How the WPCandy iPhone app sold in its first month


Wondering how our iPhone app sales have gone? We wouldn’t be much of a community site if we didn’t share that info with you, down to the last detail. First, a quick recap.

At the beginning of December we launched the WPCandy WordPress News iPhone and iPod Touch app. It was a very exciting time, particularly because the app itself was in development for about two months. It’s also the first app I have personally put together and released, so that was a fun experience. As part of the launch, we did a reverse deal that involved our app going “on sale” for $5.99, instead of its regular $0.99 price. We ran the reverse deal for two weeks and then made the price $0.99, which is where it has stayed.

In this post I’ll walk you through why we chose to do what we did, how it turned out, and in general how the first month of our iPhone app sales went. Feel free to drop any questions you have in the comments.

Why the reverse launch deal?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the reverse launch deal idea came from. Whenever it came, the idea was exciting primarily because none of us had heard of that sort of thing happening before. In a sense it was bold, the sort of decision that could piss people off as easily as it could interest them. And anyone who knows me will know that those kinds of ideas are very exciting to me. Either way, we knew that whether it worked out or not, it would get people talking, and be a fun experiment.

We also realized that releasing the app in that fashion would give our fans a way to support the site. It was actually the response to the iPhone app that gave us the confidence to employ our new powered by model. I like to put it this way: this community continually proves that it deserves cool things.

Before we launched the app itself, we really had no expectations about how it would turn out. We were prepared to be laughed at for the $5.99 price tag as much as we were to sell a single app. One hope we did have was that the app sales during the reverse launch deal would pay for the costs we absorbed putting together the app, which it very nearly did.

How the reverse launch deal went

Number time. Wait, is that like Hammer Time? Can’t touch this.

The reverse deal ran from December 1st to December 21st. In that time we sold 61 copies of the iPhone app, at $5.99. That was pretty cool. Of course, the week the price went down we sold 65 apps, so there are still those who will wait for a cheaper price.

Considering the app didn't exist in November, I'd say those sales the week of November 21 and 28 went as expected.

In total we sold 174 copies of our iPhone app in December, with 61 of those sales on the launch price. So:

Price of appNumber of apps soldApple's commissionOur take

We ended up with a few hundred dollars in the first month of the app, which we were pretty happy with.

Our approach

Our approach to WPCandy (and by our I mean GooRoo’s, the parent business behind this site) has been to treat the website itself as the source of content, to keep it all free, but then to create ways of accessing the content to bring it out of the website. So the website is the source, and where everything else leads back to, but we use things like apps to make sure you can get the site anywhere. One example is the iPhone app, with the WPCandy Dashboard Feed plugin being another one.

We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we’re on our way. Do you have ideas about how we can make it easier to get access to the great stuff at WPCandy? Let us know in the comments.

Oh, and pick up the WPCandy WordPress News app if you haven’t already!

11 thoughts on “How the WPCandy iPhone app sold in its first month

  1. Speaking personally, the reason i didn’t support you by purchasing the app is that it didn’t offer anything new that I don’t already get for free (ie it’s a feed reader, something I don’t do on my phone). What features does the app have that would make me want to be able to access your content on my phone?

    I would be happy to purchase your app if it was in some way useful for me but at the moment it doesn’t solve any problems I have.

    To be honest this suggestion wouldn’t make me want to buy it either, but one idea would be to add your theme browser into the app.

    • That’s fair, for sure. Right now it really just brings over the content from the site into the phone, which if you’re not interested in that, won’t be very interesting to you.

      We’re working on additions that, perhaps in the future, will interest you. That said, not every app is for every person. We’re cool with that 🙂

  2. I would expect a free download. With relevant Ads. Do you have any plans to go that route? I believe that would do well.

  3. I’d be interested to know how you made the app, that would make a good blog post no?
    How you go about incorporating WordPress into an iOS app.
    Did you build it in Objective C or HTML/CSS/JS then use PhoneGap etc.

    Would love to know 🙂

    • Me too, how did you build the app, did you use one of the ‘rapid app builders’ or code it from scracth? is it build with Objective C or HTML/CSS/JS? etc..

        • Thanks @ryan, I didn’t know that one. I’m looking at PhoneGap, but all I need is really a mobile version of a basic wordpress blog, with local storage (to work offline), with no extra functionality or utilization of the device hardware, and PhoneGap might come with too big a footprint for just that. Do you have any input on that? Were you happy with TapLynx? I’ll compare the two. Also, Is the wpCandy app gone from the iOS app store? I have it on my iPhone, but got it a long time ago. Now I wanted to send a link to a friend, but can find it when I search. Also can’t find the app anymore. Even when I browse my ‘previously bought apps’ in the app store app, I don’t see those two anymore, even though I have them running on my phone.. Do you know anything about that, or is it just me..?

          • Yup, the WPCandy app is no longer in the store. I’ve turned my attention toward a mobile-friendly site experience for all devices, rather than spending all the time and energy on an app.

            Would plugins like WPtouch or Obox Mobile give you a jump on what you need?

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