A tiny bit more on App Store piracy

Something else occurred to me this morning after reading over yesterday’s lead story again. According to 24/7WallSt’s largely-invented figures, just 4% of iPhone/iPod owners use their device for piracy, yet have been responsible for actual real losses of over $450m in revenue that would have been spent were piracy not possible.

Logically, this means that the other 96% of owners must be spending the same sort of amount, (since the figure was arrived at via an allegedly-conservative notional conversion rate of 10% of pirated copies being genuinely lost sales, rather than just stuff the pirates wouldn’t have bothered downloading if they had to pay for it). Which means that the App Store must have generated an impressive $11.48bn of revenue in the last 18 months.

Since Apple have revealed that there have been a total of 3 billion downloads, which includes both paid and free apps, that would make the average price per download just short of $4. But since the 247WS figures were based on just an estimated 17% of downloads being paid apps, that bumps the average per-paid-app price up to a little over $23.50 (compared to 247WS’s claimed average of $3).  If other analysts’ estimates of the proportion of paid apps to free ones is more accurate, the average price of each paid-for download could be as high as $160.

Doesn’t seem awfully likely, does it?

Other sites have also done a little digging into 247WS’ numbers, and come up with entertaining results. The Unofficial Apple Weblog, for example, notes this:

“According to 24/7WallSt.’s analysis, around 10% of iPhone/iPod touch users have chosen to jailbreak their devices, and it’s only about 40% of these jailbroken users who are responsible for this torrent (ahem) of piracy. This means that, according to 24/7WallSt.’s numbers, out of a rough total of 75 million worldwide iPhones and iPod touches, a mere 3 million devices are responsible for the 1.53 billion apps 24/7WallSt. is claiming have been downloaded illegally.

For those of you calculating along at home, that works out to an average of 510 pirated apps per device. That snap you just heard was suspension of disbelief.”

iPhone/iPod owners will know that the devices have 16 apps to a page, meaning that the average pirate has a whopping 32 pages of pirated apps. Frankly, they must be spending so much time scrolling the screen back and forth it’s a wonder they have the time to do any pirating at all…

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