Originally Posted by GMHut
True, but there is a symbiotic relationship that Jobs often appears to hold in less regard than he should. Unwittingly or not, he fosters the perception that he feels developers should be grateful for his platform, and they should be thankful he allows them to sell apps in his store. I'm not saying he does/doesn't believe that, but that his actions can be taken as such by some. "Some" include companies (people) who invest time, energy, creativity, and intellectual/monetary capital to put products on "his" store. How many apps does Apple create? Without the efforts of developers to populate "his" store with things people want to buy, there would be no reason to buy "his" phone or "his" iPad.
iPod—yes, it's a great stand-alone music player and iTunes is a terrific, convenient way to purchase and manage digital music (though, Apple does not create music either) with or without apps. The iPhone without apps is just a not-so-special phone that costs more than most, and is tied to one carrier with questionable coverage. Without the apps, the iPad is an expensive portable but overly heavy email/web browsing, video and music device that has too small of storage capacity to be worth the price for the latter two functions.
What I'm getting at is that Apple, as far as keeping it's edge as a mobile device maker, needs app developers as much, and yes probably more, than they need Apple. As Droid becomes more evolved and ubiquitous, developers will invest their time, energy, and money in the platform that yields the greatest profit and is the least pain in the as$ to develop for. The only reliable constant in life is the fact that everything changes. Right now Apple is the mobile king, so Jobs can afford to be a bit of a bully. If and when (probably when) the worm turns, developers will remember the present atmosphere Jobs is creating. Better to be a little pushy with a smile and a bit of understanding, than to be an obnoxious bully with no empathy on the day people in that symbiotic relationship whom you've been trying to get your way with, realize they outnumber you.
I think that many of the developers realize that Apple and Steve Jobs have created an ecosystem for mobile devices like none that existed before.
With a small dollar investment and small time investment, to learn the tools, a developer can can develop apps and put them in front of millions of potential customers.
Further, Apple will handle the validation, marketing, selling and distribution of these apps. The developer need not spend tens of thousands of dollars to set up a merchant account, or even need to establish the financial capacity to support one. in 1999, to qualify for a merchant account, I had to maintain an account with a minimum balance of $25,000-- I suspect it is higher now.
Additionally, because of the app store evaluation, validation and approval process, an app accepted and sold through the iTunes store has a certain added value-- an assumption of a level of quality, ease of use, familiar interface, and implication that it will do no harm to the user, his device, or his data. Certainly there exceptions to this... but they are few.
To the bulk of iPhone users, non-techinacal users, this provides a comfort that if they purchase an accepted app, it will perform as advertised.
While setting the bar high, establishing a new standard, Apple has established another first for developers-- they get to set the price and keep 70% of the revenue from apps sold through Apple's store. Apple's 30% allows them to cover costs and make a slight profit-- basically running the store as a break-even proposition.
Think back to the environment before the app store. Developers had to buy expensive tools, had less flexibility, to sell to a fraction of the potential customers. For this, they were able to keep a lower percentage (40%, 50% were common).
Yes, the Apple app store has some bad apps, has made some poor decisions rejecting good apps. But those are exceptions.
Apple has provided a stable and consistent platform, and the infrastructure to deliver quality apps to millions of customers.
Apple has provided the developers
with the tools and capabilities to sell into the best app store in the world to millions of targeted, qualified customers.No one else is even close!
More than a few developers have taken advantage of that opportunity to make hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
I say that Apple has done quite a lot for mobile developers-- a lot more than any others [platforms/stores] you can cite!
Certainly Apple must be agile and remain competitive to attract the best developers to write the best apps...
I suspect they will... and they will set the bar even higher!