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5 Apps That Make Millions


Apps That Make Millions

Apps have revolutionized the mobile phone industry. There was a time when cell phones only made calls or allowed simple games or calculators. Today's mobile phones have games near as complex as consoles like Xbox or Playstation. What is now known as a smartphone has become the most important electronic device for individuals and a huge money maker for the developers of these wildly popular applications. Check out what applications are making millions.


Created by OMGPOP, this popular pictionary-inspired game has over 50 million downloads and around 24 million daily active users. With the ability to display your drawings through Facebook, this app quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts. As a result maker of sought-after Facebook games, Zynga quickly caught wind of this rising star and acquired OMGPOP for roughly $180 million. DrawSomething reached around 1 million users in nine days - a milestone that took Facebook about nine months to achieve. Although no financials have been released on the revenue from DrawSomething, people familiar with the company have claimed it averages around $250,000 a day, reported AllThingsD.

Angry Birds

Undoubtedly the first smartphone app to hit super stardom, Angry Birds has surpassed over 350 million downloads and recently launched Angry Birds Space which reached 10 million downloads in three days. The franchise has since expanded into other areas of revenue like t-shirts and plush toys. Rovio, the creator of the game, may be looking at 2013 for an IPO. Analysts say the company could be valued upwards of US$9 billion. Sales in 2011 were nearly $100 million, with profit of around $48 million. The company has also raised roughly $42 million in funding through venture capital firms.

Design This Home

Building and designing the ultimate dream home is a desire for many. This application created by App Minis lets you do just that without the huge fees of architects and interior designers. The app lands in the Top Five Grossing Overall ranking in Canada, Ireland, Australia and the U.K. It also has roughly 300,000 daily active users and around 4 million players. Though the application itself is free, App Minis makes money through selling in-app purchases of coins and cash. This 'cash' allows users to buy virtual items to design their dream homes. Quoted as being "the next Sims," the app is said to gross about US$1 million per month. That's not bad for a game with only three full-time team members and a $50,000 budget.

Fruit Ninja

This fruit slicing game has been downloaded about 6 million times. Across all platforms and versions (including free "lite" versions) it has roughly 20 million downloads. IGN.com reported that creator Halfbrick recently revealed plans to sponsor an orchard in "low-income Native American communities" to plant fruit. On top of selling plush toys through the Halfbrick online store, the company has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to offer a Puss in Boots version of the game. There's also an Xbox Kinect version of Fruit Ninja.

Grand Theft Auto

Many think of the Grand Theft Auto franchise for Xbox and Playstation, but the mobile versions are becoming a larger piece of game maker Take-Two's overall sales. In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, approximately 11% of net revenues came from downloadable games and content, or roughly $25.98 million of $236.3 million. The majority of the 11% of net revenue from digital downloads came from Grand Theft Auto III which is currently Take-Two's highest-selling mobile game


Smartphones have revolutionized the mobile industry and credit is due to the apps third party developers have created. People may think of them as simple time-wasting gizmos, but they must acknowledge how valuable these companies have become. Facebook recently bought the photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion dollars and the company has yet to turn a dime in sales. Users must also recognize the revenue model for these applications. Just because an application may be free to download does not mean it's not generating income. Most apps either make money from in-app purchases or through advertising. Very few actually charge for the initial download, and most that do still offer a free version. The gaming industry was once reserved for a few select players due to the high development costs. Today, the app industry can be entered with a creative idea and as little as a few thousand dollars.
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