I'm somewhat doubtful about the original claim of making $200 per hour exactly because of the math that you present. Or rather, $200/hour for how long?
Even if all 20mio(?) iphone owners downloaded and used the app once that only amounts to $10000 bucks. If we assume they show it to all their buddies in school, say 20 times, then we arrive it $200k bucks.
Heck, add a ton of clickthroughs and real hardcore fans and make that $400k.
One hell of a deal for a 20 minute app, no question. But all under imho very optimistic assumptions. I'd go as far as to smell a little PR stunt maybe?
Anyone know some real world figures about iphone app sales?
This game has undoubtly spawned one of the biggest viral hypes of the recent years. Nonetheless and despite fairly reasonable advertising efforts under massive traffic it "only" managed to pull in 100k over 12 months, or roughly $11 per hour.
So yes, those hawaiian golf resorts must be paying one hell of a CPC/CPM rate. Wonder what they'd pay me for wearing a t-shirt with their URL. I think I'd do that for a measly $1/hour...
Yeah, I feel you. I think I know what happened. Some "journalist" took poetic licence interpreting what the developer probably said:
Dev: It took me 5 hours to build and I made $1000.
Reporter: Developer makes $200/hr building iPhone apps.
We've all done this kind of math before (revenue / work time), but I think somewhere the context was lost on this one. Unless somewhere we can find the developer actually saying "I make $200/hr even when I am sleeping."