I've been much more concerned with getting my apps visible to anyone. The app store is so flawed when it comes to discoverability (even as a user it is frustrating to find apps that solve a need) I would give up even more share if people could find my app to begin with.
Whereas if you open the play store on an android phone, it suggests apps your friends have, and many other 'discoverable' things. It leads to a better long tail, eg supports indies.
I know more indies making a living out of android, and i know far more ios developers, being one myself.
Funny considering the current iTunes connect is a complete overhaul, which only came out recently with iOS 8.
The new iTunes Connect acts like someone's first attempt at an Angular app (which it is), with a complete disregard from doing things in a performant way.
Huh, it sure is. Is that surprising to anyone else?
Also, while it may be Apple's first attempt as a company I'm sure they managed to find a few devs who had shipped an angular app to work on Connect.
I remember being locked out of an important project for an entire week because their buttons for adding people to projects was broken. One day, it started working again, no communication from Apple at all.
There's also this usability issue where you have to try to validate your new version of an app and only then being welcomed by an error. No pre-validation of the input fields, hello Apple?
There are myriads of small annoying issues like:
- can't share 1 email with multiple teams in iTunesConnect and Developer portal. You have to have a unique email in iTunes Connect for each of your projects. This is just ridiculous, especially when you know that on the Developer portal this works fine. I have now tens of email@example.com accounts in iTunes connect, and managing passwords is simply... damn..
- can't delete a version of an app when you have created it (but not yet uploaded a binary). WTF? I was trying to test the "beta" service, and was forced to create a new version of the app. Once created, you cannot remove it for any reason. I was stuck there with a version that I deemed was "beta", and couldn't create a new one, or remove this one.
- Seemingly random crypto export renewal. Sometimes, when issuing a new version of our app, the website will ask for the crypto documents, whereas they are in their database. Othertimes, they won't be asked.
- Once the crypto export documents have been provided, you cannot submit another one. This bit me once, because there was only _one_ "upload" button. So I sent the US Gov. crypto document, and then the page moved on, not letting me upload the French one. Afterwards, impossible to get back to this page, and Apple support kindly told me I was to drop the deployment to the French store if I wanted to continue using the App Store... The correct solution would have been to ZIP the entire set of documents, then upload them as 1 file.. which is not intuitive. Or the Apple team could have asked for the french document through their support interface, which they never did. I got out of this by uploading a dummy binary, then dropping the version entirely, and creating a new one. Bizarrely, the export documents were not asked for the next submission.
This website really sucks. I usually brag about how the iOS distribution system is superior to Android's in terms of security and separation of roles, but last month I submitted an app to the Android Play store and I was baffled by the web UI. Drag-and-drop the APK, AJAX-enhanced buttons, very quick, not fiddling with two accounts (developer and iTunes connect), overall ease of use..
Man, Apple seems to have been too busy shoveling the cash.
Really? Can you elaborate on this at all? What kind of apps? I know the Pocketcasts guys have said that they now get the bulk of their revenues from Android but the conventional wisdom is still that iOS is where the money is for indies.
As an indie developer with no platform allegiances I'm willing to go wherever the customers are.
The last thing when buying an app I want to do is to worry about "What if X sees that I got this app?"
My purchases are my business. Not theirs. If I want to recommend an app I can do so through a variety of way in this communication age. I do not need some automated snitch for that.
Even basic filtering like "hide all apps that haven't been updated for iOS 8", or something along those lines would help with discoverability (and in this example, reward the developers who are stay on top of their updates).
There are a bunch of other filters that would be useful too.
Not going to gripe about any feature too much, but I wonder how many App Store visitors find that sort of thing annoying?
I should be able to go to action games, then platformers, then side-scrolling, endless, speed run, leveled, then filter out only those with boss battles, or powerup-ups, or 8-bit graphics, etc, and so-on.
The only thing I figure is that the developers will abuse the ability to tag their own apps, making the fine-tuned results even more ridiculous than general results.
