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Apple pushing iPhone developers to charge for would-be free apps

post #1 of 152
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Developers wishing to release software applications for the iPhone and iPod touch for free are being encouraged by Apple to charge a fee instead, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the iPhone Developer Program initiated in March note that companies and individuals approved for the program are being assigned a liaison, or "development partner," who serves as a resource, offering advice and gathering feedback on plans for applications that will eventually be submitted to upcoming App Store for approval.

Those liaisons, who appear to be evangelists rather than technical contacts, aren't mandating that developers stick a price tag on their creations immediately. They are, however, suggesting that serious consideration be put into doing so "at some point."

Along the same lines, Apple will reportedly allow developers to submit more than one version of their application to the App Store, which will ship as part of iPhone Software v2.0. For instance, a full-featured version would be available at cost while a "lite" version would be provided as a free trial download to entice users to purchase the full version.

Apple's motives for the moves are clear. It will bear the cost of hosting, marketing and running the App Store in exchange for 30 percent of the revenues from each application sold through the service; developers get to keep the remaining 70 percent. That said, it had promised to allow developers to give away their applications if they so chose.



While not necessarily a big deal for iPhone owners who will receive the App Store for free and who can pick and choose applications at their will, Apple's aggressive push towards app pricing may serve as an added nuisance for iPod touch owners.

Since Apple does not account for sales of the touch-screen media player through subscription accounting like it does the iPhone, touch users will have to pay an initial fee just to update their devices to iPhone Software v2.0 in order to access the App Store.
post #2 of 152
While I understand that Apple is a business IN A business to make money, I really think that if someone doesn't want to charge then they shouldn't have to.

Out of spite I would charge 1¢. Try slicing that up into a 30/70 share on a small run basis!
post #3 of 152
I was already under the assumption that most of the apps would cost money anyways...

What's a good free app? the AIM client?
Games and everything will of course cost money.

I would be shocked if a high quantity of solid apps come out as free.
post #4 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's motives for the moves are clear. It will bear the cost of hosting, marketing and running the App Store in exchange for 30 percent of the profits from each application sold through the service; developers get to keep the remaining 70 percent.

Makes one wonder why Steve Jobs even gave that as an option when "introducing" the app store at the SDK event. Now it looks as if less is offered.

If charging becomes a precedent for all apps, I hope there will be at least a Free 7 day trial or something. While these apps may not be the most expensive items in the world, I bet it would add up to a hefty sum if one went crazy getting all the apps they think they need to make their iPhone Premium.

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post #5 of 152
I think Apple's doing the right thing on multiple levels.


Financially- Apple are hosting these apps and they only require a 30% cut of sales. It does them no good to have to manage legions of Free apps that generate no revenue/profit yet consome resource thus becoming only a cost center.

Customer Satisfaction- Free apps imply "no" support. One of the things about paying for a product or service is the accountability aspect. If you've accepted my hard earned money I expect some sort of support.

Perhaps Apple should limit how many free apps a developer can offer and then levy a nominal charge for those that want to offer more.
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post #6 of 152
Apple promised the option of Free Apps.

its part of my contract with them.

Therefore, everything I make will be free. I refuse to make costing apps at this point.
post #7 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradley67 View Post

What's a good free app? the AIM client?

Um... Adium is a fantastic FREE Instant Messaging client. adiumx.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradley67 View Post

Games and everything will of course cost money.

There are TONS of FREE online games. We're not talking about games with much complexity, but they're still games.
post #8 of 152
Another misleading article title. "Pushing" is not the same as "encouraging".

Besides, it makes a lot of sense to offer both a free and a for-pay version of all apps. The paid version could include customer support and additional features.

It helps separate the wheat from the chaff quicker, and it also would be a positive for app developers hoping to sell their company if they can clearly point to earnings as a metric, not just free downloads.

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post #9 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Um... Adium is a fantastic FREE Instant Messaging client. adiumx.com



There are TONS of FREE online games. We're not talking about games with much complexity, but they're still games.

Ahhhhh, the voice of reason. So refreshing to see some logic here. Thanks.
post #10 of 152
There's POTENTIAL for a ton of free games, but like I said, it remains to be seen.

My feeling is even the most trivial they will charge something...even if it's a trivial price like 99 cents.


Personally from the perspective of an application developer, you don't need to charge a lot of money for the apps, but you should charge something.

