Yesterday TechCrunch ran a story based on the June 2009 App Store Report, published by Distimo. The report examines price characteristics of the App Store throughout June and it has some great info. You should grab a copy, its free.
We've been working on some cool projects using App Store metrics and we're excited to see that we're not the only ones. In this article we're going to take a closer look at price changes in June using our own data.
In his post iPhone App Prices Fluctuate As Developers Adjust To OS 3.0; Nav Apps Gain Pricing Power Erick Schonfeld points to a graph that shows the total value of all apps in the "Top 100 Paid" list and notes that the aggregate price is fluctuating wildly. We've been paying attention to this metric ourselves, and have found that when compared to the "Top 100 Paid" lists for individual categories, the Top 100 overall is one of the most stable.
Here's a graph with the aggregate price for the "Top 100 Paid" along with the same measurement for a few categories. We've chosen categories that had some interesting changes in June (click to open a really huge version).
A couple of things to note:
1. Medical apps are expensive!
2. Prices within category specific Top 100 lists are much more unstable than the Top 100 Paid overall
3. Even though Distimo's report makes the Top 100 price seem erratic, it's partially due to the scale of their graph.
Look at this graph of the daily change rate for the Top 100's total price. In the past month it barely hit 10%.
Furthermore, within the category Top 100 lists there is a lot of instability being caused by just a few high priced apps. As these apps cross the #100 threshhold they move in and out of the list and have a big impact on the total price. This is not the case for the overall Top 100 paid list, which sees expensive apps introduced far less frequently.
Referring back to the first graph, we have been able to identify the cause of every increase and decrease in price within category Top 100 lists. It would be boring to read (or write) about all of them, so we picked just a few interesting ones to show you. Check out the annotated graph and details below:
1. Proloquo2Go, with a price of $149.99, had a two-day stint in the Top 100 Paid Educational category.
2. Shortly after initial release MobileNavigator Europe became a Top 100 Paid Navigation app, with a price tag of $94.99.
3. The same Navigation app, MobileNavigator Europe, was increased to $139.99.
The Distimo report attributes this Navigation price spike to Apple allowing turn by turn navigation, and it's interesting to see that almost all of the increase was due to a single app.
TechCrunch concludes that Nav apps are gaining pricing power, and we agree. Navigation app prices will increase as publishers add valuable turn-by-turn features and big players like TomTom and Garmin bring new products online.