In my opinion, it's in Apple's best interest to improve discoverability as it could result in more apps being sold.
The problem with a lot of categories is that it makes navigation cumbersome as you'd need many taps to get to an app.
Oh, and if you want change (at least in the iOS case), send feedback to Apple and/or a bug report. Complaining on forums does nothing.
What matters is whether you want this as the operator of a walled garden.
In fact, I'm not convinced that Apple knows how to improve the experience. No one in Cupertino seems to be acting as dev or consumer champion, and upper management are apparently too removed to understand what's needed.
Putting money behind discovery at the outset is key. If you had that 30% back, you could invest it into ads, promoted posts, etc.
If you don't think that Apple and its competitors genuinely want to deliver the best experience that they can within the time and cost budgets that they have to adhere to if they want to remain competitive then you severely underestimate the people who put in the long hours required to get these products into your hands.
Xcode, OS X, iOS, and iTunes have been getting regular updates for years now.
Apple took the time to design a whole new language for app development, a whole new framework for game development, and another new framework for low-level graphics.
So any suggestion that the company doesn't have the time or resources to do a better job on the frontend doesn't square with reality.
Any sites that do this?
Apple is providing a service (yea there's no alternatives on iOS but still)... for 30% they take care off all your payments from all countries, they take care of refunds, dealing with credit card companies, and for the most part dealing with customers in general.
They also provide the market, the installation system, the update/upgrade system. Having tried to write some of those myself and the servers to maintain them I can tell you I don't personally want to run them.
Compare to Steam. Steam is also 30% on a platform you can do it all yourself if you want. Sure they provide the most exposure but similarly they also provide most of the other services that make it worthwhile.
Assuming you could do that do you really want to do all that yourself? Think about it. If you did it yourself you'd need to run a server to put your software on. Keep it secure, updating it constantly with security patches. Make a relationship with a payment processor. Handle refunds yourself. Figure out an upgrade system. Figure out how to deal with failed installations. I'm sure others could name many more things you'd have to do.
30% doesn't seem unreasonable to me given it would take more more than 30% of my time (and therefore money) to do this myself. At least that's my perspective.
But there is benefit to be gained by not taxing the "poor". This is the same argument as the entire "regressive/progressive" tax regimes.
I mean, yes, 30% of fuck all is not a lot and well worth what you get, but that's not the point, Apple's not making much from the long tail, so why not give the long tail the economic freedom to experiment and grow and make everyone richer. That's the point. Let the small businesses grow into bigger businesses by alleviating the tax burden.
The point is that the big fat Rovio's of this world can easily pay for the Apple ecosystem by themselves. The take from the little businesses is relatively small, so why not cut them slack by introducing tiered pricing, allowing them to spend more on growing and advertising, or simply stay in the market, and thus increasing the growth rate of the overall app economy.
By using terms like "providing a service" and "platform" and "do all that yourself", you're fundamentally missing the OPs argument. He's not talking about the value of the services, the virtual bin men, or the armies, or the law systems, he's talking about the economy that pays for all that in the first place.
So first we reduce the burden then find out that the big guys cut their prices because they can afford too. What is next, surcharging the big guys because its not fair? Really that is all this article is about, its not fair. Guess what, someone is going to come in under you and if they did implement tiered pricing why not farm off a bunch of subsidiaries? One per product to keep yourself under thresholds?
Are you honestly trying to say that the only thing stopping some small app shop from getting huge is the 30%?
Its not the only or the biggest obstacle, but it is an obstacle.
230k / 4 years = 57.5k a year
330k / 4 years = 82.5k a year
Perhaps you misread my comment as I'd be paying 100k just this year, but that is total I've paid.
Also FTA: At $70K in net revenues per year, your spouse could be telling you to get a day job.
"Don't you want me to be happy, doing what I love?". I mean, if we're manufacturing convenient numbers to make an argument, let's also look at all the reasons why someone would want to be self-employed as a developer. :)
Is there a competing distribution channel that iOS users are allowed to access? Or does the distributor lock producers into its channel? If the later, the distributor's take is completely arbitrary and can only be assumed to be selected so as to maximize the distributor's take of the producer's generated value.
