I’ll save exact sales figures for a later post, but Oz Weather has moved gradually up the paid apps ranking in the Australian iTunes app store to 3rd spot.
As icing on the cake, Oz Weather also appeared for the first time today in the “What’s Hot” rankings in 8th spot. This means that Oz Weather now appears twice on the front page of the Australian iTunes store. It seems clear that this can only result in a sales boost – as it is being put right in everyone’s face, so to speak.
I have read in some postings on the Apple iPhone developer forums that it seems a bit unfair that top ranking apps by sales may also appear in the what’s hot rankings. As a beneficiary of this policy, I’m obviously not going to complain about it, but I do tend to agree anyway. I’m sure customers would prefer not to see the same app more than once on the front page.
So it is all great exposure and advertising – and yet all this without even a cent of advertising expenditure on my part. I guess that’s what makes the 30% Apple cut seem so very reasonable – especially when you compare it with the time and energy you need to invest when you are starting up cold with a new app or website in the “real world”. I’m betting you’d need to give at least a 50% cut to any marketing/sales partner you joined forces with.
The other benefit of the app store model is that developers don’t need to have a dual focus on development and marketing/sales. Instead they can just focus on what they presumably do best ie. develop good quality applications. I’m not saying that some additional advertising and promotion won’t help your sales, but if that’s not your expertise, using the app store to sell your products may allow you to achieve some success without it.
PS – Almost forgot to mention it, but Oz Weather v1.1 appeared in the app store on 20th November – about 4 days after it was submitted to Apple for approval (in contrast to 2 days for the first version). This updated version is in response to user requests for more radar coverage, and a number of other smaller tweaks and enhancements. In fact there are now around 150 different radar locations and ranges covered in all. It makes for a bit of a hit on the Oz Weather server, but user feedback has been very positive, so well worth the extra time and effort it took.