Even if you create a little game that just 100,000 people pay just 1$ to download it....that's a LOT of money.
post #11 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradley67 View Post

What's a good free app? the AIM client?


Google Earth
SketchUp
Think!

There are quite a few.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #12 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Apple promised the option of Free Apps.

its part of my contract with them.

Therefore, everything I make will be free. I refuse to make costing apps at this point.

I WISH I COULD FIND DEVELOPERS LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, ARE YOU LIVING @ HOME @ 30 SOMETHING ON YOUR PARENTS DIME?

SOFTWARE/APPS COME WITH A PRICE, EITHER ON YOUR END OR ON THE CONSUMER.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

YOUR HURTING THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

UNLESS THE APPS YOU DEVELOP ARE GARBAGE TO BEGIN WITH!
post #13 of 152
A question that I have in this regards that I have been meaning to ping Apple's director of technology evangelism on is: what about ad-supported apps? I can see room for lots of applications where advertiser-based, sponsor-based or pay-for-inclusion is the business model, and the software is free.

Local Business and Product listing types of services are one example that come to mind but easy to imagine a domain of entertainment or gaming apps that are ad supported the same way you see on the Web.

For example, here is an application idea around twitter that would kill (in my opinion) on the iPhone/iPod touch. The software would be free, but businesses would pay for premium service access.

Twitter-nomics: Envisioning Structured Tweets
http://thenetworkgarden.com/weblog/2...er-nomics.html

How would that type of native app work from Apple's perspective?

Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I think Apple's doing the right thing on multiple levels.


Financially- Apple are hosting these apps and they only require a 30% cut of sales. It does them no good to have to manage legions of Free apps that generate no revenue/profit yet consome resource thus becoming only a cost center.

Customer Satisfaction- Free apps imply "no" support. One of the things about paying for a product or service is the accountability aspect. If you've accepted my hard earned money I expect some sort of support.

Perhaps Apple should limit how many free apps a developer can offer and then levy a nominal charge for those that want to offer more.
post #14 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Google Earth
SketchUp
Think!

There are quite a few.

iTunes, Adium, Perian, Colloquy, TextWrangler, Transmission, Firefox, Camino, Opera, Flock, The Unarchiver, Skype, HandBrake, along with hundreds of others.

-Owl
post #15 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpor View Post

I WISH I COULD FIND DEVELOPERS LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, ARE YOU LIVING @ HOME @ 30 SOMETHING ON YOUR PARENTS DIME?

SOFTWARE/APPS COME WITH A PRICE, EITHER ON YOUR END OR ON THE CONSUMER.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

YOUR HURTING THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

UNLESS THE APPS YOU DEVELOP ARE GARBAGE TO BEGIN WITH!

Spaz out much?
post #16 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's motives for the moves are clear. It will bear the cost of hosting, marketing and running the App Store in exchange for 30 percent of the profits. . .

It's actually 30% of the REVENUE, not the profits! Apple has no idea of whether you spent an hour or a thousand developing your app. They don't know how much you spent on hardware, training, ADC membership, the physical plant where you work, etc. or how many people are involved and how you are paying them, and so on. These are the costs that come out of the revenue figure and the difference is the profit.

I understand Apple's motivation to make developers charge for their apps, but in the long run, an App Store with lots of freeware will get more traffic and also makes the paid content much better because it ensures that something you would pay for is more valuable than a free alternative.
post #17 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Along the same lines, Apple will reportedly allow developers to submit more than one version of their application to the App Store, which will ship as part of iPhone Software v2.0. For instance, a full-featured version would be available at cost while a "lite" version would be provided as a free trial download to entice users to purchase the full version.


"lite" - that's so WINDOWS-crappy. Ever bought a Dell or HP - stuffed to the brim with such junk.
Let's not go down that road!
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post #18 of 152
I don't think it's a problem as so long as Apple keeps updating and adding applications to what is already on the phones. For example, I hope Apple comes up with a good to-do-list that would be part of the next update.
post #19 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Apple promised the option of Free Apps.

its part of my contract with them.

Therefore, everything I make will be free. I refuse to make costing apps at this point.

Then don't.... but don't be so petulant about it. It makes you seem childish.
post #20 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by OwlBoy View Post

iTunes, Adium, Perian, Colloquy, TextWrangler, Transmission, Firefox, Camino, Opera, Flock, The Unarchiver, Skype, HandBrake, along with hundreds of others.

