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App Store has size and price caps, opening with iPhone 3G

post #1 of 69
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Developers submitting content to the App Store will have wide-ranging control over how their app is offered, but face a definitive limit for the size of their apps, AppleInsider has learned. The portal may also open its doors in sync with the launch of iPhone 3G.

People familiar with the matter say that apps uploaded to the Apple-run service via iTunes Connect have been given an absolute file size limit of 2GB that may prevent some developers from producing software with very large, integrated data sets. Apple doesn't say whether the limit is technical or for other reasons.

For most other functions, however, the iPhone maker is said by those aware of the submission interface to be offering a significant amount of control over how and where apps are delivered.

A web-based portal lets developers manage a large number of business and store presentation elements. It also lets these creators set the compatibility of the app with the iPod touch, the global regions where program should be distributed, and even game content ratings that roughly match American and European standards, warning parents of particularly sexual or violent content during play.

An App Store app for sale on the iTunes Store.

Apple's alleged rating system for games.

Controlling pricing and regions for apps.

Apple will refuse to sell games which would merit an "adult" rating, those knowledgeable of the company's policies say.

Importantly, pricing is described as a tiered system rather than an arbitrary price point chosen by the producer. Those who want to charge for apps can ask users to pay as little as 99 cents at the US store up to a maximum of $999.99; each tier moves the price up by increments from between $1 to $100 depending on the relative price difference.

The lower echelon of Apple's App Store pricing matrix.

Apple has often promoted free or low-cost apps, and during its Worldwide Developer Conference showcased a number of apps which will be priced at $10 or less; the tiers now suggest that professional-level apps will also be a possibility.

Developers upload applications via Application Loader 1.0.

When customers will have their own turn at the App Store isn't clear from the information Apple is sending out. The company has officially stated "early July." However, those familiar with the App Store submission process say a 'sell-on date' option included as part of the application submission process currently defaults to July 11th, the same day as the iPhone 3G first goes on sale. Others who've spoken directly to Apple about the launch date have also been told July 11th.
post #2 of 69
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post #3 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

People familiar with the matter say that apps uploaded to the Apple-run service via iTunes Connect have been given an absolute file size limit of 2GB that may prevent some developers from producing software with very large, integrated data sets.

2GB? That's pretty huge for a phone. I suspect the limit is because Apple wouldn't want a developer to offer a huge download for free, as this would cost them a lot in bandwidth, and they wouldn't get anything back.
post #4 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

2GB? That's pretty huge for a phone. I suspect the limit is because Apple wouldn't want a developer to offer a huge download for free, as this would cost them a lot in bandwidth, and they wouldn't get anything back.

Yeah. 2GB is 25% of the storage on the low-end model. That's a few hours of video at the iPhone's max data bandwidth.

Plus if you REALLY wanted more data, you can download it over WiFi/etc while on the phone.
post #5 of 69
This is all non-news and just common sense:

- 2GB is (2^32)/2 bytes, or the largest positive signed 32 bit integer which is a natural data types for storing a count of something. It's obviously a very large amount of data and not an intentional limitation. Anyone who makes applications approaching anywhere near this is nuts.

- The 'tiers' are obviously created to simplify pricing for the consumer and to side step currency fluctuations and tax differences. What this means is that you bear the currency risk, Apple is giving you a fixed amount of each currency for the 'tier' you use.
post #6 of 69
With a 1.54 USD/EUR ratio, the US to EU customer price conversion ends with a 15 to 28% margin with an average roughly at 22%, VAT included. Since VAT i between 15% and 25% in EU, with and average at 19%, we can say that, for once, Apple is not ripping us off in USD/EUR conversion.

When we compare the share the dev gets from the customer price, we can see that Apple considers that there's a 15% VAT on the customer price. You can also note that when selling a app in EU, the dev gets from 0 to 10% more money, with an average at 6%. So, if Apple makes more money when selling Apps in EU, devs also.
post #7 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by conkyfilms View Post

Don't know where these came from, but they appear to be totally fake. Not consistent with Apple's usual level of UI polish - incorrect and weirdly spaced fonts, those funny borders, and that crazy "matrix" instead of some kind of dynamic pricing tool that shows you only the values you need to be concerned with. If they are legit (highly doubtful), they're just Photoshop mockups of what the sites/tools MIGHT look like and not screenshots of the actual applications in use.

