Correction: the app Chopper was on sale during the holidays, and continues to be on sale. The app is regularly priced at $4.99 but is on sale for $0.99. Sales figures updated below.
Many developers are seeing their iTunes sales reports for the first time after iTunes Connect opened back up after Apple closed it for the Christmas rush, and those sales numbers are amazing. With many apps showing 2-4x normal sales of their paid apps on Christmas day and increased sales continuing in the days following. Free app download number showing up to 5x normal rate as well. Could this be all the new iPhone and iPod Touch owners looking for apps to fill up their devices or most likely people with newly gifted iTunes gift cards to burn.
David Frampton of Majic Software, the developer of Chopper (iTunes Link), the number 2 paid game and number 3 paid app overall, reported sales 3x normal on 12/25 with sales in the days following still much higher than normal, but dropping off by about 30% on the 26th and another 10%/day on the 27th. The Chopper developer pulled in sales of over 50,000 copies of his $4.99 app (on sale for $0.99 during the holidays) for the 4 day period of 12/24 - 12/27 with around half of those sales coming on Christmas day. That's nearly $25,000 in sales in one day, 12/25, alone.
Another developer we talked with, Mark Johnson, reported sales of over four times normal on Christmas day. Hit Tennis (iTunes Link) the $1.99 tennis game, currently number 55 in the top 100 paid iPhone Sports games, had sales of nearly 200 on 12/25 with normal daily sales in the 40s.
Gabriel Pasqualini from Portengo, developers of Cartoonize Me (iTunes Link), the top 15 app on the Entertainment paid app list showed sales 3x normal on the 25th with sales on the 26th being about 90% of what they were on the 25th.
Other stories are similar in nature with most developers of apps on iTunes top 100 lists showing sales 2-4 times normal. Other developers of apps not in any of the top 100 lists also reported much higher than normal sales, though not 4x.
Tim Haines, developer of Burn Ball (iTunes Link) which is not currently in the top 100 paid games reported a similar 3x normal sales on 12/25. He also reported that the free version of his game, Burn Ball Lite (iTunes Link), had download numbers 5x normal on 12/25.
No one knows how long the increased sales will continue, but this is a much deserved present for these independent developers.