My Humble Android Sales Figures

Posts on the Apple app store sales are pretty easy to find, but I haven't seen many Android developers sharing their sales figures. Though I wish I had some more exciting numbers to share, I thought people might be interested in hearing my sales numbers anyways.

Background

Before diving into the numbers, lets put things into context.

  • Car Locator is a pretty straightforward app: Save your location when you park your car, and the app will navigate you back to your car later. I've also heard of it being used to locate hiking trail heads and for Geocaching. The app goes for $1.99 on the Android market.
  • There is also a free version of the app.
  • I've done no marketing on the app.
  • The Motorola Droid phone was also released on November 6.


Numbers

Car Locator has been on the market for a little more than 2 months. Since then, I've seen:
  • About 23,000 downloads of the free version.
  • 220 downloads of the paid version.
  • At last check, the app was ranked #21 in the Travel category for paid apps.


Analysis/Remarks
  • In the first 2 months, the app saw sales of about $5-6/day. Nothing too fancy. But starting November 7th, there's been a significant uptick in sales, peaking on November 9, where the app saw $44 in sales.
  • Sales have since settled to about $20/day, but it's probably too early to tell if this will hold.
  • I'm attributing the recent uptick in sales to 2 factors: (1) The release of the Droid phone and (2) Car Locator being in the final judging round of the ADC2 contest. It's impossible for me to tell how much of factor each of these play, since both events happened on the same exact day, but I would be interested to get some more data points from other developers.
  • Ironically, it seems to me that it's easier to get exposure as a paid app rather than a free app. Here's why: When you open the app store on your phone and select a category, the app store first shows you a list of paid apps in that category. Car Locator is the 21st app on the list in the Travel category -- It's pretty easy for someone browsing the store to see the app. However, if you select the "Free" tab, I can't even count how far down the list the free version of Car Locator is -- No one would really find the free version of the app without explicitly searching for it.
  • Though sales of the app is nothing I can live on, it is kinda cool thinking that the app has been covering the cost of my meals recently. It's nothing compared to the stories you'll hear on the Apple app store, but I personally beleive that with the release of many new Andoird-based phones, Android has more long-term potential than the iPhone.
19 responses
Interesting and thank you for sharing this. May I ask, how much time does it take to implement such an app?
Congrats on the success of your app. Even though it's not making you millions, it's still nice to see people with small successes like this all over the world.
@Peter It took me about 2 weeks to write version 1 of the app. Of course, this was only my 2nd Android app, so a lot of time was spent learning Android development.
I like the idea of printing with Picwing. How did this application do in terms of sales. Also did you have a Android phone(s) to do the testing or did you just the emulators?

Thanks for sharing this information.

@seshagiri The Picwing application did pretty well. Just over 1,000 downloads. I bought an Android MyTouch specifically for developing Android applications. Most of the work/testing is done on emulators, but there are a few bugs that pop up on actual hardware that is difficult to catch on an emulator.
Great analysis. Hey...if someone can buy me lunch every day, I'd be a happy man. I spend at least 10 to 15 bucks a day on lunch. Maybe I need to made an Android app. :-)
Edward,

Can u control where in the list your app, free or paid, shows up in the android app store?

@socnet09 You cannot control where it appears.
How functional is the free version? Seems like if 23,000 people have found the application, it is findable among the other free apps but good enough that they don't need to pay.

Would be interesting to do some A-B testing. If 23K people have made the effort to download the free version, then your main focus should be to increase the percentage that pay. Perhaps a short promotion where you half the price and see if sales increase 2x to cover the difference? And/Or drop the free version for a few weeks to see if that helps or hinders.

23000 free apps and 220 paid for. What is the major difference? I have been developing some iphone apps. I read that many people just will not buy unless it is $0.99.

Certainly my sister and my niece, both iphone users, say they will not buy if it is more than $0.99 (59 pence in the UK). Now that's 100% of users in my massive sample of 2 (statistics can prove anything).

I would suggest making the free App harder to use, remove a useful feature or as others have suggested just remove it, and make the paid for App $0.99 and see what happens.

Thanks for posting your stats, Edward, and congrats on making it to the 2nd round of the ADC2. I'm also an Android dev, with a number of games and utility apps on the market. I periodically blog about sales stats, if you're interested:

http://polyclefsoftware.blogspot.com/

Great work. You should create a Google Maps app that lets you find driving directions to another location!
tuisoftware.com
Great info thank you Edward. Given me just the incentive i needed to get started. Cheers - Pete 😎
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