23 iPhone App Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Build An IPhone App

The iPhone is the most popular mobile device in the world. It has changed how we interact with information, entertainment, and communication.

The iPhone has also changed the way we interact with each other. Since its release in 2007, it has become a staple in most people’s lives. It is more than just a phone; it is a tool for staying connected to friends and family and creating new connections.

The iPhone app market is an ever-changing landscape of innovation: it’s not just about making something that works well; it’s about creating something that stands out from the crowd.

It would help if you had something that appeals to your audience to succeed in this market. This can be as simple as ensuring your app has a catchy name or as complex as developing an entire brand identity around your app’s functionality.

Here are some real-life success stories of starting an iPhone app:

1. Storeo ($32.4K/year)

Brandon Bayer, a developer and designer, came up with the idea for Storeo when his friend Martin Holsinger expressed frustration with the 15-second time limit for Instagram Stories. Bayer saw an opportunity to create an app that would split videos into 15-second segments seamlessly, and the two co-founders launched Storeo to great success, with 100 downloads and 10 in-app purchases in the first weekend. The freemium app, with a $9.99 in-app purchase to remove watermarks, has an impressive upgrade conversion rate of 10%.

How much they make: $32.4K/year
Current team size: 0

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Brandon built a simple Instagram utility app as a side project and earns $2,700 per month in passive income.

Two friends built and launched Storeo, an iOS app for making seamless Instagram Stories longer than 15 seconds, in just 150 hours and turned it into a success with 100 downloads and 10 in-app purchases within the first weekend of launch.

About
Brandon started Storeo almost 10 years ago
Revenue
Brandon grew the business to $2.7K/month
Read by 6,351 founders

2. EarBuds ($24M/year)

Jason Fox, former NFL player, came up with the idea for EarBuds after watching players like Cam Newton jamming out with their headphones on during warm-ups. He wanted to create a way for people to listen to music together in real-time, bridging the gap between different music platforms. With a focus on making music social, EarBuds allows users to connect, interact, and share playlists, creating a shared music experience.

How much they make: $24M/year
Current team size: 7

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How Former NFL Player Jason Fox Is Disrupting The Music Industry

Former NFL player and Founder/CEO, Jason Fox, has created EarBuds, a social music app that connects to your Apple Music or Spotify Premium account to allow real-time streaming to other EarBuds users, with the aim of making music social and enabling deeper human connections through technology.

About
Jason started EarBuds almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Jason grew the business to $2M/month
Read by 5,276 founders

So... can you actually make money with a iPhone app?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. HoopMaps ($36K/year)

Dominic, the co-founder of HoopMaps, came up with the idea after driving around town to find a pickup basketball game and realizing there must be a better solution. After validating the idea by speaking to hoopers at various parks and gyms, he and his brother built an MVP of the app themselves and launched it in 2016. The app gained traction through press coverage and viral videos, leading to over 90,000 users, international media features, and a partnership with The Big 3 professional basketball league.

How much they make: $36K/year
Current team size: 4

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How We Started Hoopmaps, Went Viral, And Got On Shark Tank

HoopMaps is a mobile app that helps users locate pickup basketball games, with over 90,000 users across 11 countries, featuring on international media outlets like SportsCenter and Shark Tank, and has partnered with The Big 3 professional basketball league.

About
Dominic started HoopMaps over 7 years ago
Revenue
Dominic grew the business to $3K/month
Read by 5,793 founders

4. BACH ($6M/year)

Mike Petrakis, the Co-Founder and CEO of BACH, came up with the idea for the app when his lead investor presented it to him. After building successful e-commerce businesses and experiencing viral growth with a waitlist, Petrakis knew he was onto something big and decided to launch BACH, which has now grown to over $1M in net revenue and 40,000+ parties using the app.

How much they make: $6M/year
How much did it cost to start: $1M
Current team size: 12

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We Started A $6M/Year Bachelorette Party App

BACH, an app that plans and books bachelorette parties, has grown from $0 to >$1M net revenue run rate in less than 6 months, gained over 100,000 users in their first 60 days, and has over 40,000 parties using the app this month.

About
Mike started BACH over 4 years ago
Revenue
Mike grew the business to $500K/month
Costs
It cost Mike $1000000 to start the business
Read by 7,376 founders

So... can you actually make money with a iPhone app?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. Salem Software ($120K/year)

Trevor McKendrick, founder of Salem Software, came up with the idea for his Spanish-language Bible iPhone app after realizing there was a market for poorly made and unpopular Bible apps in Spanish. With minimal investment, Trevor built the app himself and launched it in April 2012, immediately making money. He eventually grew the business to over a million users and sold it in 2015.