Apple send a monthly GST report containing the amount of tax we need to pay for our Australian sales, which makes reporting super-easy.
Side note: Apple don't charge the tax on top of the price, so earning a 99c sale from a US customer (net revenue ~$0.70) is far more valuable than a 99c sale from an Australian customer ($0.63)
Taking Stripe as an example, you'd be charged 2.9% of 99¢ PLUS a fixed 30¢ per transaction. That's about 32.9% you lose to the payment processor.
Think of it this way: for every 20p purchase, how many 100 pound+ purchases are there? Can the one cover the other?
Your option is to leave a massive mobile phone platform or opt-in. It's really not much of a choice. As long as people keep giving Apple their money, developers will suffer. The situation is better (but not great) on Android where third party app stores are at least possible.
If you had, you'd already be doing everything yourself (and doing it better that Apple) and happily collecting more than 70%. Alternately, you'd have realized that beating this price is a major accomplishment and probably not the best use of your time, making the 30% is a pretty fair trade.
In either case, you would not be complaining.
Bear in mind the App Store was losing money or barely breaking even for most of it's existence. It's only in the last few years it's begun to make significant profits. They've sunk billions into it. That hardly seems like the business plan of a gouger.
As for being a monopoly. That's like complaining that the shop down the road is a monopoly provider of products in their own store. There is no monoploy, you can always buy an Android, Symbian, Tizen, or even Windows Mobile phone.
Given this, I wonder if relaxing the 30% rev split might actually be in Apple's interests. In order to build that premium ecosystem, they need developers to be able to work full-time on apps. If they strangle that ecosystem, then the only people building iPhone apps will be folks with other day jobs to support them - which means either the quality bar will go down, or their will be many fewer apps in the app store vs. Google Play.
Then again, perhaps that's Apple's plan anyway: focus on the few things that many customers want, make sure the apps for those are really good, and it's okay if there's not an app for the rest.
Yes, Android sells more devices. Apple has 93% of the profits in industry, Samsung has 9%, and everyone else is fighting for that tiny slice and losing money.
The more profitable ecosystem is where developers want to play. Apple doesn't need to change their royalty rates, everyone is clamoring to be in that arena.
This is not to say the conclusion is wrong, just that the data here is not relevant to it.
But I think we already know the conclusion: the iOS store has more money spent in it than the Android one.
Agreed about Google though, I highly doubt these figures consider their profits as a result of their position in mobile - though I guess that'd be difficult to accurately calculate.
Apple makes $93, Samsung makes $9, MSFT/LG/HTC/Nokia have losses of $2.
Having said that, you need to account for all the revenues, ie not just the purchase price of an app in the store. That's an area where not everybody is happy with Apple.
I hear this argument a lot. I'm an Android user and as somebody that received an iPhone 6 as a gift and sold it to buy an Android, plus I also own an iPad, let me give you a counterpoint.
1) I feel the need to block ads. On Android I have Firefox which has add-ons, on iOS I don't have it. Well, you can usually find a shitty shell to iOS's webview that does. And even if the cost is non-zero, it's still shitty, not to mention untrustworthy.
2) I feel the need to view videos in any format. On Android I have VLC, the leading open-source player, OK? On iOS I don't have it (even though an implementation of VLC exists for iOS, a month ago it was pulled from the iTunes Store). Welcome to the dozens and dozens of shitty alternatives from the iTunes Store, many of which demand money for it.
3) I feel the need to listen to streaming radio. On Android I have VLC. Need I say more?
4) I feel the need to block spammy phone numbers, blocking calls, automatically deleting SMSs, plus I want regular backups, like for my SMS messages and so on and so forth. Oh wait, on iOS that's not allowed, whereas on Android I'm a paying customer. Dropbox on iOS is freaking broken, because in order to stay active in the background and sync, it needs to detect movement.
