Making Money from iPhone and Mobile Apps in 2011
With over 350,000 iPhone apps on the market, plus thousands more for other mobile platforms, it’s not surprising that this is a hot market right now. If you have a great idea for an app and can create it, you could make some decent money. The big question is should you charge for your app, or give it away for free?
At first, it might seem like giving something away is the opposite of making money, but free apps are actually earning more money than paid ones. Let’s take a look at the two models so you can decide for yourself which is the best option.
There are two fairly easy ways to make money with free apps: through placing ads within the application or by offering upgrades and customizations for a fee. Some of the advantages to offering a free app include:
- More people will use it
- Potentially higher earnings, particularly with ads
- Ability to test and tweak with live users
The downside to free apps is that the market is quite saturated. Unless you have a very good idea, it can be extremely difficult to stand out in a crowd. Unfortunately, there are many free options that are very poorly made, which can cause people to opt for the paid choices instead.
These apps have the distinct advantage of giving you money up front. People pay in order to download the app, which ensures cash in your pocket. However, there are some people who will simply not purchase anything, especially if there are free options similar to what you have to offer.
The Apple iPhone store alone sells around $200 million worth of apps every month, so if you have a great idea for something people will actually use, you could easily get a piece of that income. However, some clients will be more reluctant to pay for something they can find for free. It’s best to give buyers a good reason to choose yours.
Which option is best for your app? That depends entirely on your preferences. Is your app packed with so many features that it would be a crime to give it away? Take a closer look at what you have to offer and decide which category it would best fall into, according to your business preferences.