>Today my focus will be on development for the Apple iPhone. This has become a growing field along with the growing popularity of the iPhone device. One important question for anyone developing an app for the iPhone is going to be, ‘Should I give my app away free, or should it be a paid app?’
In short, the answer to that is that it depends. According to adMob there are significantly more free app downloads than there are paid app downloads. So this bit of information may lead you to think that with a paid app you won’t have many downloads thus making it difficult to make money. However, the number of free apps downloaded should be promising to you. Even free apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch can make money for you.
How can a free app make money?
There are several ways that a free application for the iPhone or iPod Touch can make money. These applications can generate money thorough advertising, commissions, use of licenses, or by offering a paid version with more features. This is also not an exhaustive list of ways that free applications can make money. As a developer you simply have to be creative about how to make money off of a free application. According to AdWhirl applications that make it to the top 100 Free Applications list can make anywhere from $400 – $5000 a day (even at the low end that is $146,000 a year!).
So to go back to the original question I posed of should you sell your app or give it away for free. Both ways can provide a good amount of money…if it is a popular application. You just have to remember that even paid applications can end up not making any money for you if no one downloads the application.