Sunday, March 13, 2011

Statistics: Pricing in the Mac App Store

This post is about the pricing in the Mac App Store and it answers several very important questions:

  1. What is the average price of an app in the Mac App Store?
  2. How does the development of the average prices look like?
  3. Which categories contain the highest/lowest priced apps?

Before I go into the details I would like to explain how I created the statistics I am about to share with you. I am the developer of Store News. Store News is a simple app that shows the best deals in the Mac App Store. The best deals are determined by observing the price of every application in the store and list it in Store News as soon its price drops. The observation results in a daily "snapshot" of the whole Mac App Store. I used these snapshot to create the following statistics.

I used the snapshots created between 13. January 2011 and 1. March 2011.

The following chart shows the development of the average price of an app. Initially the average price was $18.46 and it dropped to $14.92 which is a delta of -$3.54 (-19.17%).


Screen shot 2011-03-12 at 16.21.01 .png

As you can see the price dropped almost constantly. The average price of Apples own apps sold via the Mac App Store is $29.80 which is round about twice as much. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I can't tell since I don't know the number of sales. What do you think?

The next chart shows the average price broken down by category.

Screen shot 2011-03-12 at 16.21.06 .png

If you don't know how to price your app it can't hurt to look at the chart above. What surprised me is the "Developer Tools" category since I thought that it contains many "pro-like" apps that make money by selling an app at a high price and in low volume. The category "Education" also caught my eyes since the average price is about $20.00 and I always thought that students don't have a lot of money.

I will create new charts during the next two weeks that I will share with you via this blog.


  1. Purely statistical comment: as the price range is very skewed towards the zero-end, I think you should go with median prices instead of the average and maybe also show some percentiles. The average is not too telling as a few high price applications distort the picture.

  2. @pp: You are right. There are some apps that do nothing fancy and cost $999 and may distort the picture. I try to compensate these kind of things in the upcoming charts/statistics. Thanks.

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