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 1

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Growing A Bible App Side Project To A Million Users - And Selling It

A Bible app for Spanish-speakers created by Trevor McKendrick grew from a cheap build of $500 to over a million users and a business worth selling, carrying lessons for entrepreneurs on how to start simply and monitor user engagement in order to grow.

About
Trevor started Salem Software about 12 years ago
Revenue
Trevor grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 5,030 founders

6. OnlinePianist ($840K/year)

Nimrod, CEO & co-founder of OnlinePianist, came up with the idea after experiencing a personal crisis and deciding to pursue his dreams. He wanted to play his favorite songs on the piano and found that traditional video tutorials were limited, leading him to create an interactive app with animation and additional features. Through creative marketing strategies, such as releasing video tutorials on YouTube before the official release of popular songs, OnlinePianist was able to attract highly targeted traffic and retain customers.

How much they make: $840K/year
How much did it cost to start: $10K
Current team size: 8

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My Personal Crisis Fueled Me To Build An $840K/Year Piano Tutorial App

OnlinePianist is a profitable business generating $70k in monthly revenue, with 6 million global downloads and customers in more than 20 countries, offering the largest catalog of piano tutorials outside of YouTube with 3,000+ tutorials, and has plans to expand its capabilities to listen to what the user plays on their piano or keyboard and build a paid marketing strategy.

About
Nimrod started OnlinePianist almost 14 years ago
Revenue
Nimrod grew the business to $70K/month
Costs
It cost Nimrod $10000 to start the business
Read by 2,966 founders

So... can you actually make money with a iPhone app?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. MoveWell ($12K/year)

Joel Runyon came up with the idea for MoveWell after injuring himself during an ultra-marathon. He realized that he performed well during physical therapy sessions, but struggled to keep up with exercises in between. This led him to create an app that would serve as a mobility coach, providing affordable routines to help users move better and prevent injuries.

How much they make: $12K/year
Current team size: 1

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How I Built An iPhone Fitness App To $1,000 MRR

Joel Runyon built an iPhone fitness app called MoveWell that currently brings in about $1,200-$1,800 per month, and is looking to expand the business by adding coaches, more content, and branded partnerships.

About
Joel started MoveWell about 7 years ago
Revenue
Joel grew the business to $1K/month
Read by 5,219 founders

8. Meister ($12M/year)

Michael Hollauf, one of the founders of Meister, came up with the idea for their apps MindMeister and MeisterTask after realizing the limitations of existing collaborative tools like Google Docs and MindManager. Combining the collaborative features of Google Docs with the brainstorming capabilities of MindManager, they created MindMeister, the biggest online mind mapping app with over 11 million users. They bootstrapped the company initially, but later received a small angel investment of $600K to accelerate development.

How much they make: $12M/year
How much did it cost to start: $20K
Current team size: 85

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How Our Team Collaboration Apps Generate $600K/Month

Meister Labs, creators of MindMeister and MeisterTask, have close to $10 million ARR with their Freemium subscription business model, providing software tools for small to medium-sized businesses from all verticals and private users as well, which include 11 million MindMeister and 3 million MeisterTask users.

About
Michael started Meister about 17 years ago
Revenue
Michael grew the business to $1M/month
Costs
It cost Michael $20000 to start the business
Read by 6,179 founders

9. Astropad ($2.4M/year)

Astropad, founded by Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli, has experienced significant growth since its launch in 2013. With a team of 16 people across 5 countries, Astropad generated $3.4 million in revenue last year. Their products, Astropad Studio and Luna Display, are widely used by creative professionals and renowned companies such as Pixar, DC Comics, and Nintendo.

How much they make: $2.4M/year
How much did it cost to start: $10K
Current team size: 16

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How We Created Our $200K/Month iPad and Mac Apps And Tools For Creatives

Astropad, a software and hardware solutions company for creative people, was founded by Matt Ronge and his co-founder in 2013, boasting revenue of $3.4 million in 2019, with products used by Pixar, DC Comics and Nintendo.