They are not fake.

Thanks,

K
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post #8 of 69
Don't know where these came from, but they appear to be totally fake. Not consistent with Apple's usual level of UI polish - incorrect and weirdly spaced fonts, those funny borders, and that crazy "matrix" instead of some kind of dynamic pricing tool that shows you only the values you need to be concerned with. If they are legit (highly doubtful), they're just Photoshop mockups of what the sites/tools MIGHT look like and not screenshots of the actual applications in use.
post #9 of 69
Ooh seems posts are jumping around again, even for Kasper :P
post #10 of 69
Hmmm...What's the price tier for "free?" It's not in the matrix, but perhaps the first (or last) option on the drop down?
post #11 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Ooh seems posts are jumping around again, even for Kasper :P

Yeah, we have three distributed servers that the forums run on and the time on one of the servers may be out of whack. I'm working on getting it fixed right now.

Sorry

K
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post #12 of 69
Cool good to know someone's on it.
post #13 of 69
Any news on how upgrade pricing works?

Let's say I have an app and I want to sell it for $3.99.

Later, users report a bug, which I fix.

How do I let current users get the new, bug-fixed version for free, but still charge new customers $3.99?

Later still, I add extra features and release version 2.0.

How do I charge current users a $0.99 upgrade fee and new customers $3.99?
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post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Any news on how upgrade pricing works?

Let's say I have an app and I want to sell it for $3.99.

Later, users report a bug, which I fix.

How do I let current users get the new, bug-fixed version for free, but still charge new customers $3.99?

Later still, I add extra features and release version 2.0.

How do I charge current users a $0.99 upgrade fee and new customers $3.99?

Good questions. I know I read somewhere about Apple touting the App Store as good for everybody in part because it would simplify and standardize application updates.

The upgrade/new price differential, however, is not something I have heard discussed.
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post #15 of 69
Argh. What's with all the x.99 pricing?!? This is a highly-structured ecosystem where products have to compete on their merits, not pricing gimmicks. Set prices in even dollar (for US) amounts!

Also, the 2GB file sizes will actually push the limits of a country-wide GPS data set, if you want to store all the map data locally. The annual updates from Garmin, for example, ship on DVDs because of the file size. (You need everything resident on the GPS device if you expect to navigate outside of cell-tower range.) So that's one example where this size limit is relevant.
post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Argh. What's with all the x.99 pricing?!? This is a highly-structured ecosystem where products have to compete on their merits, not pricing gimmicks. Set prices in even dollar (for US) amounts!...

I'm glad someone pointed this out. It's just so "last century" to do this, but given all of Apple's products adhere to that form, it's not unexpected I suppose.

The only other thing that bothers me about what's been revealed so far is the ratings system. Why is the presence of nudity always tied to "sexual content"? And why is "cartoon violence" different from (regular) "violence" when cartoon nudity is the same as "sexual content"?

Lastly, if Apple is not going to sell mature games, then why oh why is there even a category like "graphic sexual content"????

This kind of puritanical gobbledy-gook might make sense in the repressed old USA, but this is supposed to be a world-spanning store right? What do you think the Norwegians are going to think when an app about how to set up a sauna gets a "no-kids" rating (or whatever they eventually call it), because it has a shot of someone's pee-pee in it and is thus full of "sexual content."

IMO, if there is one thing Apple has consistently failed to do over the last few years of it's terrific expansion, is to "get" that they are not just a USA-ian company now. I know a lot of US companies have this blind spot, but I really think Apple needs some board members that are from somewhere else besides the USA so they can get some perspective on these issues.
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post #17 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Argh. What's with all the x.99 pricing?!? This is a highly-structured ecosystem where products have to compete on their merits, not pricing gimmicks. Set prices in even dollar (for US) amounts!

