What it takes to be #1 in the App Store - Makers of palmReader Speak out

December 23, 2009 in Entertainment (E)

[prMac.com] Clearfield, Utah - Tyler Parsons, the president and CEO of iCOOLgeeks talks about their experience with palmReader and the sales numbers it takes to have a #1 iPhone app on the App Store. iCOOLgeeks developed palmReader more than a year ago, and since then it has had consistent sales in the U.S. A few months ago, however, as they were looking through the sales numbers they noticed an upswing in sales from other countries, such as India, Japan, and Russia to name a few.

"Before long we realized we were climbing the charts in these other countries. palmReader was the #1 app in India for several weeks. Our free version hit the top 10 both in Japan and Russia for a while as well. There were a half dozen other countries where we saw similar success." said Parsons. The surprising thing was how little this success affected the bottom line for iCOOLgeeks. "Apparently it doesn't take as many sales in some of these countries to make the coveted top spot.

For example, in India, Singapore, Italy, Greece, and Romania we were hitting #1 with less than a dozen sales per day for some of those countries. One country only took two sales per day. Russia and Japan on the other hand took a little more." Parsons reported, "Our free version of palmReader had about 5,000 downloads per day to make it into the top 100 apps. Russia only took about 1,500. But with 5,000 downloads a day in the US we barely broke into the top 600."

Developers working on iPhone Apps dream of hitting the number one slot. "We thought it would be like winning the lottery. We've since redefined that goal to be the number one app on the U.S. App Store. If being #1 in the U.S. store is like winning the lottery, then Japan and Russia was like getting a decent bonus in our paychecks we weren't expecting. India, Singapore, Italy, Greece, and Romania didn't even pop up on the radar for us unfortunately."

iCOOLgeeks used a tool called APPLyzer (created by Michael Dorn out of Germany) to track the ranking of palmReader and palmReader Lite. APPLyzer can track how an app is ranked in every country it is sold in. As long as a app ranks at least in the top 1000 for a specific category, APPLyzer can capture the ranking. Parsons said, "If it wasn't for APPLyzer we wouldn't have even known we were number one in India. That was the first time we hit the top spot in any country that we knew of. We found Michael's tool and started tracking palmReader and saw we were really up there in some of these countries. At first it was a bit of a shock. I had to do a double take and refresh the page a few times. I called my wife and told her. Following a bit of celebrating we started looking at the sales numbers over the next few days and the bubble burst for us." Being number one in India had grossed iCOOLgeeks only a hand full of dollars. "Maybe enough to buy a pizza."

"When we spiked in Japan though, we noticed the difference right away in the sales numbers. Our sales tripled over night. I looked at the sales reports and saw a lot of Japanese Yen, and APPLyzer confirmed it for us, we were moving up in Japan." Parsons reports that they were unable to determine why palmReader became so popular all of a sudden in Japan and then in Russia. "We searched the web looking for a reason for the recent uptrend in our app, but couldn't find anything. Normally up trends like these are due to a new revue, article, or showing up on the 'what's hot' or 'new & noteworthy' sections of the app store. We don't speak Japanese or Russian, so in the end we couldn't pin down the source. It's still possible it may have just been word of mouth, and in a way, I'd like to think it was."

Sales dollars weren't the only revenue that was up for iCOOLgeeks, their ad revenue spiked as well. "When we started spiking in Japan, our sales tripled, but even more surprising was how our ad revenue went up ten or twelve fold." In the U.S. iCOOLgeeks reported that they averaged about a 2% click through rate on the ads placed in their free version of palmReader, but in Japan the click through rate was up as high as 5%.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 2.0 or later

Pricing and Availability:
palmReader 1.1.4 is only $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

iCOOLgeeks is a development firm specializing in applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Copyright (C) 2009 iCOOLgeeks. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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