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Waiting for Daily Reports

A developer based in the USA would probably never have to wait for the previous day’s sales report. But the iPhone app selling business being a global operation all EMEA and even more so APAC countries have to wait for a while until they can see how they are doing. That’s why I started to collect data on when a daily sales report usually becomes available so that I might be able to see a pattern or draw any interesting conclusions from that.

You might remember that I added anonymous availability reporting to MyAppSales 1.0.10. This way whenever a new report is encountered I am able to send out a push notification and automatically post it to the MyAppSales Twitter feed. The theory was that Apple would not make daily reports available at different times around the globe, but just have a single database that treats all developers the same. After a couple of days testing this hypothesis it was proven correct. In the beginning I was often myself the first person to see a report and thus trigger the notification. But very soon it started to happen that colleagues started to consistently beat me to the punch, be it either because they where more eager to get the report or just because the number of people with newer versions of MyAppSales exploded as I added more and more compelling features.

Now after 2 months Thomas Bonnin (thanks!) suggested to do an analysis, so I created a CSV file for the daily availability times for the past 2 months and Thomas kindly created these two charts from it. Bear in mind that the detection granularity grew over time, so at the beginning of this report the actual availability times might have been actually a bit lower.

Daily Report Availability

All times are Central European Time (CET).

Report Availability

So you can see that in the beginning there might have been some performance troubles on behalf of Apple, I remember during the summer that we often had to wait until the afternoon to see the report appear. Apple worked hard to get this delay under control and now we see the daily reports appear consistently in a band between 2:30 pm and 10:45 am.

So there is no general disparity, no big deviation at the end of months that would allow us to infer any ongoing database performance issues. Thomas also made an analysis as to how the weekday might be affecting the availability, resulting in the following chart:

Availability per Weekday

The weekday of the reported days is used.

Availability per Weekday

Here we can see that the times are spread over the very thin interval of about an hour and 15 minutes.  That can also be considered a form of art … or maybe excellent database design and brute force number crunching capability on Apple’s behalf.

We see the availability towards the weekend slightly increase. Could this be a hint that more sales are occurring towards the end of the week than on Monday? Friday and Saturday are on average an hour later than Mondays.

So, while being interested to check the numbers, they did not yield not any significant insights into Apple’s operations. Besides of maybe giving a passing glimpse of past performance problems which had been resolved about two months ago. Also taking into account the constant increase in total sales it is really impressive that this does not seem to affect their reporting performance.

So let’s answer the question for a variety of locations around the globe:

When is the previous day’s report available on average?

  • Samoa (GMT-11:00): 1 am
  • Hawaii (GMT-10.00): 2 am
  • Cupertino (GMT-08:00): 4 am
  • Central Europe (GMT+01:00): noon
  • Moscow (GMT+03:00): 2 pm
  • Mumbai (GMT+05:30): 4:30 pm
  • Hongkong (GMT+08:00): 7 pm
  • Sydney (GMT+10:00): 9 pm
  • Nuku’alofa (GMT+13:00): midnight

In this light I think we can see how daily reports cannot really come any earlier. So thank you Apple for making sure that daily reports are coming consistently and as early as they do. For anybody EAST of USA, you are welcome to use the MyAppSales twitter feed and/or MyAppSales push notifications to get notified of when your report is available. Let me know if I can help you with getting that set up.

Categories: Apple

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