5) On Android I bought Tasker, because it's so useful at times, whereas on iOS such a thing will never be allowed.
6) I have about 8 games that I bought installed on my Android right now, even though I'm not a gamer, but it just so happens that Google Play keeps suggesting me tower defense games - whereas this doesn't happen on iOS because iTunes is restricting reviews to locals and I'm not living in the US, so all I get are suggestions for, you guessed it, shit - to search for iOS apps, I'm actually doing searches on Google.
7) Android's apps for maps are much better in my experience - besides Google Maps, I have about 3 others installed, all of them good, I only keep them around because while in roaming I don't want to be caught with poor area coverage.
You're talking about iOS having "premium products", whereas the way I see it, my basic necessities are not satisfied and if I am to pay for something for iOS, it's usually in the hope that it works. And this happens primarily because of Apple's restrictions. iPhone 6 seemed to me like a really sexy phone, but I sold it anyway because of the ecosystem.
If you have at any point purchased VLC, you'd still be able to get it even if it was pulled.
There are many varieties of streaming radio apps available, just as on Android. Just because you're used to VLC on Android does not mean it's suddenly impossible because you don't have VLC for iOS.
You can block numbers/emails, which will block phone calls, messages, and Facetime.
Messages (as well as call history, app settings, and more) are backed up to iTunes/iCloud. I switched from an iPhone 5S to 6 a few days ago, and messages came down from the cloud automatically.
I don't even know what you're talking about for 6). Reviews are per-country, but I believe they also display US reviews if you click a link or something, and my store experience was pretty much identical when I used a Canadian account, when I used a US account, and when I used each account in the other country. Hell, "Apps Near Me" would give me whatever city-specific apps were available in the Canadian store, it didn't care that I was in a US city with a Canadian account, nor would it care that I was in a foreign city with a US account.
So basically it comes down to you being too used to doing things on Android and then not willing to change even in the slightest when you switched to iOS.
How? I purchased VLC but I can't find it for download in appstore anymore.
Update: Oh, I see. http://www.macrumors.com/2015/02/16/vlc-returning-app-store/
Why would you purchase it? And who gets the money when you do?
Why would you purchase it?
Because you want a nice supported easy to install version compiled and packaged for your platform
And who gets the money when you do?
The person who compiled and packaged it.
Is it just for users who want a one click install? (I have never used the app store)
Apple is already being nice to small developers by giving them the same rates as big developers - in any other business, doing 100x the sales of the little guy would get you a better rate, not the same one.
That's huge, especially for solo developers who just want to make stuff and not actually run a business. 30% may be a little steep, but I'd say it's worth it.
If an app is a paid app in the stores, there’s relatively little decision making to be done; a developer can adjust prices based on the VAT in each country in order to maintain current revenues. The transaction between a developer and an app platform is considered a business-to-business transaction and is subject to the existing VAT rules.
If an app offers in-app purchases, a developer must consider whether allowing a platform to handle the micro-transactions (thus sacrificing the 30% revenue share) outweighs the time and costs necessary to collect and store sales information (including location) and VAT payments. This can be quite a large undertaking for an indie developer or small development studio.
The problem is that the value of these things goes way down the more crowded the app store gets. Seriously, what good is approval in light of the endless legions of crapware and clones? How useful is marketing when discoverability is almost nil?
And how about free apps? It seems to me that paid apps subsidize free ones but that's a whole other ball of wax.
But if your app is free, then there is no charge for those services. How does it make sense that theit provision only costs Apple money if your app costs >= 1 cent?
Every free app in their store is one more reason for you to buy an iPhone.
Paid apps, while also adding to the ecosystem, do not offer the same value to Apple.
It's also just plainly logical. You can't charge people to give something away. You can charge money if you're helping them make it.
Also- the point of this pitch is that the extra revenue means much more to smaller developers than it does to Apple, and that Apple in fact wouldn't lose that much revenue from such a scheme.
