I was assuming that all the apps which are delivered for free on appstore (or other markets for android, windows, blackberry) were made by enthusiasm programmers which put their ideas into small apps for free. The thing is that I found that some companies are investing money in free apps.
For example, now I just read an article in which was mentioned that an iphone application just got 10millions of users. Also, on their faq page, it says that they have 4 developers and 500.000$ budget from investors.
My qestions are:
1) Do you know an article with the review of the best free apps for mobile devices
1) How can somebody make money from a delivered free app?
2) What makes investors to put their money(big money) into free apps?
ps: I don't know if it is important but the application from my example is instagr[dot]am. See their faq and blog section.
Well, this all comes down to the app itself and the reason of the company. Our company mainly builds apps for other companies, that pay us a lot of money for the app, but they give it away for free, as a marketing strategy. Just as a value added service.
Our own apps, we charge for some and others we give away for free and serve adverts in it. Using something like admob. So it is basically just like a website. Some websites you need to buy a subscription to, where others are free and make money by serving ads for sponsors. I have seen a few apps that have a free version with limited functionality and/or ads served, with the option of buying the full version for all the functionality and no ads.
So it all comes down to your marketing strategy and what is the aim of the app. Also depends on the type of app it is. For example, you cannot build a small simple little app that there are already 100's of on the market for free, and expect to charge for it. Best is to try and make it the best of its kind, and serve ads, but give it to the user for free.
Anyway, that is just my thoughts. I hope it helps answer your questions