Where the Money Is

I stumbled across the graph above and found it interesting. It ain’t the Apples, Motorolas, Samsungs, or app developers of the world that are making the big bucks from the mobile device gold rush. It’s the operators—the ATTs, Verizons, and so on.

I expect the complaints about the operators to start mounting to the point where political pressure is re-applied.


The total sales of all of the hundreds of thousands of apps is estimated to be around $7 billion in 2013. I’ll leave it to the interested reader to place that on the graph above.

I was going to write a post on this subject a while ago, did the research, and never got around to writing the post. Most apps don’t even make back their cost of development.

9 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw

    And about $3 billion of apps revenue is from Apple, which just had to disgorge an estimated $100 million for deceptive practice related to how easy it was to move from freeware to pay. Clearly a long-term problem with financing game apps. And parents do pick up stories about kids running up $1500 on a “free” game and become less trustful overall.

  • PD Shaw

    BTW/ I am confused by that entry for “PC Sales.” Does that include traditional desktops, even if they are not hooked up to any wireless network, or is it only netbooks or laptops designed for mobile use?

  • Since total U. S. PC sales revenue was about $85 billion and worldwide about $300 billion in 2011, I’m assuming that’s all PCs—desktops, notebooks, etc. Not tablets or smartphones.

  • PD Shaw

    Thanks, I suppose I could have done a little research, but I don’t have any “feel” for where the money goes. I knew PCs were not as hot, but they seem to work on a planned obsolescence model that requires replacement now and then.

  • Trumwill Mobile

    What pressure do you see being applied?

  • Constituent complaints, Congressional hearings, regulator mau-mauing.

  • they seem to work on a planned obsolescence model that requires replacement now and then

    My impression is that hasn’t been the case since XP. Right now XP and Windows 7 have roughly equal “market shares” (I’d call it “installed base”) with Windows 8 lagging far, far behind and various versions of Mac OS and Linux behind that.

    There may come a point when device drivers stop being available for XP (or Windows 7) but that time is still in the future.

  • Trumwill Mobile

    Sorry, I didn’t say what I meant. I meant, apply pressue to do wwhat?

  • PD Shaw

    @Trumwill, I think this is where Dave is coming from:


Leave a Comment