Also, the 2GB file sizes will actually push the limits of a country-wide GPS data set, if you want to store all the map data locally. The annual updates from Garmin, for example, ship on DVDs because of the file size. (You need everything resident on the GPS device if you expect to navigate outside of cell-tower range.) So that's one example where this size limit is relevant.

Straying a little off-topic here, but isn't the reason traditional stand-alone GPS units have needed such large data sets as you describe because they don't have on-demand access to the network? Something like an iPhone, with it's ability to update data sets on the fly as you travel around wouldn't need to wast 1/4 of your device's memory on the entire country which you'll likely never visit. Instead, it will intelligently download/update regional map information based on your last known current location as it periodically checks in with the mothership. The application would intelligently get data sets large enough to cover a significant area around you allowing for the potential loss of mothership data. It could also have user-defined areas to pre-load or always keep local.

We have to think out of the box if you're on a device that will usually have on-demand access to the net.

I wonder how the new cell-phone enabled GPS devices, such as the DASH, handle this stuff. I think I read in a review that updates are just pushed down to the device over its built in cell radio...and POI data is constantly checked with the always on connection. They still probably keep the entire map dataset in the device, since its memory is competing with other applications but the updates over the air point to future possibilities.
post #18 of 69
Am I the only one who noticed this?



Edit: Nope, one other person said something. But it wasn't as good as a reply as this one. IMHO

You can make a game with "intense" sexual content/nudity? How about crude humor and drug references?

Where do I sign up for that one?


Seriously, no one noticed that? Nerds.
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post #19 of 69
What I am curious about is will the app store be tied to the credit one has in the iTunes store? IE...I dont use a credit card rather, I keep a balance in my itunes account. Will my purchases be automatically deducted from my iTunes balance?
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post

Something like an iPhone, with it's ability to update data sets on the fly as you travel around wouldn't need to wast 1/4 of your device's memory on the entire country which you'll likely never visit. Instead, it will intelligently download/update regional map information based on your last known current location as it periodically checks in with the mothership. The application would intelligently get data sets large enough to cover a significant area around you allowing for the potential loss of mothership data. It could also have user-defined areas to pre-load or always keep local.

I agree with that approach in principle, but I actually do a lot of cross-country driving (in the US) so I'd need the full set. The best compromise, imo, would be to allow the user to check off each state/region they want to download, with the option of getting the rest later. But ultimately, the use-case for the App Store has to accommodate the worst-case scenario, which includes the full multi-GB data set.

The best way to handle this, imo, is for the App Store to set a download threshold (say 100 MB), under which the iPhone could download directly, over which the user has to download to their computer for later transfer to the phone. 98% of the apps would fit in the former scenario, whereas a few unusual apps might have to settle upon the latter. (And I just threw out 100MB. Maybe larger, if that's the way things trend.)
post #21 of 69
I'm dying to see the phone app that people are willing to pay $999.99 for.
post #22 of 69
Easiest way IMO is for the GPS app to use a dock device with 8GB-16GB of flash and store the GPS data there (and ONLY let the GPS app use it). Then Apple should be fine.
post #23 of 69
everything will always be priced one cent or one dollar BELOW an even number. it's psychological. even though we SEE $2.99 and SAY three bucks, our instinctual "blink" process sees $2.99 as much cheaper than $3.00, or a car that's $19,999 as much cheaper than $20,000.
everyone set's a price limit that they're not going to go above, and it's always a nice even number - because it's easier on our stupid little brains. nobody thinks "i'm not going to spend $203.23 on a phone", they would say "i'm not spending two hundred bucks on a phone" well good news! $199.99 happens to be lower than $200.

the loss of one cent of revenue is worth the larger perceived price difference.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Easiest way IMO is for the GPS app to use a dock device with 8GB-16GB of flash and store the GPS data there (and ONLY let the GPS app use it). Then Apple should be fine.

That seems reasonable, but it ties up the port. Which brings up another point - what happens when multiple vendors (either software dongles or hardware accessories) all vie for the single data port? How soon until we see a 'bookends' accessory that splits out the connection?

