Barron’s: Apple Take From App Store is ‘Not Much’

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Image credit: MobileGuerilla

It must be a measure of how divorced from reality the US financial establishment has become when one of its most venerable voices discounts $20 – $45 million as ‘not a lot of revenue.’

That’s the figure range Jeremy Liew, an analyst at Lightspeed Venture Partners, estimates would be Apple’s take from sales on the first 1 billion iPhone and iPod Touch applications downloaded through the iTunes App Store.

Leaving aside for a moment the 15:1 – 40:1 ratio range of free to paid apps Liew pulled out of thin air to arrive at his estimates, it should be noted that the Barron’s writer reporting on Liew’s analysis allowed that the App Store “is significantly changing the way way people think about mobile devices, and has triggered a response from Research In Motion (RIMM), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK) and Palm (PALM).

If true, Liew’s figures would mean Apple is seeing a revenue boost of roughly 0.1% from the App Store, but the mere numbers do not account for the intangible benefits to Apple’s public awareness or the number of hardware sales being driven by the venture. The company, and Steve Jobs in particular, always said the App Store was never intended to be a big profit generator, that it was rather a vehicle for helping the iPhone change the way people think about mobile computing.

By that measure, Apple’s take from the App Store is incalculable.

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