-Owl

iTunes gets you to the iTunes Store.
TextWrangler is really BBEdit Lite. It can be considered to be a gateway drug for BBEdit.
Skype is a front-end to get you to buy some paid services.
Sketch-up has an expensive paid version.

Paid apps for the iPhone ought to be like OmniWeb. Even thought there are a lot of free web browsers, Omni has a core consumer base that insists on paying for their browser because they think it is that good.
post #21 of 152
If the app is of good quality, sure I'll pay for it. Take a look at all the freeware crap in the Windows world. Not worth paying anything for most of it. I certainly don't want that type of applications running on my iPhone.
post #22 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Apple promised the option of Free Apps.

its part of my contract with them.

Therefore, everything I make will be free. I refuse to make costing apps at this point.

LMAO! That's just funny. I'd rather provide something people want and can use and also get paid for it. It's kinda like working your butt off to get on "American Idol", then quitting before the final round (I don't watch American Idol, so pardon the example).

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post #23 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradley67 View Post

There's POTENTIAL for a ton of free games, but like I said, it remains to be seen.

My feeling is even the most trivial they will charge something...even if it's a trivial price like 99 cents.


Personally from the perspective of an application developer, you don't need to charge a lot of money for the apps, but you should charge something.

Even if you create a little game that just 100,000 people pay just 1$ to download it....that's a LOT of money.

Are you saying that even if someone wants to give something away for free, and it is actually their business if they do, they still should charge something?
post #24 of 152
Getting bored with this line of argumentation...

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post #25 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbradley67 View Post

I was already under the assumption that most of the apps would cost money anyways...

What's a good free app? the AIM client?
Games and everything will of course cost money.

I would be shocked if a high quantity of solid apps come out as free.

How about Darwin, the core of the OS you're using now on your iPhone and Mac?

Or Apache, MySQL and PHP that run the site you're using now?

Really, this idea that no 'free' apps are worth their salt is sooo last milenium.
post #26 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Apple promised the option of Free Apps.

its part of my contract with them.

Therefore, everything I make will be free. I refuse to make costing apps at this point.

What a nice guy you are.
post #27 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpor View Post

I WISH I COULD FIND DEVELOPERS LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, ARE YOU LIVING @ HOME @ 30 SOMETHING ON YOUR PARENTS DIME?

SOFTWARE/APPS COME WITH A PRICE, EITHER ON YOUR END OR ON THE CONSUMER.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

YOUR HURTING THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

UNLESS THE APPS YOU DEVELOP ARE GARBAGE TO BEGIN WITH!

I'm sure the open source community, as well as those of us who benefit from their work (which, by the way, includes all of us who run OS X) appreciates your constructive rant.
post #28 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpor View Post

I WISH I COULD FIND DEVELOPERS LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, ARE YOU LIVING @ HOME @ 30 SOMETHING ON YOUR PARENTS DIME?

SOFTWARE/APPS COME WITH A PRICE, EITHER ON YOUR END OR ON THE CONSUMER.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

YOUR HURTING THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

UNLESS THE APPS YOU DEVELOP ARE GARBAGE TO BEGIN WITH!


I am quite offended.

No! I am not living on my parents dime. I get no support from them.

I am a college student doing a double degree (which means practically double the work) as well as working 30 hours a week to support myself.

My apps are free because they will be Christianity related and I don't believe that anyone should be charged to get a bible in the medium they want.

Stop making assumptions.

"I am hurting the development community as a whole."

How? By stopping people having to pay for a resource I see should be free?
I welcome that hurt.

And my program will not be garbage thank you! It is already a long way into development, and looking great.
post #29 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

iTunes gets you to the iTunes Store.
TextWrangler is really BBEdit Lite. It can be considered to be a gateway drug for BBEdit.
Skype is a front-end to get you to buy some paid services.
Sketch-up has an expensive paid version.

Paid apps for the iPhone ought to be like OmniWeb. Even thought there are a lot of free web browsers, Omni has a core consumer base that insists on paying for their browser because they think it is that good.

You pick 4 out of 13 apps and use this as an argument?
post #30 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpor View Post

I WISH I COULD FIND DEVELOPERS LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, ARE YOU LIVING @ HOME @ 30 SOMETHING ON YOUR PARENTS DIME?

SOFTWARE/APPS COME WITH A PRICE, EITHER ON YOUR END OR ON THE CONSUMER.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT JUST TO PROVE A POINT.

YOUR HURTING THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

UNLESS THE APPS YOU DEVELOP ARE GARBAGE TO BEGIN WITH!

