Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum
If the price of a Mac is a "barrier to developing iPhone and iPad software"...
then, the developer is in the wrong business. Hell, he needs to invest in some basic tools, even to work on his own bicycle.
Not all iOS developers work for large US based companies. There are several small developers in the US, and even in other countries (I am from India). Also, when you are buying just a few Apple products for personal use the prices aren't a big deal. But if you have to equip a whole team of developers with Macs and iPhones/iPads, it gets really expensive.
MacMini is an OK option, if you just want to build small apps. Or you dont want to use tools like the Profiler for eliminating memory leaks. If you need those, you need to get the 4GB $799 Mac mini - which costs almost $1000 in India.
Don't get me wrong. Apple is free to do whatever works for them. And if you see my post history, you will see that I am as much a fan of Apple as anyone out there. Unlike most people who are just Apple fans, I have a lot more at stake, owning a small iOS development business. While Apple makes announcements that they paid out $5B to developers, it is clear from my own experience that it is quite difficult for small developers to make much money out of the AppStore. And this has nothing to do with App quality. One of my apps qualifies as easily one of the best Stock Market apps in the App Store (currently targeting India, but eventually targeting US, Europe, Japan, etc).
The thing is, as more people start to love Apple, Apple has a nasty habit of hurting the people who love it the most and for the longest time! And believe me, there are quite a few people who feel that way about Apple. Just ask the Pro users who stayed with Apple thru the tough years, how they feel about Apple's consumer focus! Or ask the enterprise IT support person who has spent a lifetime recommending Apple product adoption in the enterprise, and Apple suddenly pulls the plug on the Xserve or stops updating the Mac Pro. Does Apple seriously expect enterprise customers to buy iMacs? Or Mac Minis?
My only point is, when Macs have become such a small portion of their revenues and profits, why not lower prices and go for market share. Why price products at such ridiculous premiums in markets like India and China? I can even understand India pricing - with customs duties, etc. But Chinese pricing? iPhone 4S costs Rs 44,500 for the basic model. Which is about $800, AFTER the recent fall in the Rupee. At launch, it was almost $900! And to make things worse, Apple's Worldwide Warranty is valid everywhere in the world except India! Is India not a part of the world? So if you buy an unlocked phone for $650 elsewhere, you can forget support in India!
I am actually delighted that someone like Tim Cook is at the helm of affairs. Being a logistics person, the best way for Tim to showcase his skills is in increasing volumes and lowering prices.