The Sad Truth Is You Probably Won't Strike It Rich By Making A Mobile App

The news is full of stories about a mobile app turning its developers into millionaires: (Snapchat, Branch, Summly).

And, yes, Apple says that people spent more than $US10 billion in its App Store in 2013 — including more than $US1 billion in December.

But the truth is, your chances of getting rich from a mobile app is depressingly slim.

There are more than 1 million mobile apps in both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store, and less than 1 per cent of them will be any kind of financial success for their developers through 2018, market research firm Gartner says.

Many of those apps aren’t intended to generate income and that’s a trend that will grow, too. Today about 91 per cent of mobile apps are free, reports Network World. By 2017, 94.5% of mobile apps will be free, Gartner says.

Of the remaining 5.5% of apps that people pay for, 90 per cent of them will make less than $US1,250 a day, or generate less than $US500,000 a year.

Now, $US500,000 a year is still a healthy income, but very few developers will make that kind of living.

“Our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits,” says Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney.

But writing free apps can still be a pretty decent source of income. A lead mobile app developer makes an average salary of about $US100,000 a year nationwide, according to

Put it all together and the obvious advice for would-be mobile app entrepreneurs: while working on your strike-it-rich mobile app, don’t quit your day job.

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