Twenty years ago when I was in high school, I worked at CompUSA. They sold a lot of software in their day... in my region of the country, 40% of software sold passed through our store's door. To sell software at CompUSA or similar retailers, you needed to interface with a publisher, who would then try to sell your software to a buyer at the store. Then you'd need to print collateral, get an attractive box, duplicate physical media in quantities sufficient to stock 500 stores. At your expense.
And for all that, you'd be a box on a bottom shelf somewhere.
If you wanted to actually sell software, you'd need to pay for premium placement on an endcap or display. I recall one vendor who paid over $2M for premium endcaps at each store for a handwriting recognition app.
When customers were dissatisfied, or returned your software that wasn't supposed to be returnable, the store would withhold payment for your software (which was running 60-90 days late in most cases) and mail you back the resealed box at your expense, which may have contained a rock instead of your software.
Fast forward to 2015, and you're paying $99 to sell software for $15 that nets you $10, which is paid promptly every month. Apple treats you like cattle, because you are in effect a cow to them... there are thousands of people like you!
So, selling software was a PITA full of inefficiencies and middlemen. Everyone hated it.
Now, 20 years later, we live on the open web, a level playing field where anyone can experiment to their heart's content and sell what they want, how they want it.
And you wonder why people complain about Apple adding restrictions? And your answer is "tough luck, we have the possibility to do things better, but things were even worse 20 years ago so just suck it up"?
> Your experience is the price of admission to gain access to a global audience
This Hacker News comment has access to a global audience. There are fart noise videos on YouTube with access to a global audience. That means nothing anymore.
Apple also do a piss-poor job of giving that access. It's already easier to find our app via Google than searching for the literal exact app name on the App Store. Whenever you release an update theres a 1-12 hour window where people will get random error messages since there's massive CDN sync lag.
Apple isn't just giving you a place on a shelf either. You have a half dozen ways that consumers are earning credits to buy your stuff (credit cards, kid allowances, supermarket gift cards, credit card rewards, etc), millions spent marketing the platform, etc.
As long as there is a gatekeeper, that gatekeeper will collect a toll. Free/open is going to come from new players like Firefox & Ubuntu, and traction there will give Apple and Google incentives to behave more
Nothing they said was inherent to the process of getting a global audience. Apple has created all of their problems they mentioned; we know this because Apple could make them all go away.
The developers' gripes seem to be about actual problems for them, but potential problems for Apple.
Similar things happen with Google and AdSense publishers.
Comparing the App Store with 20 years old methods is a fallacy. To be realistic you should compare using the Android/Mozilla/Windows/Web distribution methods.
Only it has the ability to sideload applications which let's be honest as primarily been used for installing pirated applications.
 Ironically, I think the pervasive sideloading third-party app stores on Android require is a bug, not a feature. I'd much rather see an official way to add "known sources" so that, after the initial install, you didn't need to leave sideloading enabled in order to use them.
ha. that's a good one. I've had apps on both iOS and Android with < 10% of the installs being legit.
The signature check makes sure 'the developer has paid Apple', and not 'the user has paid for this app'.
Sideloading of apps allows for apps that Google may not care for, and that Apple actively prohibits (eg bitcoin), the difference being that you can still run them on Android if you really want to.
(1) installing the resulting unsigned app on a jailbroken phone, or
(2) re-signing it with a developer or enterprise distribution key, which Apple can revoke.
Both of these are done regularly, but it's not like Apple hasn't tried to stop it.
By the way, Apple no longer forbids Bitcoin apps, although this doesn't defeat the general point about forbidden categories.
Paradoxically, I think the power of the tools, resulting in the ease of development, and the democracy of the Apple Store is a major contributor to the difficulty of competing for user mindshare, and the resulting low prices.
I'd even add that this was what the internet promised. A reduction of the barriers between creator and consumer. No more would those pesky publishers/editors/distributors get in the way. Sadly I think we forgot that Sturgeons law still holds.
Unless it's a service website, the monetization for web apps just isn't up to par.
Compared to what? I thought Stripe was famous for offering competitive fees.
your argument is the same as saying "i can only fill my gas tank at BP stations, oh well, that is the price i pay to be able to fill up at BP stations since they are the most common around here"
then you proceed to an example, which does not work. because you wrongly confuse apple store with some convenience to reach users. which it is not. 99.9% of non-block buster purchases come from the developer website. the post you are replying to (probably without reading :( even mention that he has no hope of being discovered by users on the app store or being promoted there.
so, physical store or something that advertises or facilitate your sale == ok. apple store is none of those. they actually make it harder for both things to happen.
And how is that okay?