Apple can absolutely afford to do this financially, but the 70/30 split is practically the only thing that hasn't changed in the App Store since it launched. So why don't they?
A few possibilities:
- They have a similar split with music labels, so giving more to developers could hurt their music industry relationships
- They have more interest in helping the big app companies like Supercell, simply because of the revenues and brands they create
- They don't want to give additional incentives to creators of crappy apps who never make much money anyway
Whatever Apple's reasons, they haven't changed iTunes music revenue splits in over a decade. So I don't expect them to update developer splits anytime soon either.
You missed the "They are making bank and don't see any need to change the payment structure" possibility.
It makes sense.
There is something nice about just knowing, this is my split. I don't have to worry about it switching and my profit formulas being altered once I hit a certain sales threshold, My take is $.70x, with x being downloads. Period.
Beyond that, I'd have to ask what happens when we take this to its logical conclusion:
Say you start with an 85% split for the first 10,000 sales or something -- what happens if the split then eventually goes below 70/30, say 65/35 or 60/40 or worse, the more copies you sell? How do people react then.
I suppose the counter-argument is that that's how the tax system works -- and that's fair -- but I still don't see developers being happy to have to give up more of their take down the road, just because they have reached "success."
I mean, if you're going to go to tiers, then the next argument becomes about what defines one tier from the next.
Again, it introduces all kinds of complexities that having a straight 70/30 system avoids. And to me, that simplicity ultimately trumps the other arguments, as sympathetic to indie developers as I might be.
If Apple wants to promote diversity, then they should have a progressive system, and lower the barrier to smaller developers.
This actually may prove to increase Apple revenues ultimately by helping smaller developers stay in the game over the long term because their business would not have been otherwise viable.
Adding income tiers is not that more complex.
It's interesting to see someone give Apple advice on how to make a "big win" financially. They're literally the biggest winners financially of any company in the world right now.
As the probably apocryphal Henry Ford quote goes, "if I'd asked people what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse".
I think we shouldn't confuse marketing studies ( which they may not like), with customer feedback.
Apple's Appstore is flawed in many ways. All Appstores leave something to be desired.
I'll take all the long breath out of my philosophy, but it boils down to an inherit weakness in the business model of pushing downloads for cash flow.
Many of the most successful apps have completely decoupled their revenue from downloads, or the 70/30 split. The "Big Players" like King.com and the rest sell in game items that cost $100! Do you think they care about the 70/30 split?
Then you have other utility apps. Like "Fixify" for $1 that let's me see the title of my Spotify Music on my Pebble. Seems like Spotify should just do it, but they don't. This dude got my dollar. That app had to be like 200 lines of Java, most of which was probably boilerplate.
If you are concerned about 70% or 80%, or 85%, you are thinking too small. If Tim had balls he could say "fine, here is 95%" and then somehow prove it didn't change the economics of the Appstore.
TLDR - If you are worried about the split, you are "gripping the bat wrong."
Apple charges a 70/30 split on in-app purchases as well.
The thing is, it costs them practically nothing to sell that content, so even though they only get 50% it's still a win for them - that £1.50 is pure profit.
Look at the 30% fee as a marketing cost. Surely you want the owner of your only marketing channel to be well compensated?
I'm selling software on eBay! For just a little over 10% I get to be super lazy and not develop a marketing website. eBay queues up requests for pre and post sales help for me. And they have me at the top of google results for queries related to my products: anyone facing the problems my software products solve will easily find me with a web search. I am shipping physical media and documents, which is boring work and is a pain. I really like not having to worry about marketing because it leaves me more time for development. My market is not very large, it's a rather specialty niche, and I think that I'm close to reaching the whole universe of interested people through eBay.
eBay is probably not going to tell me my software products violate any arbitrary rules or are not fashionable. I have heard so many negs about Apple Store that I want nothing to do with it.
Sorry for the confused reply, I'm just curious whether they've actually taken steps to force themselves as your only marketing channel or why that would be the case.
