Despite the recent comments by some iPhone developers on the harsh economics of the App Store, other developers are making a killing by cranking out inexpensive but popular apps.Newsweek's Dan Lyons profiles Ge Wang and Jeff Smith the brain trust behind Smule, creators of four $1 and $2 apps including a virtual lighter (Sonic Lighter), a virtual firecracker (Sonic Boom), a voice changer (Sonic Vox) and a virtual flute (Ocarina).
Ocarina has already racked up 400,000 downloads in less than a month and the company which originally forecasted about $100,000 in revenue this year, will instead rake in a cool $1 million. "It's amazing," Smith says. "The business is already profitable."
Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone, developer of Cro-Mag Rally, Bugdom and Enigmo, expects to generate $5 million in revenue this year and is another App Store success story. "In the last four and a half months we've made as much money off the retail sales of iPhone apps as we've made with retail sales of all of the apps that we've made in the past 21 years—combined."
The other developer mentioned in the piece is Steve Demeter, the developer of Trism, a $3 iPhone game that pulled in $250,000 in just two months.
It's a good read and will undoubtedly motivate a flood of new developers trying to follow in their footsteps. One man's crapware is another man's cash cow.