We all know that the "black market" for apps is big business, but now we're starting to get a better understanding of the numbers associated with content piracy in the app world. Incredibly, the "business of pirated apps" is starting to rival that of pirated films and music at an accelerating pace - but Apple doesn't seem to be overly concerned, even in the wake of some pretty lofty numbers being floated in a new report, which was chronicled today by our friends at The Big Money.
The financial blog 24/7 Wall Street had a detailed post calculating the amount that Apple (AAPL) and developers of paid apps are losing when copies of their wares are downloaded to jailbroken, or unlocked, iPhones. On some pirate hubs, you can download nearly 1,000 iPhone apps in a single click. Their conclusion? For every paid app downloaded in the App Store, three are distributed for free through means that Apple hasnít authorized.
Why isnít Apple protesting? For one thing, $140 million is less than 2 percent of the $7.8 billion revenue Apple is expected to see this fiscal year. 24/7 also notes that Apple didnít make a huge fuss over music piracy either, given that it was making more revenue from iPods and iPhones, including those that were playing pirated songs.
Developers, however, have lost even more. $310 million is the figure presented in the piece.
Developers Neptune Interactive Inc and Smells Like Donkey Inc have reported piracy rates has high as 90% for their game $1.99 Tap-Fu, and claim that it was available in a pirated version within 40 minutes of its release on the App Store.