About
Matt started Astropad over 10 years ago
Revenue
Matt grew the business to $200K/month
Costs
It cost Matt $10000 to start the business
Read by 9,486 founders

10. FitSW: Personal Trainer Software ($600K/year)

As a side project in 2016, Jacob Montoya created FitSW, a software platform for personal trainers to manage their clients' fitness. With the user base steadily growing, he decided to focus on the business full-time in 2017 and has since bootstrapped his way to $25K monthly revenue, helping over 20,000 trainers and enabling over 100,000 clients to achieve their fitness goals.

How much they make: $600K/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 4

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How I Developed A $20K/Month Software For Personal Trainers

FitSW founder Jacob Montoya bootstrapped his company to $25K monthly revenue, helping over 20,000 personal trainers manage their businesses through software that enables them to create workouts, track progress, plan meals, accept payments, and manage schedules, and has now expanded to include FindTrainGain, enabling people to join live online fitness classes from the comfort of their homes.

About
Jacob started FitSW: Personal Trainer Software almost 7 years ago
Revenue
Jacob grew the business to $50K/month
Costs
It cost Jacob $1000 to start the business
Read by 9,308 founders

11. The Jed Mahonis Group ($960K/year)

Tim Bornholdt, co-founder of The Jed Mahonis Group, came up with the idea to start a custom iOS and Android app development consultancy after realizing the potential of the App Store. With a passion for technology and a friend who believed in the business, they started the company with just $250 each and have since grown it into a nearly seven-figure a year agency working with clients such as Great Clips and Profile by Sanford Health.

How much they make: $960K/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 8

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How We Started A $82K/Month Custom iOS And Android Apps Development Agency

"We started a custom iOS and Android app development consultancy that now makes nearly seven-figures a year by landing clients like Great Clips and the USA CUP after building successful concept apps."

About
Rob started The Jed Mahonis Group almost 12 years ago
Revenue
Rob grew the business to $80K/month
Costs
It cost Rob $500 to start the business
Read by 9,959 founders

12. Payment for Stripe ($720K/year)

Ryan Scherf, founder of payment.co, came up with the idea for his app while working on a previous analytics app for Stripe. He saw a gap in the market for an app that would allow users to collect card-present payments, and decided to fill that void with Payment. Since launching in 2015, the app has processed over $70M in volume annually and collects a 1% service fee on every charge.

How much they make: $720K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 1

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How I Created A $60K/Month App That Collects In-Person Payments Through Stripe

Payment.co, an app built on top of the Stripe payment gateway for creating card-present charges, has grown to process over $70M in volume annually since launching in 2015, with the app collecting a 1% service fee on every single charge.

About
Ryan started Payment for Stripe about 9 years ago
Revenue
Ryan grew the business to $60K/month
Read by 18,385 founders

13. Wolfpack Digital ($3.6M/year)

Gina, the founder of Wolfpack Digital, came up with the idea for her app development agency after realizing the lack of soft skills and business strategy in the tech ecosystem in Romania. With a diverse background in engineering, psychology, and business, Gina was able to bring together her interests and tap into the impressive tech talent pool in her hometown of Cluj. Since launching in 2015, Wolfpack Digital has experienced impressive growth, reaching a yearly revenue of over $1.5 million.

How much they make: $3.6M/year
Current team size: 88

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How I Started A $150K/Month Web And App Development Company

Wolfpack Digital, an award-winning app development agency from Romania, founded by Gina Lupu, with a team of 50 in-house employees, has exceeded the $1.5M yearly revenue threshold, with an impressive 15-20% profit margin, focusing on fintech, health tech, IoT, social, and transportation industries.

About
Georgina started Wolfpack Digital about 9 years ago
Revenue
Georgina grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 5,594 founders

14. Gikken ($224K/year)

Alex, the co-founder and CEO of Gikken, came up with the idea for their flagship product, Mate Translate, while in high school. As an avid language learner, he wanted a fast and efficient way to translate words and sentences without interrupting his workflow. He developed the Instant Translate Chrome extension, which later evolved into Mate Translate, and eventually expanded it to other platforms with the help of developers. The business now generates around $18,000 a month and has a user base of 800,000 people.

How much they make: $224K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 1

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How We Started A $18K/Month App And Browser Extensions Development Business

Gikken is a small, profitable European company founded by Alex that makes browser extensions and apps used by 800,000 people every month, with their flagship product, Mate Translate, generating around $18,000 a month, but monetizing their user base better is their top priority for the next year.

