At today's WWDC 2010, Apple announced that payments to developers for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad apps have now exceeded $1 billion US. Apple takes care of billing, taxes, and other administrative tasks, and in return takes a 30% cut of all sales. The rest goes directly to developers.
For free applications, developers can make money by showing advertisements instead of on the sale of the app. Apple's new iAd platform aims to take over that market too, with a slightly larger cut going to Apple (40%).
According to a new report by Nielson quoted by Apple, in the first quarter of 2010 here are the smartphone shares in the US:
- RIM (Blackberry) 35%
- Apple (iPhone) 28%
- Microsoft (Windows Mobile) 19%
- Google (Android) 9%
- Other 9%
However these numbers don't tell the whole story. Only iPhone and Android have any significant developer ecosystem. By the end of June 2010 there will be 100 million "iOS" devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) in the field according to Apple. Apple has a good head start on Android, but Android is catching up fast.
Most analysts feel it is inevitable that Android will surpass Apple in the next couple of years given the dozens of partners producing the devices, all trying to compete with each other and with Apple in terms of price and features. But for the near term, Apple still rules the roost.