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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

When ‘Top Paid’ doesn’t mean anything

Sam Soffes blogs about his release of Redacted, a $5 app which reached #8 on the Top Paid Apps list in the Mac App Store. When he asked on Twitter, people assumed he made about $12,000 from that first day of sales. In truth, the #8 Top Paid App in the Mac App Store brought in $452 on launch day.

I saw this same effect firsthand when I was at Macworld—our ebook series frequently dominated the iBooks tech book chart, but when I looked at the sales figures, they just weren’t that impressive. It was a sign of just how little was actually selling in that category.

The Mac App Store seems to be good business for some vendors, but it’s nothing like the revolution we expected it to be four years ago. I’m not sure what can fix this problem. Even if Apple loosened its restrictions on what App Store apps can do, would it make enough of a difference?