Hmm. This could turn into a mess...
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Lastly, if Apple is not going to sell mature games, then why oh why is there even a category like "graphic sexual content"????


According to the article, they will not sell games that would merit an "adult" rating, not a "mature" rating. I do not believe they are the same thing.

Perhaps that category is there so it can indicate to apple that it is a game they need to review closely to determine if they will sell it or not.
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post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Why is the presence of nudity always tied to "sexual content"? And why is "cartoon violence" different from (regular) "violence" when cartoon nudity is the same as "sexual content"?

Lastly, if Apple is not going to sell mature games, then why oh why is there even a category like "graphic sexual content"????

... What do you think the Norwegians are going to think when an app about how to set up a sauna gets a "no-kids" rating (or whatever they eventually call it), because it has a shot of someone's pee-pee in it and is thus full of "sexual content." ...

Nudity isn't tied to sexual content. That's why there are two classifications for it in the US rating system. One classification for "nudity" and one for "sexual content". "Nudity" can mean actual display of breasts and buttocks, while "graphic nudity" is always full frontal (crotch shots). This is how the US rating system classifies R-rated material - not NC-17. The same goes for sex. You can have a sex scene in an R-rated movie (where two people are shown having sex), but "graphic sexuality" will always involve some type of nudity with it (usually breasts). Again, these are ratings for R movies not NC-17.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This kind of puritanical gobbledy-gook might make sense in the repressed old USA, but this is supposed to be a world-spanning store right?

Apple said from the very beginning that were not going to be handling pornographic content which is their prerogative. They don't have to support anything they don't want to. Apple's ratings listed above are basically the same for US movie ratings. Everything mentioned would govern an R-rated movie. If a movie studio wanted to created an iPhone app to deliver movies straight to iPhones, then I can see why they would have these ratings there and for games too.

As for the US rating system - I agree that it is lame and hypocritical. I would still like to know why a movie is rated because I wouldn't want my kids exposed to things that are inappropriate. That's for each parent to decide and is well beyond the scope of a web forum). Also, there are just things that I don't want to watch either, but again - that's for each person to decide for themselves.
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

everyone set's a price limit that they're not going to go above, and it's always a nice even number - because it's easier on our stupid little brains. nobody thinks "i'm not going to spend $203.23 on a phone", they would say "i'm not spending two hundred bucks on a phone" well good news! $199.99 happens to be lower than $200.

This is so arbitrary. What if US currency split even smaller than one cent (like in numerous other countries)? Should we accept prices like $3.9999? (Let's not even get into gas pricing.) If the price amounts are fixed by Apple, how hard would it have been to use $1, $5, $7, $10, etc. as the price points?

Bleh.
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Any news on how upgrade pricing works?

Let's say I have an app and I want to sell it for $3.99.

Later, users report a bug, which I fix.

How do I let current users get the new, bug-fixed version for free, but still charge new customers $3.99?

Later still, I add extra features and release version 2.0.

How do I charge current users a $0.99 upgrade fee and new customers $3.99?

As you have already bought the software the upgrade will just be offered free via the notification method that Apple provides. New users will just get the same version but pay for it.

If it is a totally new version then I guess existing users will have to pay the full amount.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Argh. What's with all the x.99 pricing?!? This is a highly-structured ecosystem where products have to compete on their merits, not pricing gimmicks. Set prices in even dollar (for US) amounts!

Also, the 2GB file sizes will actually push the limits of a country-wide GPS data set, if you want to store all the map data locally. The annual updates from Garmin, for example, ship on DVDs because of the file size. (You need everything resident on the GPS device if you expect to navigate outside of cell-tower range.) So that's one example where this size limit is relevant.

My Tom Tom had the complete set of UK Maps on a 128MB memory card.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by bytor View Post

What I am curious about is will the app store be tied to the credit one has in the iTunes store? IE...I dont use a credit card rather, I keep a balance in my itunes account. Will my purchases be automatically deducted from my iTunes balance?

Yes it will be the same store, but just for Apps.
In fact on your computer you access the App Store via the iTunes Store.
post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I'm dying to see the phone app that people are willing to pay $999.99 for.

