Here are two different insights from Pocket Gamer about how developers can grow the profile of their iPhone apps. The first comes to us from the wisdom of Peggle, that game that I just can't stop playing. Apparently, they've coined the term "Peggling," which means lowering the price of your app, and seeing a huge benefit from it. Whenever a game drops its price down to 99 cents, much as Peggle did soon after release, it sees a significant bump in the charts. I'm sure there are many other factors at play here -- Peggle was a great game, so you can't sell more of a crappy game just by selling it for cheaper, and I saw a lot of Twitter and blog attention when the price dropped, so it pays to have people watching the price in the first place. But under the right circumstances, dropping the price can do a lot for a game that's already selling pretty well.
But an update, apparently, won't. That's what the makers of Zen Bound told Pocket Gamer -- they say that when they released an update with new levels and new features, it didn't make a difference in their sale numbers at all. Games like Pocket God have made a reputation for themselves by providing regular and solid updates, and certainly it seems like those updates have at least spurred sales, if not made them blow up, but the Zen Bound guys say that singular updates on major products probably won't kick sales into gear.
Interesting. We're at least a few generations into App Store sales at this point, and we're started to see trends and consumer behavior in better relief; developers are getting better and better ideas every day about how to price and service their apps and customers.