Apple, Devs Have Lost Half a Billion to Pirates

In a recent article published on 24/7 Wall St. analysts have estimated that App Store thieves may be downloading as much as $4.59 billion in stolen merchandise. Beat that, Somali pirates!

However those numbers are skewed because it assumes that pirates would buy all the games they download if there wasn’t an illegal free option.

Analysts speculate that about 10% of pirated downloads would be purchased if piracy wasn’t an option, which puts the estimated “losses” figure at around $450 million.

As we’ve reported several times in the past, developers have been very hurt by piracy rates, and some of them are claiming that the illegal download rates for their games are close to 95%.

Given that Apple collects 30% on all paid downloads, that puts their actual losses at around $135 million, and leaves $315 million in losses for App developers. The report specifically notes Apple’s seeming unwillingness to do anything about piracy, and speculates that they’re too happy making billions on their iPods and smartphones to actually care.

With the rise in competition from other handset manufacturers, Apple may eventually be forced to take steps to curtail this type of behavior as a means of convincing developers to stay with their platform rather than migrating to the next big thing.

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