How to make $80000 per month on the Apple App Store

Yingke users can buy expensive virtual goods and send them to content creators who cash out a portion of the gift’s cost. Image via A16Z

Problem is, the way Apple's app subscriptions work, agreeing to a "free" trial can automatically opt you in to an auto-renewing subscription.

Lin said that in spite of the poor grammar and punctuation associated with the VPN app's title and description, the app was bringing in $80,000 a month in revenue, according to Sensor Tower, an app analytics platform.

Lin outlined ways Apple can protect consumers from these duplicitous apps, including refunding its users and reviewing apps more strictly. No wonder it's ranked #8 on Apple's charts of top grossing utility apps.

This was the reason why the app came to the attention of Developer Johnny Lin, who has blogged about the App and how Apple let it into the App Store in the first place. The App Store estimates Mobile Protection was downloaded some 50,000 times in April alone. Before he did that, however, he read the fine print that included in tiny letters, "You will pay $99.99 for a 7-day subscription". Search Ads is also one way these deceivers draw off money. Spirit Realm Games gave a statement to Vice, saying that they saw some Pepe memes and something "clicked", inspiring them to make an innocent game about a "silly and amusing idea" that they could show off to their friends.




Fixing its subscriptions requires much more than banning some keywords, though.

App reviews, which used to take days or even weeks, are often now completed in a matter of hours, with the average wait time being one day, according to third-party data from appreviewtimes.com.

This means developers can add tipping features without worrying about getting kicked out of the app store, as long as they are willing to give Apple 30%. For many legitimate app developers, this is a cumbersome, time-consuming, and capricious process. They're taking advantage of the fact that there's no filtering or approval process for ads, and that ads look nearly indistinguishable from real results, and some ads take up the entire search result's first page.

There are tens of thousands of high quality apps on iOS, but there are also some that do little to nothing and will charge you large amounts of money for the privilege. To reach 200 paying subscribers, the app only needs to trick 0.4% of users, Lin reasons. Subscriptions are astonishingly easy to opt into via TouchID and exceedingly hard to cancel (PSA: instructions here).

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