Rapture In Venice, LLC

:: Mobile Apps for iPhone, iPad, AppleTV and Watch

Going From $0.99 to FREE on the App Store

About a year ago, I released my first *real* app on the App Store, a To-Do List app I called Task List. I wrote it for myself, actually, as I didn’t like the variety of offerings at the time. I wanted something simple, quick-to-use, and with a UI that got to the point so I could update my tasks on the go.

I released Task List at the price point of $0.99 so that anyone else looking for the same thing could have it. Sales were OK, on good days I’d sell 15 copies. On slow days I’d sell a couple. As the year has wound down, however, sales were pretty slow at about 3 a day.

So, a couple days ago, I decided the profit wasn’t considerable to me anymore and that it’d be more fun to let anyone who wanted it have what I thought is a pretty keen app for FREE, and so I made it free! What has followed over the next couple days I think has been pretty enlightening and educational:

Task Lists Downloads Between 07/13/2010 - 08/14/2010

It’s hard for me to explain the explosion of numbers past the fact that the app was made free. I went from almost no new users a day to 500 and then to 1,000! On Reddit yesterday, some theorized that apps like PandoraBox have driven users to the app, but to me it’s still just a To-Do List app. It’s not Doom. :-)

My theory is that downloads have skyrocketed because the To-Do List market fills a huge demand — iPhone currently doesn’t bundle with a To-Do List app like BlackBerry does, which seems strange. So, many people come looking for one and are immediately drawn to the free apps. And now they find Task List which, being well-named and #1 on search for “task list”, is an attractive deal.

I’ll be very curious to see how downloads move over the next week.

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John Blanco

John Blanco is a freelance iOS developer in Denver, CO. He's been developing mobile apps for 12 years, starting during the medieval days of Java ME, making him the ultimate hipster mobile engineer. Follow him on Twitter!

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