iOS Users Are Worth $150 Annually to Apple

During the WWDC 2011 keynote, we heard Scott Forstall tell us ‘the numbers’ update. Here they are again, as a refresher:

iOS by the Numbers
– 44% of the mobile operating system market (Comscore numbers)
– 200 million iOS devices sold (25m iPads in 14 months)
– 15 billion songs sold in iTunes, #1 retailer of music
– 130 million downloads from iBookstore
– 14 billion plus apps downloaded from the App Store
– $2.5 billion plus paid out to developers
– 225 million plus iTunes accounts with credit cards

Just how much are iOS users worth to Apple on an annual basis? Horace Dediu from Asymco breaks it down:

Repeating the exercise with 180 million current iOS users who purchased about 200 million iOS devices and assuming a life span of 3.5 years gives the average revenue/year/iOS user of about $150.

These are recurring figures. If we assume these users are loyal then they will likely spend this amount indefinitely and each additional user will be worth a similar amount.

Likewise, if we extrapolate growth of iOS to 500 million users then we can assume they will generate $74 billion/yr in recurring revenues.

Horace first used Mac sales numbers to calculate the annual worth per user, and then applied them to iOS devices. The 3.5 year lifespan of an iOS device was determined based on 24 month subsidies, and the extra time includes the secondary market.

How much did you spend in the App Store, iTunes, and the iBookstore last year? How much have you spent this year?