Now, Apple has started a deal with Pinterest as well so people can pin apps so that's another avenue.
Relying on Apple promotion generally means that you'll end up in the long tail. Occasionally, apps break out (then they often get Apple promotion after this happens) like Flappy Bird, but that's uncommon.
Secondly, wouldn't this create the perverse incentive for developers of multiple apps to release apps under multiple accounts--some might call them shell accounts--in order to minimize their app taxes?
As far as point two, given that Apple is the 'benevolent dictator' of this app store, releasing apps under multiple accounts is a risky venture since developers and companies run the risk of getting banned completely. The overheard of wasting the time to actually do that also has to be small enough to make the potential gain worth while. Apps also seem to benefit from network effects, so it could hurt developers to spread their popularity for the same app across different apps in a discreet enough way that Apple wouldn't notice.
When you have only $1000 in revenues, you're actually paying very little for what Apple is providing. When you have a million, you're paying an awful lot, and are probably wondering if you can find a way to keep more of it.
Android, Amazon and Windows could play with this number to attract more developers. Samsung started with a ramp up but it happened in 6 months or so 0%, 10%, 20% then 30% at the launch of their store. I thought for sure when Microsoft came in later they would also go 25% or even 20%. Everyone followed right behind Apple in line rather than challenged that number through competition. Almost seems like price fixing.
I think the tiered system would be a great way to help but I worry Apple may not care as much about indie titles or smaller apps since they already gain less total. It could be an awesome gift from Apple to developers though.
In games IP royalties are usually 17%, with 30% on that and maybe 5% is using Unreal or other sales based cost. Over 50% cut off the top. At that level the 30% starts to look massive. If you have a publisher then another 20-30%. What's the point at that level with that budget. You can say Apple primarily squeezed the publishers out which is good but the rent is too damn high.
Anyhow, I don't think it's going to happen, it looks to me that as far as Apple is concerned, he have you/us where it wants and don't want to change anything.
First thing that happens is opening a new development account per app in an attempt to squeak under the $100k as much as possible.
Think about how you would handle corporate entities. Do you handle pass-through entities like LLCs differently than S-Corps?
Now imagine designing a split structure that would make sense for a developer in Vietnam / Mexico / Spain. It would have to be different for each country. $5K for Vietnam? $20K for Mexico? $50K for Spain? Good luck.
Oh, what if you have multiple people writing one app? With a 60/40 split between them?
Okay, let's say you ignore all the previous points. Just imagine the kind of infrastructure you'd have to build out to verify identity globally, to ensure that people aren't using frontmen -- having their friend register an account and passing the money through their account.
Apple already sets pricing tiers per country, based on exchange rates and other factors. Just apply the same adjustment to the $100k figure.
There is no need to be concerned with the entity type. The first $100k per year for all developers accounts gets charged 0%, everything thereafter gets charged the standard rate. If you're building an app with a partner, oh well. The vast majority of people this would help are individual devs.
And registering other accounts is pointless; the app belongs to one dev account and that's the account that accrues revenue. There's no way to share it, other than by transferring the app to someone else's account. A simple fix for that is to require 30% after X numbers of transfers for the same app, or just require the 30% cut if you do a transfer. Again, the target for this is individual indie developers working on their own.
Not only would it let more devs work full time on their project, but it will also make new niche markets interesting.
Oh, our 'freemium' game just hit the 10% threshold. Better re-release it under a new dev account as shitquest-2 and rake in the moolah!
Plus the good PR and generosity you mentioned.
I actually think it's harder to find the downside to the proposal than it is to find upside. This is a good letter and a good suggestion.
Here at Apple we pride ourselves on our developer friendly ecosystem. Apple has led the way in creating more value for developers. Plus, we have a monopoly on the developing for iOS, so it looks like you pretty much have to do whatever we say. Between you and me, we could change the split to 50/50 and it wouldn't really hurt us any.
