How Are App Developers Making Money on the Vision Pro?
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The Apple Vision Pro is out, and it's clear this is the beginning of something big.
For developers, the Apple Vision Pro presents a potential opportunity, which is why there are nearly 700 apps optimized for the Apple Vision Pro already available in its App Store. And most were there before developers even saw the device.
You'd be surprised to know not all of those apps are free with in-app purchases. So, how are developers making money on the Apple Vision Pro right now?
You'd expect the answer to this rather simple question to be subscriptions, but that isn't exactly the case.
I analyzed all apps optimized for the Apple Vision Pro. That includes iOS apps that added a native Vision Pro experience and apps only available on the Vision Pro. There are about 1.2M iOS apps that will work on the Vision Pro but weren't modified by their developers for it. Those aren't included in this analysis for obvious reasons.
52% of all Vision-only apps are a paid download. This is not a drill. I'm not joking. 35% of the remaining apps don't monetize through the App Store, leaving 8%, which monetize with subscriptions.
This is not at all what I expected because on the App Store, paid apps barely make up 5% of apps.
Switching to apps that are available for iPhone/iPad but also have a native Vision experience, the numbers are a whole lot different.
Only 17% of iPhone apps optimized for the Vision are paid to download. That's higher than I expected, but not by much. 25% are not monetizing on the App Store, and the rest, a whopping 58%, monetize with subscriptions.
What's the Right Strategy?
When it comes to pricing, one size definitely doesn't fit all, but if we look at how the App Store is, we can see the number of paid apps has decreased drastically over the years to the point of near extinction. I expect that to happen on Vision as well as it matures.
The pay upfront model is simple and reliable, and in some cases the only option, but it makes it hard to run a real business which is why more and more apps switch to a subscription model. I expect to see that happening for Vision as well as it matures.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.