In October, Apple owned the six of the highest-revenue apps in the iOS app store, for apps by the world’s top 100 brands. And corporate friend-of-the-family Disney owned the next four, rounding out the top 10, as Distimo’s apps and brands mobile report shows:
- Disney Junior Appisodes
- Seven Dwarfs, the Queen’s Return
- Hidden Objects: Gardens of Time
- Alice in Wonderland: A New Champion
The fact that Disney is excellent at extracting revenue from the willing wallets of mobile consumers might not be a big surprise. After all, the movie magic company has always been good at monetizing entertainment. But the fact that Apple is number one (and number two, and number three, and so on …) on its own platform is surprising and even a little odd.
Apple, of course, can manipulate the iOS app store to feature any products it chooses, if it wants to drive a particular type of purchasing behavior or feature a particular kind of app — which doesn’t mean the company has abused that power, of course, in any unfair way. And plenty of other major app makers on the store rake in more money, like King.com (Candy Crush Saga), Supercell (Clash of Clans), or other game makers who are not in the global top 100 brands.
In any case, the situation will not last long.
Apple has made its iWork apps — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — free with the purchase of any iOS device. And iLife, which includes iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand, is getting precisely the same treatment.
Which means, of course, that the only people who would consider buying these apps in the future have old iPhones, iPads, or iPod Touches and that the free version is a pretty big incentive to upgrade to new hardware. And which means that Apple’s days of leading the leaderboard are almost certainly over.
Which is probably better for Apple’s image of driving huge wads of cash to independent developers, anyways.