It may not seem like a lot of money is at stake to you guys, but we didn't build a collosal mountain of cash by participating in race-to-the-bottom economics. Our pricing scheme was built to get developers to our platform. It was probably too generous, but we can't go back now, until we finish going thermonuclear on android.
Pretty soon we will have enough money to buy Earth. The new earth will be the best earth yet, redesigned from the literal ground up. Till then, we have to deal with pesky problems like robot, er android, or whatever. Anyways, keep cranking out those golden apps.
My benevolent smile be upon you,
Fake Time Cook
The difference is you don't really "elect" how Apple decide what to do, unless you start a mass campaign and challenge Apple's authority. AWS and Google are always cutting their cloud price to attract customer. But as app developer you probably should let Apple know exactly what works and what doesn't work for you. I read all the comments below like how App Store's discovery sucks (+1). I think Apple is obligated to improve how apps are discovered, used, and marketed.
The cost of hosting the 0% rate apps (99.3% of all apps) would not be a small cost at all.
Downloads are such an infinitesimally small cost, relatively speaking. I don't have comparable download numbers to the Apple store, but I do help maintain software that has 3+ million downloads a year (and it's a quite large download, too, compared to mobile apps, at 15MB). The cost of hosting those downloads and the bandwidth for them wouldn't even really be a blip on our radar in terms of costs of running our business and projects. Bandwidth is cheap these days. Hardware is cheap these days. And, it takes almost no hardware to serve file downloads. We've had people offer to provide mirrors for us for free, but we don't take them up on it (though we can't stop people, either, being Open Source) because we'd rather have the data about downloads than the tiny savings in bandwidth and hardware.
What's a few hundred terabytes a year of transfer and storage for apps to an organization like Apple, that also serves out millions of HD movies? It is closer to "nothing" than it is to "something".
The current situation is indie developers make apps, most completely disappear, and very few make it to the top of the charts. The rest of the apps on the charts are there because a big company dropped 70k ad spend to put it there or because it was cross promoted from other apps or already had a high place. Encouraging small time development is encouraging a part of the app store hardly any users see anyway.
Bug fixes are a nightmare because you are on their schedule, not yours. You can't deploy fixes or new features overnight or over a weekend. Your customers suffer because Apple is in the middle wanting to micro manage it all.
So we've shifted our strategy to web based apps done wih Python, jQuery, etc. and, you know, it feels good.
The 30% isn't the issue, Apple is the issue.
And, unfortunately, it wouldn't have any effect on, e.g., Amazon being unable to sell books on Apple products because Amazon's margins are too low to allow them to eat the 30% and jacking up their prices 43% to cover the Apple tax would make them uncompetitive with Apple's book store. Apple's plan, maybe, but damned inconvenient for users.
If Apple cared about a thriving ecosystem of independent developers, they would make it easy for developers on non-Apple hardware to build and test iOS apps. For the Windows/Linux-based developer who is just interested in kicking the tires on iOS development, the walled Apple ecosystem is very unfriendly to experimentation. I know I focused early on Android development for mobile apps because of the lower barrier to entry.
Indie devs are good for Apple, and many of them are quitting because it's not financially viable. They aren't going to Android, they are getting 9-5's
Sure improving discovery would also help, this isn't the only thing that can be changed. It is just one thing that could be changed.
Personally I'll pass 100k paid out to apple this year. That is the difference between me making slightly below market rates for the last few years to being able to hire another developer or designer.
> At $70K in net revenues per year, your spouse could be telling you to get a day job.
For real? $70K income is pretty darn good pay and more than enough to support a family even if nobody else is working outside the home. In the US the median household income is only $53K.
I can't decide if this misstep weakens the author's actual argument or not, but either way it simply drips with elitism and privilege and probably serves to undermine the presentation.
And note that the parent post referred to net income, implying a >$100K gross. Your retort indicates a gross $70K or $53K income. Let's keep the comparisons on par.
In SF, $70K is less than new grads make. I can definitely see someone having the conversation about taking a "real" job for a 50% increase in pay.
all that being said, just lower the numbers a bit and the point is pretty good. 60k gross turns into 42k net. At some point there is a line where that 30% is the difference between being viable and not.
