10 000 App Store Downloads

As of the latest available weekly sales report on iTunes Connect, the number of downloads for my three iPhone applications have passed 10 000!

The apps are Hiragana Lite (free), Hiragana ($2.99) and Katakana ($2.99).

I am amazed at the success of these admittedly simple applications and would like to extend my sincerest thanks to my customers, especially those who have left feedback and pushed me to improve the apps.

The numbers

(click to view large version)

(click to view large version)

The vast majority of downloads have naturally been for the free version Hiragana Lite. However with just under 10% of the total downloads, the paid apps have together been able to edge over the 1 000 downloads line. This is way beyond my wildest hopes.

The explosion of Hiragana Lite downloads makes the sales lines for the paid applications look almost flat. But if we disregard the Hiragana Lite downloads and look closer at the sales of the paid apps, combining their numbers, we notice something interesting.

Don't let the changed scale on the y-axis in the following graph confuse you, it goes to 1000 instead of the 9000 shown in the graph above.

Before the release of the free version the sales trend had been declining after the first few weeks. It looks like it was about to go flat right around 500 sales. However since Hiragana Lite has been available sales have picked up and have held remarkably steady.

My conclusion to this is that it is a very good idea to make a free version of your app available, letting potential customers try before they buy.

A second conclusion is that I should probably set aside some time to develop a few more apps.


*Note that these numbers do not include updates, only new customer downloads are counted.

Analyzing App Store sales for 2008

Way back in October I wrote a post analyzing the sales data from the first three weeks of my applications in the App Store. Things were looking good, with over 250 sales in those three weeks.

Now that we're a little bit into 2009, it's time to take a look at how the sales performance evolved over the rest of 2008. Interestingly the combined sales of the 13 weeks since my previous report have failed to even equal those of the three initial weeks.

Click the images for higher resolution.

Sales Growth

All in all my two apps, Hiragana and Katakana, racked up a total of 467 sales during 2008. As can be seen the sales have leveled off to just a few per week, it will be interesting to see if the release of the free Hiragana Lite has any effect going forward.

Biggest Markets

Like before just under half the sales were generated through the US App Store, with Germany coming in second.


So far the sales have generated the following payouts:

$ 609

€ 207

¥ 5690

It seems Apple don't strictly follow the $250 minimum revenue per region rule before paying out. The Japanese amount above is way less than $250, and the dollar amount actually includes three separate payouts of $430, $91 and $88 respectively.

Analyzing App Store sales data

I am currently selling two applications on the iTunes App Store. Hiragana and Katakana are educational applications aimed at the novice students of the Japanese language. Hiragana and Katakana are also the names of the two Japanese character alphabets my applications focus on.

Apple provides sales data for applications sold via the App Store, but the data is presented in the most unintuitive way possible, as plain data tables. This makes it extremely hard to get a view of sales performance, so I dropped the data files for my first three weeks of sales into my favorite data analysis application and ended up with the following insights. Click the images for higher resolution.

Sales Growth

Hiragana was first available for download from the App Store on 20th of September, with Katakana following on the 27th. In less than three weeks 266 units have been sold with Hiragana representing the majority of sales. The last week had the highest sales with a combined 126 units, 71 of which were Hiragana and 55 were Katakana.

Biggest Markets

Close to half of the sales were in the US market (122) with Germany, Canada, Japan and Australia being the other regions with more than ten sales each. The long tail of stores selling less than ten units represents 85 sold units, with 11 stores clocking in at one sold unit each. I doubt I'll ever see any profits from those markets as I need to sell approximately 100 units in a store to reach Apples minimum amount of $250 for royalty payout.

The information above is based on the weekly stats reported by Apple. Apple also provide daily statistics, but you have to grab them while they're fresh, only the last 7 days are available. I was out of town for a little over a week and forgot to download a few days worth of data. Going forward I'll try to store every day and return with a more detailed analysis. It should be interesting to se the daily trends. I would expect weekends to lead the sales since that's when people may have the extra time to play around with their iPods and iPhones. We'll see.