplace.

For more serious developers, you’ll have to develop maybe 10 apps and still be lucky enough for one of those apps to catch fire and produce $10,000 a month. Some of the game-changing apps make thousands of dollars a day. Reaching those levels isn’t easy, but it’s possible.

You won’t even need to charge for your app, either. “A scrabble-type app did 10 million impressions a day in December,” Subramanian says. “A free app can make more money than a paid app because of ads.”

December was a huge month for most developers. One iPhone app developer made enough money in that month alone to thwart courting venture capitalists, Subramanian says.

How much can you really make? If your CTR (click-through rate) is .75 percent to one percent, says Subramanian, expect a dollar CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Of course, there’s no guarantee for success. “Microsoft spent a ton of money on the Bing app in December to get that app on the top,” Subrmanian says. “It made the top ten app, but I don’t think that that was a huge success for them competing against Google Search.”

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