Further, given that we're software developers, the median income for everyone in the nation is completely irrelevant. It only matters what the median income for software developers is.
As for the actual number: San Francisco and New York may be expensive, but median household income is still only in the 60-80K range , and with fully half the population living on less than the median, I'm going to stand by my claim that $70K is possible to support a family on, even before considering the earning potential of the spouse who wants more money coming in.
However, in reality, the reverse is the case. Supermarkets must stock major products (e.g. Coke) and, if you have a less popular product with many substitutes, _you_ will _pay_ the supermarket for shelf space, just to get your brand known.
"At $100K in net revenues per year, you may be a successful independent developer. At $70K in net revenues per year, your spouse could be telling you to get a day job.
But what if, Apple hugely improve App Store's app discoverability, searching, tagging and sharing? Therefore opening up a bigger potential market? ( And hence making more money )
In explanation, you join the iTunes affiliate program, which gives you a 7% cut on sales in the app store. I really don't understand why this isn't more widely known.
It's like shooting off my nose to spite my face, I guess, given the growth of the mobile market, but I truly hate the shape of our industry these days, when it comes to how indie developers are able to connect to their users...yes, it's better than it's ever been, but not because of Apple. It's better because of the open web, and Apple and Google are using their near-monopoly powers to impose the old gatekeeper model long past when it should be relevant.
Even if I add advertising costs (because some people allege the app stores provide a customer base), it's still less than 20%. But, I could distribute dozens of times the amount of software I'm selling with the same hardware and colo (if the market wanted to buy dozens of times the amount of our software currently sold).
So, it's true that there are costs no matter how you sell your software to customers. And, I might be willing to pay more for things that would make my customers lives easier. But, 30% is...it's just outrageous, to me. Apple and Google are among the richest companies in the world. Their margins on running these stores is obscene.
I don't believe this is the case at all. From the linked study, most are making substantially less than that.
Credit card fees are higher as a percentage of the price, the lower the price. Apple pays close to 30% to credit card companies for a one dollar transaction, whereas a hundred dollar transaction costs just a few percentage points. (I think this is due to a fixed per-transaction fee added to a percentage-based fee.) This is why retailers often place transaction minimums for credit-card purchases.
It's to Apple's benefit to consolidate multiple app and music purchases into one transaction to reduce the total percentage paid out. They do this by offering iTunes gift cards for sale at stores and by consolidating multiple purchases from the same day or two into one transaction.
no incentive to change a thing, and that's the straight dope.
Plus, it could easily be countered by another article in apple's tos to check at validation.
1) Apple is the most profitable company in the world, deals like this are why. It wouldn't behoove them to take less money than what is available on the table.
2) It would leverage Apple to promote only high grossing, high selling apps. This would change the way developers market and sell their apps. And provide disincentive to work on it more after it reached a threshold (maybe).
1) No skin really off Apple's nose then is there, minimal change on bottom line and a win for small devs, their ecosystem and they look like a cool company who listens.
2) They only do this now anyway, that's why the App store is so shit and has had so few new features (especially around discoverability) since its inception. No incentive to push smaller indy devs apps (and also because Apple wants to maintain a feel of high quality as opposed to long tail).
It's not a terrible idea, no reason for Apple not to play nice really as it barely affects them.
> No skin really off Apple's nose then is there
Ive never known Apple not to care about every penny it can make and keep, I just dont see them giving up on this, but rather push the devs to make software that is better and sells better so the 70% they earn can mean more to everyone's bottom line. Maybe... but I that's not how Ive ever seen Apple operate. The fact that they make developers pay $99/per just to develop apps is indication they dont care about this.
> no reason for Apple not to play nice
They never play nice, they are cutthroat, just like Amazon. It's how they manage to stay on top. They realized that not only are customers a profit center but also content producers they can make money on both ends.
Neo-libertarian downvotes away!