Please turn off the caps. All-caps writing is obnoxious. Given the caps, I really doubt you have developers working for you. Good programming practices hasn't allowed all-caps for decades now, the same goes with good writing practices as well.

While there are bad hobbyist programmers, I'm sure there are plenty of good, legitimate hobbyist programmers out there. Much of the computer industry that you know today sprung out of hobbyist work. The very idea of a personal computer came from hobbyists who wired their own computers together and shared notes. The same happens with software, some people even share code in a form of open collaboration. Some of those programs are bad, some are quite good.

If someone wants to charge or not charge, that's their prerogative. These people do not need people like you yelling at them. Do you picket Habitat for Humanity because volunteers are taking away work from paid contractors?
post #31 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Turn off the caps. All-caps is obnoxious. Given the quality of your writing, I really doubt you have developers working for you at all.

I'm sure there are plenty of good, legitimate hobbyist programmers out there.

If someone wants to charge or not charge, that's their prerogative. Nobody needs people like you yelling at them.

Maybe he's currently working for free, thirty-something and living on his parent's dime.

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post #32 of 152
Com on Steve, let me in to the (full) iPhone Developer program! I'm working very hard on two iPhone apps, both of which I plan to charge for. Isn't it kind of sick that to work on the one that uses the accelerometer, I'm forced to work with the pirate development community rather than Apple, since Apple won't let me place the thing on a real phone so I can test it? I'm hoping that on Monday development will open up...
post #33 of 152
In my opinion there are several quite usable games and apps through installer.app on the iPhone. I can't develop worth a crap and I would probably want to make some money if I could but I think there are plenty of people out there that take pride in their programming and just want people to be able to use it.

There are plenty of graffiti artists that can do some pretty amazing things with spray paint and could care less about getting paid for it (Ignore the fact that many end up paying the fuzz for braking the law).
post #34 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post


.....

Good that you already know that nobody would bother paying for them.
post #35 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Turn off the caps. All-caps is obnoxious. Given the quality of your writing, I really doubt you have developers working for you at all.

I'm sure there are plenty of good, legitimate hobbyist programmers out there. Much of the computer that you know today sprung out of hobbyist work.

If someone wants to charge or not charge, that's their prerogative. Nobody needs people like you yelling at them.

Thanks for a great post JeffDM. Exactly. If someone wants to develop in their spare time and give it away, so what? Who's getting hurt by their generosity?

I hope jailbreaking will still be around so I can put ANY app that I want on my iPhone as I do today.
post #36 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by netback View Post

There are plenty of graffiti artists that can do some pretty amazing things with spray paint and could care less about getting paid for it (Ignore the fact that many end up paying the fuzz for braking the law).

There are no graffiti artists, there are only vandals committing property damage. I'd rather they loosened the laws to allow people to shoot to kill 'taggers'.

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post #37 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 View Post

Good that you already know that nobody would bother paying for them.

Why go there dude? What to do you have to sell that someone would want to purchase?
post #38 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

I understand Apple's motivation to make developers charge for their apps, but in the long run, an App Store with lots of freeware will get more traffic and also makes the paid content much better because it ensures that something you would pay for is more valuable than a free alternative.

VERY GOOD POINT!! There are many instances where a company might write a FREE app (such as the medical one noted during the keynote?) where you can look up what kind of pill you have, then perhaps link back to their site for sales or service. Why would you charge for this? And it would put more pressure on those charging to write better apps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

My apps are free because they will be Christianity related and I don't believe that anyone should be charged to get a bible in the medium they want.

VERY interested on getting this!!! Will it have maps and timelines? Searching i'm sure is there. It would be very cool to read text, link to a map with current day overlay, or link to commentary, timeline, and even current blogs and internet references. There could be a 'More' icon that can link you to say the Family Christian Store for purchasing other material.

Will we be able to cut and paste or send verses via email or text, or printer (if allowed)??

Can we store favorites??

I am quite interested in this as i was wanting this.

Anyway, eme RichGetz@RichGetz.com
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post #39 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

Thanks for a great post JeffDM. Exactly. If someone wants to develop in their spare time and give it away, so what? Who's getting hurt by their generosity?

I hope jailbreaking will still be around so I can put ANY app that I want on my iPhone as I do today.

If you want to give away your software for free, you don't have to do it through the App Store either.

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post #40 of 152
This is crazy....LET THE APPS BE FREE!!

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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