Revenue
Alex grew the business to $18.6K/month
Read by 9,795 founders

15. Mokool Apps ($1.8K/year)

Mukul Verma, the founder of Mokool Apps, came up with the idea for his Shopify app business after running a successful app development company. After realizing the potential in the Shopify App Store, Mukul saw an opportunity to help store owners create successful businesses by providing them with easy-to-use, problem-solving apps. Since launching his first app, Translate Pro, Mukul has focused on listening to customer feedback, making adjustments, and building a strong foundation for his business.

How much they make: $1.8K/year
How much did it cost to start: $3K
Current team size: 1

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How I Started Developing And Launching Shopify Apps

Mokool Apps founder Mukul Verma shares his journey of expanding into the Shopify App Store, including how customer support is critical, and the importance of planning for the unexpected when launching a business.

About
Mukul started Mokool Apps almost 4 years ago
Revenue
Mukul grew the business to $150/month
Costs
It cost Mukul $3000 to start the business
Read by 6,439 founders

16. Pioneer Mobile Applications ($360K/year)

Phil Scarfi, founder of Pioneer Mobile Applications, came up with the idea for his business while in college. He noticed the inefficiency in accessing dining hall menus online and developed an app that consolidated all the menus in one place. Word quickly spread about his app, leading to opportunities to develop apps for others and ultimately forming Pioneer Mobile Applications.

How much they make: $360K/year
Current team size: 3

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How I Started A Successful Mobile App Development Agency

Phil Scarfi, Founder of Pioneer Mobile Applications, shares how he tripled his client base and nearly doubled his website's monthly visitors through SEO, social media marketing and standardization of the development process.

About
Phil started Pioneer Mobile Applications over 7 years ago
Revenue
Phil grew the business to $30K/month
Read by 11,943 founders

17. Qolty ($1.2M/year)

Shuhan He, the founder of Conduct Science, came up with the idea for Qolty after witnessing the time-consuming process of patients filling out surveys on their behavior and knee pain after surgery. He realized the need for a digital solution that could provide real-time data to doctors, leading to the creation of Qolty's digital software that tracks general health and patient symptoms. With the support of scientific research and a focus on standardizing patient data collection, Qolty has successfully empowered doctors and researchers in monitoring patient treatments.

How much they make: $1.2M/year
Current team size: 10

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Leveraging My Experience As A Doctor To Create A Digital Health App

Conduct Science founder Shuhan He co-founded Qolty, a digital health software that tracks health and patient symptoms and provides electronic surveys for patients with geofencing capabilities installed on a patient's phone, used by practitioners at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and shows promise with a 50% year-on-year growth target.

About
Shuhan started Qolty over 6 years ago
Revenue
Shuhan grew the business to $100K/month
Read by 6,592 founders

18. Labor Sync ($2.22M/year)

Dean Logan, the co-founder and CEO of Labor Sync, came up with the idea for his business after struggling to keep track of his employees' time and losing money due to mismanagement. Realizing that other business owners with mobile workforces likely faced the same issues, Logan partnered with his father and IT guru Joe Burger to develop Labor Sync, an employee time and GPS tracking app. After saving $104,000 in just one year with the app, Logan knew he had a successful product on his hands.

How much they make: $2.22M/year
Current team size: 12

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How I Launched A $185K/Month Employee Time & GPS Tracking App

Labor Sync is a mobile application that provides business owners with the ability to track the time and GPS location of their mobile workforce and after just one year of use, they saved $104,000 across 45 employees despite starting off with no funds for advertising or marketing.

About
Dean started Labor Sync over 14 years ago
Revenue
Dean grew the business to $185K/month
Read by 7,227 founders

19. SteelKiwi ($1.8M/year)

Steelkiwi, a Ukrainian outsourcing company for web and mobile app development, was founded by Anton Baterikov and another individual in 2011. They noticed a gap in the market for offering businesses an alternative to PHP development and decided to provide high-quality products using Python. Today, Steelkiwi has expanded its expertise and works with businesses in various industries, with over 80 employees helping clients grow digitally.

How much they make: $1.8M/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 80

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How We Started A $150K/Month Website And Mobile Development Outsourcing Company

How we started a 150k/month website and mobile development outsourcing company that has grown to 80+ employees and offers services in graphic design, QA, business analysis, project management, and marketing in addition to web and mobile app development.

About
Viacheslav started SteelKiwi almost 13 years ago
Revenue
Viacheslav grew the business to $150K/month
Costs
It cost Viacheslav $1000 to start the business
Read by 6,114 founders