Sunday, October 31, 2010

iPad and iPhone Education Market : Montessori Crosswords Sales Figures (when it was in the top 10)

On Saturday october 14th , I was visiting a friend with my family and, one more time, I couldn’t resist to check the hourly ranks of my apps via AppFigures.  I looked at Montessori Crosswords stats and saw that it was ranked #25 in iPhone/education category. I remember telling my friend and wife that there was a bug because I’ve never been below rank #100 on iPhone (at that time, I've had good ranking only on iPad). Of course, one hour later I checked again and saw that it was even better; then I searched the web and found that Montessori Crosswords was mentioned in a New York Times article on iPhone and toddlers both on the web and in print:
"The 3-year-old has learned to spell compound words (...) through an app called Montessori Crossword, her mother said"
So I’ve been pretty lucky and the effect was huge: I sold a lot of units during this week-end and the following days since Montessori Crosswords was eventually ranked #6 in the iphone/education category. One week later the buzz was fading away (rank was #25) and was completely finished two weeks later (rank was #100).

I’ve always wanted to have some sales figures about the education market (especially sales when when an app is in the top 25) but these figures are rarely shared. So since I was fortunate enough to have one of my app in the top 10, I want to publish my own sales figures, and I hope it can help some indie developers to have a better view of the education market.

First graph below is units sold per day, and the second graph are ranks for these days (all figures from the US itunes store since 80% of the sales were in the US).
Some notes about these graphs :
  • I changed the price several times because the price of my app was originally $3.99 (it was for the iPad market where I sold most of my apps before this event). But this price was a little bit expensive for the iPhone education market (especially when the app is in the top 10), so I changed the price several times (to $1.99 or $2.99) to test what was the best price to stay in the top 25 as long as possible and maximizing revenue. Thanks Evan for the advices!
  • Montessori Crosswords is an universal app so iPad and iPhone sales are mixed (Dear Apple, this would be very nice to let us know how many apps are sold on each device)
  • if you don't know it yet, here is some theory about how ranking is computed by Apple : link
  • ranks are flat (and not valid) starting october 28th because Apple did froze US itunes store ranking these days.
iPad and iPhone Units Sold in the US 

US iTunes Store Ranking

These graphs are not very easy to analyze because I changed the price often and it directly impacts the units sold, and the iPad/iPhone figures are mixed. But I thought that an app ranked #6 in education would sold more units (yes I'm a little bit optimist) - but education category is not the game category! In addition, perhaps I did not stay enough time in the top 10 to have very good figures (perhaps others developers that were- or are- in the top 10 for a longer period may comment these figures)
Anyway, you can see the buzz effect of the NYT article the week-end it was published (especially on sunday since the article was in the Sunday print edition) and how it fades away rapidly.
if you need others figures that are not displayed, do not hesitate to ask me.

A final word to thank Jill from Smarty Shortz and the fantastic MomsWithApps group since it would never have happened without Jill that was interviewed by the NYT and mentioned Montessori Crosswords that she has downloaded thanks to an AppFriday event of MomsWithApps.


  1. Pierre, thanks for your generosity in sharing these stats. I know a lot of developers are hesitant to share numbers, so your collaborative spirit is appreciated. Nice also to see the mention of Evan and Jill from MomsWithApps - exactly the kind of cross collaboration that is really nice to see!
    Congrats on your success and I hope we'll see Montessori Crosswords or other apps from L'Escapadou at the top of the charts in the future.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I am about to launch an app in the education market and have been entirely without numbers. This is helpful!