Every iOS device means an additional $12 in revenue for developers, Asymco argues

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

On average, every app downloaded from the iOS store generates about $0.23 in revenue, argues Apple analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco. That means that as Apple is set to pass its 25 billionth app download, every one of the 335 million iOS devices sold has generated about $12 dollars in revenue for developers in the ecosystem.

Dediu bases his analysis on two well-known figures — first, Apple has paid developers $4 billion over the lifetime of its store, and second, the fact that Apple is just days away from its 25 billionth app download.

According to Dediu’s math, if the app store has paid out $4 billion to developers, it has earned $5.7 billion in gross revenues because Apple keeps an additional 30 percent cut of revenue. That means if you divide the App Store’s total revenue by the number of downloads, it each app has created about $0.23 in gross revenue and about $0.16 cents for developers after Apple’s 30 percent cut.

While those figures may be fairly loose estimates, they do roughly align with Apple’s most recent payout figures. In the fourth quarter Apple paid $700 million to developers, meaning the store likely earned around $1 billion in gross revenues.

Dediu assumes Apple has sold 335 million total iOS devices to date after the company reported it had sold more than 315 million devices in total in its fourth quarter earnings call on Jan. 24. That means that between the 25 billion apps downloaded, each device has generated 75 downloads on average. Multiplying $0.23 by 75 indicates that every iOS device sold has created $17 in gross app revenue and developers have taken home $12 of that.