Is the iPhone App Market in Decline Already?

During a recent conference at GDC Europe, Bigpoint’s CEO Heiko Hubertz made a bold statement about the state of the iPhone app market, suggesting that it has already plummeted. He argued that selling games at 99 cents each is not sustainable for developers expecting significant returns. Despite Apple’s claims that developers have collectively been earning over a billion dollars from the App Store, Hubertz pointed out the harsh reality that with over 250,000 apps available, individual developers struggle to recover even the basic costs of creating a high-quality game.

Hubertz’s observations hold some truth.

The App Store has indeed seen a downward trend in pricing, driven by an ever-expanding number of apps and developers. Although the market continues to grow with increasing iPhone sales, this growth is accompanied by fierce competition among developers. While there are exceptional success stories, the average developer is unlikely to see substantial profits, especially those aiming to produce games with the depth and quality of those from larger studios like EA.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Apple’s vision for the App Store was to create a platform accessible to anyone with a Mac, some coding knowledge, and a bit of creativity. This vision has materialized, allowing developers who invest time and effort into their apps, and who leverage promotional platforms effectively, to achieve profitability and even considerable financial success. The App Store may pose challenges to major game developers, but it remains a viable platform for smaller creators looking to make their mark.


Justin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the Apple news community. With a keen eye for detail, Justin covers everything from the latest iPhone releases to in-depth reviews of the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about the ever-evolving world of Apple products. Justin’s expertise and approachable writing style make him a trusted voice for Apple enthusiasts everywhere.