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Open-source, free, & ads — a right way to go for mobile apps?

August 21, 2010

A single Dad and his son living the life you never knew existed…

Sooner or later, the time comes when we all must become responsible adults, or likely parents. It takes more than a lifetime to learn to decide what to give up and to choose to do what is right. And recently, this proud full-time dad, Nick Vellios, has had found out something interesting as an iPhone app developer-for-fun, at his website that shares his best times with his cute son Jordan and his experiences of iPhone app development.

Nick has begun to develop iPhone apps since several years ago. He has two apps submitted to iPhone app store: iStrobe and SpaceBubble. These apps are open source, and have been made free-of-charge with their original 0.99 price tag dropped off awhile after their release. Recently, Nick has taken the ride of the release of iAd in July, and has shared his fresh story in his latest post.

Interesting numbers have been given from his post. Take iStrobe (a flashlight app) as an example. The #downloads per day reached about 35 on the day of release with a charge of $0.99, but soon fell to about 3. Then, after he tagged it free and went with iAd, he saw a “a rush of about 2,000 downloads with fill rates on ads barely touching double-digit percents.” Gradually, #downloads climbed 50-100 per day with fill rates reached as high as about 75%. Profit increases from $5 in average to $6 ~ $11 a day from ads. Before making it free, only $2 a day from sales.

Price iAd #downloads per day iAd fill rate Profit per day
$0.99 N/A 30+ on the 1st day,
then fell to about 3
N/A $2 a day from sales
in the beginning of making it free Yes 2,000 barely touching double-digit percents averaged about $5 a day from ads
a while after making it free 50~100 As high as 75% $6~$11 a day from ads


All in all, it is just about how mobile apps reap money from either consumers or ad sources. But sometimes, it can be as complicated and tricky as how a parent may choose to assume his/her share of the responsibilities. Take a look at the cheering photos, and read the heart-touching stories, of the cute son and the father, at

“Jordan is so excited to learn about the way the world works and I am proud to be the one to teach him all I know,” said Nick on his about-us page.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 3:12 pm

    I am Japanese.

    I am interested in your article and enjoyed your blog!

    Please keep it for us.

    Thank you!


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