10 years ago, Apple revealed the App Store, a curated marketplace that represented the one and only way for iPhone owners to buy and install software.
Since then, Apple has paid over $US100 billion to app developers, it announced last week.
Although much of that revenue comes from in-app purchases and a new subscription option, a lot of it – at least in the beginning – came directly from app purchases. Angry Birds and other apps cost 99 cents or more just to download.
App analytics firm Sensor Tower put together a list of the apps that spent the longest at the top of Apple’s paid app charts, both in the United States and around the world.
Although these aren’t the apps that made the most money – some apps cost more than others, and some are free with premium paid features – the lists do show which apps were popular enough to be top paid app for the longest periods of time.
While the winner won’t surprise you, there are a few interesting apps on the list. Let’s start with the United States:
10. Five Nights at Freddy’s
Five Nights at Freddy’s is an indie horror game that has built a surprisingly huge fanbase – enough people paid to download it in the United States that it spent 44 days on the top of the paid charts. It costs $US2.99.
9. Trivia Crack
Trivia Crack is free now, but it was a paid app when it was first released. It spent 44 days atop the paid charts. Download it from Apple.
8. Where’s My Water
This puzzle game spent 47 weeks in the top spot. It costs $US1.99.
7. Angry Birds Space
An Angry Birds spinoff, this game spent 60 days on the top of the paid charts. Now it’s free with in-app purchases.
6. Face Swap Live
Here’s a great example of an indie app that’s made money from the App Store. Face Swap Live, which lets you make face swap images, spent 55 weeks in the top spot. It costs $US1.99.
5. Angry Birds Star Wars
This officially licensed Angry Birds spinoff spent 60 days on top of the paid charts. Now it’s free.
WhatsApp is free now, but before Facebook bought it, it cost $US1 to download, plus the same again per year for unlimited free messaging. It spent 98 days on top of the paid charts.
3. Heads Up
Heads Up!, a party game, spent 225 days on top of the U.S. App Store paid charts. It costs $US1.
2. Angry Birds
One of the first viral games on the iPhone, Angry Birds spent 311 days on top of the paid iPhone apps chart. It’s free now with in-app purchases, but used to cost $US1.
Minecraft spent 847 days on top of the paid iPhone apps chart.It costs $US6.99.
Here’s the full chart:
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