The smartphone app market is clearly booming in terms of volume, and even some of the freebies are raking in a fortune via in-app purchases. Candy Crush Saga springs to mind.
But if you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and ultimately making a living from app development, think again. Gartner reckons, come 2018, you’ll have a less than one in 10,000 chance of producing a financially successful app.
In this here Gartner press release, vice president and “distinguished analyst” Ken Dulaney explains that the volume of quality free offerings has effectively made consumers reluctant to pay for apps.
Furthermore, he warns that we shouldn’t be misled by the volume of apps out there; it’s far from an easy way to make money. Indeed, many apps aren’t intended to generate profit at all.
"The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many," begins Ken. "However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun.
“Application designers who do not recognize this may find profits elusive."
Of course, if you’re developing something that isn’t a fart or solitaire app, your chances of success are greatly increased. And the flip side of the coin is stuff like Angry Birds and Draw Something.
Still, with Ken warning that 94.5% of apps will be free come 2017, it might be worth having a back-up career plan.