Hmm. Interesting question actually. I think the iphone would be great for a hardcore topography app, since it can display graphs better than any TI POS and is also location aware. A kickass graphing program with location aware sea-level measuring and 3d terrain editing that can be push synced to multiple iphones, computers and servers would be a killer app for construction workers and archeologists, and that could easily run 300+ dollars.
post #32 of 69
Why would someone Photoshop this? Why?
You people are just so used to see fake stuff that anything comes to this site is automatically fake. ehheheh

The app store taking final touches. Glad to see everything on schedule.
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post #33 of 69
All this is well and good but for the 21,000 (out of 25,000) developers who have not yet received their certifications but still have full apps ready to go like myself (two games with a third in the works) I wonder when Apple is going to get around to letting us in?

I'm sure as hell hoping before July 11. It's boring running your complete apps only in the simulator.
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post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Yeah, we have three distributed servers that the forums run on and the time on one of the servers may be out of whack. I'm working on getting it fixed right now.

Sorry

K

Thanks for taking care of our precious AppleInsider, Kasper.

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post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I'm glad someone pointed this out. It's just so "last century" to do this, but given all of Apple's products adhere to that form, it's not unexpected I suppose.

The only other thing that bothers me about what's been revealed so far is the ratings system. Why is the presence of nudity always tied to "sexual content"? And why is "cartoon violence" different from (regular) "violence" when cartoon nudity is the same as "sexual content"?

Lastly, if Apple is not going to sell mature games, then why oh why is there even a category like "graphic sexual content"????

This kind of puritanical gobbledy-gook might make sense in the repressed old USA, but this is supposed to be a world-spanning store right? What do you think the Norwegians are going to think when an app about how to set up a sauna gets a "no-kids" rating (or whatever they eventually call it), because it has a shot of someone's pee-pee in it and is thus full of "sexual content."

IMO, if there is one thing Apple has consistently failed to do over the last few years of it's terrific expansion, is to "get" that they are not just a USA-ian company now. I know a lot of US companies have this blind spot, but I really think Apple needs some board members that are from somewhere else besides the USA so they can get some perspective on these issues.

1. Believe it or not, the ".99" pricing on items works. This has been proven again and again. Even though you consciously "know" that something priced at $1.99 is nearly the same as $2.00, items priced at $1.99 win out almost every time.

2. Apple could easily offer more mature product, but if they don't find the need, so be it. This is not the VHS vs. Beta wars, and they can set whatever restrictions they find necessary to maximize sales. Allowing 'adult' material could open them to lawsuits or government interference, neither of which they need.

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post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I'm dying to see the phone app that people are willing to pay $999.99 for.

You just know someone's going to try it.

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post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by labrats5 View Post

hardcore topography

Apple said they won't sell porn.

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post #38 of 69
Yesterday I experienced profound disappointment when I realised that Luxembourg was not on the list of the 70 countries that get the iPhone (http://www.apple.com/iphone/countries/) but on these screenshots there is a Luxembourg App store in the list. That can mean 3 things:

- I can rejoice and expect Luxembourg to join the list soon.
- Apple will have a store for the people with iPod Touches.
- These are fake, no iPhone and no Apps in Luxembourg.

we'll wait and see...
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Apple said from the very beginning that were not going to be handling pornographic content which is their prerogative. They don't have to support anything they don't want to.

I'm sure Apple doesn't even really need to allow pornographic content. When you think about it, there are simply no great porn games or applications. None. Porn works best as video files and no-one has figured out a good way of making it interactive (virtual sex DVDs don't count), its possible that it can't be.

So I think pornographic apps would cater to a very small market (unlike porn in general), whilst it would adversely affect Apple and the iPhone's image. Its a no brainer to not allow pornographic apps.
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleshman03 View Post

You can make a game with "intense" sexual content/nudity? How about crude humor and drug references?

Where do I sign up for that one?

Seriously, no one noticed that? Nerds.

Because some of us actually experience intense sexual content on a regular basis in our real lives, and already warped our minds with drugs long ago, so it's not a big deal.
 
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