I posted these comments to the forum of the article mentioned above.
Don’t forget the HUGE amount of search revenue Apple receives from Google for mobile safari searches - I know I use the Google toolbar on my iPhone at least 5 times a day.
I’ve heard figures tossed around between $100,000 to $180,000 a day in Google revenue - this revenue is essentially free since Mobile Safari is (for the most part) developed coinciding stable webkit builds.
Various sources have extrapolated Mobile Safari traffic vs Apple’s projected/extrapolated Desktop WinMac Safari Google Toolbar revenue.
I also think the number of paid vs free apps is very underestimated.
The average person I know has at least 3 paid apps on their phone …
Let’s look at 3 of mine as an example:
(I have more paid apps, but for attention span we’ll look at 3)
Crash Team Racing $4.99 … In the recent “Billion Song Celebration” this was listed as one of the top 5 paid apps. Not .99 cents.
Tetris $4.99 … No gaming device is complete without Tetris … Also celebrated in “Billion Celebration” as a top 5 app downloaded not just “in all” … Not a .99 cents app.
iBird Explorer Pro $29.99 … This app is being featured on an iPhone commercial. I work in Best Buy with Apple products … greater than 50% of the over 25 crowd buying an iPhone are buying the it because of that commercial (in my store) They want that app and the compass app (which I also have and is also NOT .99 cents)
So let’s extrapolate a little bit … The apps mentioned above are very high volume downloads. For every download of these apps, 5-30 free apps could be downloaded and Apple profit.