Truth Behind Apptopia’s $1 Million FLASHLIGHT App Auction

If you’ve visited our home page lately or stumbled across our recent Forbes article, then you’re probably aware of the FLASHLIGHT app now selling on Apptopia for $1 million. Although its million dollar price point might seem outlandish when compared to those of the other 415 apps listed on our site, FLASHLIGHT is one of the few apps there with powerful enough stats to justify its large valuation.

Michael Zaletel leads the team at i4software responsible for developing the app. Since 2010, when it was first released in the iTunes App Store, FLASHLIGHT has had over 1.4million paid installs. The app has also remained as a top 10 paid utility app for over 80 weeks (14 weeks at #1) during which time it has received over 22,000 5 star ratings.

One of the main reasons i4software’s app has risen to the top is due to its early entrance into the market. Additionally, the app differentiates itself through an exceptional user interface, and the light’s quick response upon opening. At the $0.99 price point, users also avoid unwelcome ads that interfere with the speed of many free flashlight apps on the market today.

To put FLASHLIGHT’s $1.4 million revenue stream in perspective, just take a look at this recent infographic from App Promo. According to their research, only 12% of developers earn $50,000 or more from their apps with an average marketing spend of $30,000. This research emphasizes just how rare it is to have an app like FLASHLIGHT that’s already exceeded the $1 million mark in profits.

The craziest part of the app’s success might actually be that FLASHLIGHT has only been exposed to 25% of the iTunes market due to the fact that it’s only available to users on the iPhone 4 and 4s. A big brand would be unwise to overlook how much their user base will grow once the iPhone 5 comes out this month and FLASHLIGHT is exposed to a much larger share of potential customers. Zaletel estimates a 715%increase in daily sales (the equivalent of 10,000 downloads per day) will occur once the new smartphone is released.

Acquiring the app would also be a major branding play for several relevant large companies as they would be acquiring these users at less than a dollar each. This is truly unheard of in the mobile world. Most companies are paying $3.00-$5.00 a pop for users that are less targeted and of less value to them. In this case, a brand would be able to reach millions of premium users willing to spend at least $0.99 on an app when they could easily have download a similar one for free. There are so many flashlight apps in the app store at the moment that Apple has started rejected new versions of this kind during its strict review process. For i4software to still be generating such high revenues amidst so many free competitors is a great sign for any potential acquirer. i4software realizes that a bigger brand could take the app and do more with it. One may wonder why the developers would want to give all this success away, but the company is already breaking ground on its next project, having won Macworld’s Best of Show in January for its app, VIDEO CAMERA.

The FLASHLIGHT auction is currently up and running and Zaletel has already begun talks with a potential buyers. Apptopia will of course be brokering the final sale of the app, so anyone interested in learning more should email Apptopia’s VP of Business Development, Greg Salwitz (greg AT apptopia DOT com). Take a look at the auction and all of FLASHLIGHT’s real time stats here, or simply test the app out for yourself here in iTunes.

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