Can apps succeed without Apple endorsement?

2009 July 23
by Nicole Trafton

With over 50,000 applications available in the iTunes App Store, how do certain ones get on top? The divide between a successful, money-making app and a no-name, money-down-the-drain app is great; cracking the top 100 applications is not as easy as it seems.

When we first began work with Radial 50, we thought: If we can get picked up by some of the top game and tech review sites, we’re golden. And we had many a fist-pumping moment, especially when sites like Mobile Crunch reviewed the game, giving their proverbial stamps of approvals. We also put some serious time into promoting the game, contacting everyone possible, tweeting to no end, and creating contests like the First to 50. We worked long hours, leaving no stone unturned, no resource untapped.

But we still found ourselves lagging behind the pack. Oftentimes, we would rank within our category, but just below the top 100. Not bad, but not spectacular either.

When you consider how much money it takes to create a truly good application, you’re looking at a sizable investment. Even applications that dive into the coveted top 100 apps might not necessarily make up the monetary difference, especially those that are creating something different than already well-known tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Recently, we received an e-mail from Apple stating that they enjoyed our game and wanted to feature it. Subsequently, we happily found ourselves in the “New and Noteworthy” section of Games. This actually produced some success for us, although we still have a long way to go.

In the Apple world, can a Little App That Could–the underdog–really succeed on its own? We pose this question to other app creators out there. We’d like to hear of others’ struggles and triumphs in the application world and see if they’re much like our own.

Apple featured Radial 50, then Radial 50 picked up speed. From our experience, the answer is yes: Apps need help from Apple to succeed in the App Store.

Follow us on Twitter to stay updated on our app’s progress

8 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 July 23
    Jesse permalink

    Yeah, it makes sense with so many apps - you really have to do something different to get noticed.

  2. 2009 July 23
    darth121 permalink

    With all those apps, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to even get noticed by Apple, much less featured. Interesting article, I’m curious to see what other app creators have to say.

  3. 2009 July 25
    govindan namboodiri permalink

    A very relevant and thoughtful question has been raised. Hope that you will succeed and get to the top 100!

  4. 2009 July 25
    satya permalink


  5. 2009 July 25
    satya permalink

    The blog is really interesting . the very important issue is raised in the blog. Hope it will be useful for many.

  6. 2009 July 25
    samar permalink

    Its a great informative blog.Loved reading it.

  7. 2009 July 25
    thangaraj permalink

    good article

  8. 2009 July 26

    Very useful and informative.Enjoyed reading it.

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