Over 60 per cent of iPhone apps have been pirated, according to data from analytic company Pinch Media.
And these pirated apps result in a sustained, incremental loss to developers as they pay the costs to provide dynamic content and servers for those unmonetised consumers, says Pinch's CEO Greg Yardley.
"What we've determined is that over 60 per cent of iPhone applications have definitely been pirated based on our checks," Yardley said, talking to Gamasutra. He added though the number could be higher since pirates occasionally disable the tracking tools.
"What developers lose is not necessarily the sale because I don't believe pirates would have bought the game if they hadn't stolen it. But when there is a back-end infrastructure associated with a game, that is an ongoing incremental cost that becomes a straight loss for the developer.
"Many developers run servers to provide content dynamically, they run high-score servers, and that sort of thing costs money. If your application is pirated, you quickly find that cutting steeply into your profit margin, especially given the low price point of iPhone games."
According to Yardley, developers tend not to pay more than 10 per cent of earnings on a game's back-end infrastructure but, even so, a pirated game can be used many times by multiple pirates, "so your losses are multiplied many times over as well."
Pinch Media provides analytic tools to iPhone developers that are used in approximately 8 per cent of the app market.