There’s a growing polarization in the revenues developers earn from apps, with most earning either a whole lot or a whole little. Worldwide, just 24% of mobile developers earn between $1,000 and $10,000 per month in app revenue; more than half (52%) make less than $1,000 per month in app revenue, and 24% earned more than $10k per month. The middle class of app developers is smaller in more developed regions, around 20% in Oceania, North American and Western Europe, than in less developed areas such as South American, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it’s closer to 30%
Developers who do iOS development primarily tend to make the most money and have the largest middle class; 15% earn more than $50,000 per month in revenue, while 37% of iOS-first developers make less than $500 per month. Things are bleaker and more polarized for Android-focussed programmers: 55% earn less than $500 per month in app revenue, while 7% earn more than $50k per month.
Report quote: “In the more mature markets with higher smartphone penetration, the middle class of small independent app developers is disappearing. This is understandable as they compete with larger and more sophisticated developers for direct revenues from the stores but also for contract work with those in other countries with lower living costs. This is causing revenues to polarise.”