Following on from Apponomics Part 1 after the first two weeks of sales and Apponomics Part 2 after one month of sales, Oz Weather has now had just over three full months of sales. Here is a complete history of the daily unit sales numbers, up until 5th Feb 2009.
The red and yellow bars show Australian and overseas daily unit sales at AUD$2.49 (US$1.99), and the blue and orange bars are at the temporary sale price of AUD$1.19 (US$0.99).
I’ve annotated the graph with some significant events which did (or might have been expected to) affect sales volumes. These events were as follows.
- Release of v1.1 Update – saw an immediate jump in sales and rise in ranking from #6 to #3
- Release of v1.2 Update – sales flat
- Xmas Sale – decided to try a brief sale over Christmas period due to falling sales & ranking having dropped to #9
- App Store Broken – a couple of days when customers were unable to purchase Oz Weather
- Major Heatwave in Parts of Australia – consistently high sales level, bringing ranking to #2
- Release of v1.3 Update – major app enhancements and an eye-catching new icon pushed the Australian iTunes paid app ranking to #1 – where it remains at time of writing
Summary of Sales & Revenue
- Total units sold: 23,800
- Average sales per day: 245
- Approximate revenue: AUD$35,000 (US$22,500)
- Total units sold prior to v1.3: 19,800
- Total upgrades to v1.3 in 9 days since release: 13,350
- Upgrade ratio: 67.4%
Although I indicated in a previous blog entry that I had broken even on 19th December, I did invest considerable extra development time and effort into the latest app update, and also into further professional design work . Consequently I estimate my total nominal costs so far to be around the AUD$25,000 (US$16,000) mark. This leaves a nominal profit to date of AUD$10,000 (US$6,400).
Thoughts and Comments
Although Oz Weather has been substantially profitable (for a sole developer) over this 3 month period, the apponomics depend to a large degree on how much ongoing additional development effort is required to maintain its level of sales. So far, Oz Weather sales levels have not dropped off in a way that seems to be typical of many other apps. It remains an open question as to how much of this is due to the additional development effort I have made versus what would have happened without this frequency and depth of app updates.
Competition is of course another important factor. Whilst Oz Weather has taken the major share of the Australian Weather apps market since its launch, the visibility of its success is an encouragement to competitors. The developers of Pocket Weather have made no secret of the fact that they would very much like to regain the position they had in the app store before Oz Weather jumped in, and appear to be investing considerable time and effort into fighting back with their own major updates. There also remains the possiblity if not likelihood that some other major player in the Australian weather scene will want to launch their own app, backed with pre-existing infrastructure which will give them some competitive advantages.
So despite all the stories you might hear about overnight successes in the app store, overnight falls from grace are probably just as frequent. In reality, it is just a reflection of life as a whole. Hard work and listening carefully to your users will maximize your chances, but the only real certainty is uncertainty! Stay tuned for the next instalment.