How Much Do Mobile Developers Make Per App?

How Much Do Mobile Developers Make Per App?

Mobile app development is an area that’s growing rapidly as people jump on the bandwagon to create applications that they hope would net them fame and fortune. We often hear stories about small-time developers making it big and rolling in the cash. Angry Birds, Crossy Roads and Fruit Ninja are commonly cited as examples of success in this field and they serve as the dangling carrot motivating developers to continue on their mobile app journey. But just how much money does the average mobile developer make from their apps? We find out.

Mobile app devs put your hands up image from Shutterstock

Mobile ad network provider InMobi recently surveyed over 1000 mobile app developers worldwide, most of which were in the Asia-Pacific region, to understand their struggles and motivations. The State of Mobile App Developers report found that the mobile apps industry is attracting fresh talent with 75 per cent of respondents having been making apps for less than three years and most of them work alone (47 per cent).

The most popular category of apps being made are games followed by entertainment. Unsurprisingly, most developers prefer working with the Android Platform. Around 42 per cent have 1-3 apps on the Google Play Store while 28 per cent have the same amount of apps on iOS. Only 15 per cent of developers have the 1-3 apps on Windows Store.

While Windows Store is nowhere near as popular as the other dominant app platforms, Windows mobile app developers, on average, make more money per app than those working on Google Play and App Store.

The InMobi report found that the average mobile app revenue is under $6000 with 55 per cent of developers making $1000 per month. The average monthly per-app revenue ranges from $5000 to $11,000 depending on the platform. Indie developers make around $1500 per month while large studio’s revenues can reach $44,000 over that same period.

Here’s the breakdown of the average monthly revenue per app for each major operating systems:

  • Android: $4,900
  • iOS: $8,100
  • Windows Phone: $11,400

Yes, developers are predominantly flocking to Google Play and App Store, but the volume of apps that are already available on those two platforms makes it hard for one single app to stand out from the crowd, especially for indies. Trying to differentiate and market your app is a major challenge, one that was noted by the respondents of the InMobi survey. Most developers just don’t have a clue on how to effectively market their apps.

Meanwhile, over at Windows Store, app developers are competing in a smaller pool. As InMobi explains:

“Since Windows has only a niche audience, the app store is not as fragmented as the Android and iOS counterparts. Hence app discoverability is way easier and the competition among apps is much lesser. Thus developers on the Windows App Store seem to enjoy the highest monthly revenue.”

But bear in mind that, as we already mentioned, many app creators still make around $1000 per month only so take that into consideration before you jump ship to develop for the Windows Store.