"Too much interest" in iPhone SDK presents challenges

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple Inc. is facing a rather inviting problem in the wake of last week's iPhone SDK announcement, and one that the company is all too familiar with -- a response so overwhelming that it raises questions over how well the firm is prepared to handle the resulting demand.



For instance, an article in BusinessWeek notes that while developers are genuinely pleased with the kit, some have been inhibited in their initial efforts due to a lack of guidance from the company and a slew of muddy guidelines over discussing the intricacies of the iPhone platform with fellow programmers.



"The problem that Apple has right now is, there's too much interest in the iPhone SDK," said the Iconfactory's Craig Hockenberry, one of several developers contacted by the business publication who say their questions to the company have gone unanswered for weeks at a time.



Developers wishing to author native applications for the iPhone and iPod touch must ink their named to 2,700-word non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which stipulates that they not "disclose, publish, or disseminate any confidential information to anyone other than to other registered iPhone developers" who work for the same firm.



"Many programmers feel inhibited from turning to one another for help because of the confidentiality agreement," said BusinessWeek. "The restriction hasn't stopped some developers from using public forums to answer each other's questions—though it has given some pause."



Meanwhile, venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which announced a $100 million dollar fund aimed at jump-starting third-party iPhone development, has been so inundated with proposals that it now admits it may have to increase its bounty.



According to Matt Murphy, a partner at the firm, his colleagues had a running bet over how many business plans they'd receive from prospective iPhone developers in the first 30-days following the announcement of their fund. While Murphy declined to reveal that number, he said it was easily surpassed within 36 hours.



This immediate charge on the part of developers presents further questions regarding the virtual shelf space Apple's prepared to offer third parties, adds the San Francisco Chronical, whose piece on iPhone gaming notes that id Software and Pangea Software are among the gaming houses that intend to release titles for the iPhone.



"My only concern is that everyone and their brother is jumping on the iPhone app bandwagon, so it may make it difficult to market a product when there are a zillion others coming out at the same time," said Pangea's Brian Greenstone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    zanshinzanshin Posts: 350member
    I'd be very surprised if 1% of the developers who downloaded the kit at this point actually deliver a product Apple accepts in 2008. I think there were a lot of "looky-lous," stock market analysts, and wannabe hackers just seeking inside info on the device.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Quote:

    "My only concern is that everyone and their brother is jumping on the iPhone app bandwagon, so it may make it difficult to market a product when there are a zillion others coming out at the same time," said Pangea's Brian Greenstone.



    Yes, life is hard. You have to fight for it.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


    I'd be very surprised if 1% of the developers who downloaded the kit at this point actually deliver a product Apple accepts in 2008. I think there were a lot of "looky-lous," stock market analysts, and wannabe hackers just seeking inside info on the device.



    I'm one of them : I don't even have a Mac to run the SDK ! But at least, I get access to the few videos so I get more info on the device, as any geek would do.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


    I'd be very surprised if 1% of the developers who downloaded the kit at this point actually deliver a product Apple accepts in 2008. I think there were a lot of "looky-lous," stock market analysts, and wannabe hackers just seeking inside info on the device.



    Indeed, but even 1% of 100,000 is significant. The article raises a number of valid points, and I think people are going to need to sit on their hands and wait for a few weeks before Apple clarify some points.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    hdasmithhdasmith Posts: 145member
    Quote:

    who say their questions to the company have gone unanswered for weeks at a time.



    How does that work? It's not even been out for a week!
  • Reply 6 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post


    "their questions to the company have gone unanswered for weeks at a time. "

    How does that work? It's not even been out for a week!



    That's 'Journalism' for you



    Why let facts get in the way of sensationalism?



    This is a strange phrase, what is ... 'A rather inviting problem'?
  • Reply 7 of 47
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    [QUOTE=AppleInsider;1228577]Apple Inc. is facing a rather inviting problem in the wake of last week's iPhone SDK announcement, and one that the company is all too familiar with -- a response so overwhelming that it raises questions over how well the firm is prepared to handle the resulting demand.





    HOW MANY SONGS AND ALBUMS IS ITUNES ABLE TO HANDLE ?



    That should answer the ridiculous assumption that Apple ( the company that invented the iPhone, created the platform and iTunes, for that matter) is not prepared to handle the business.



    Get real iHeads. Apple is not a virtual company.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    irelandireland Posts: 17,095member
    As an iPhone user all this news makes me happy.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,501member
    Obvioulsy a "Rather Inviting Problem" would be better stated as a "Good problem to have". However in the sentence that was written the way they phrased it works better, outside of being a bit vague on what they mean without some though to how it was phrased.



    Overall for htis article, I would say, if this is the main concern of developers right now then let them be concerned. It should spur them to bring their "A game" to the iPhone so they can stand-out against the noise of all those thousands of other apps that will be flowing in. (I don't know if it will be thousands, but to hear this article it seems like hundreds of thousands. :-P)



    Sounds like a good premise for a forum too. iPhone Developers Lounge. Signed Apple NDA required. Chat about issues and help each other out. Not a public forum, login required. It may or may not be allowed, but it sure seems like it would be in the spirit of Apple's NDA.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post


    Sounds like a good premise for a forum too. iPhone Developers Lounge. Signed Apple NDA required. Chat about issues and help each other out. Not a public forum, login required. It may or may not be allowed, but it sure seems like it would be in the spirit of Apple's NDA.



    If you look at the article, it's talk with others "at the same firm" (in other words, if you work together at a company, etc., you can collaborate), and no, legally, the "spirit" of it doesn't count for anything. This is no different than any of the other "beta"-type software Apple puts out there for developers. The fact of the matter is that this software won't officially be available till June(?), and until then, it's under whatever NDA Apple specified.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    ikirikir Posts: 67member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


    I'd be very surprised if 1% of the developers who downloaded the kit at this point actually deliver a product Apple accepts in 2008. I think there were a lot of "looky-lous," stock market analysts, and wannabe hackers just seeking inside info on the device.



    I think the opposite: we will se a lot of apps even in the first weeks.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,094member
    Apple needs to wise up about allowing more open collaboration for iPhone developers. By squashing communication, they only slow and retard advances that will only benefit them and consumers.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post


    How does that work? It's not even been out for a week!



    Hasn't been "public" for a week. Doesn't mean they haven't had access already, or even just questioning apple about information before the official announcement.



    But why is this shocking, considering apple never really answers questions before a product is released.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    If you look at the article, it's talk with others "at the same firm" (in other words, if you work together at a company, etc., you can collaborate), and no, legally, the "spirit" of it doesn't count for anything. This is no different than any of the other "beta"-type software Apple puts out there for developers. The fact of the matter is that this software won't officially be available till June(?), and until then, it's under whatever NDA Apple specified.



    But since its basically a public SDK, what exactly could you be NDA'd against?
  • Reply 15 of 47
    I think we need to just relax, and not get too excited about how this is being received.

    Apple is not going to have any trouble dealing with the amount of interest.

    The way these numbers are being reported, the number of developers working on Apps will exceed the number of iPhones in the market place...... which is just stupid.



    The numbers don't mean what it sounds like it means.

    Apple will handle this just fine.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    But since its basically a public SDK, what exactly could you be NDA'd against?



    Where did you get the idea it's a "public" SDK?

    You think it's freeware? (even that can have restrictions....)
  • Reply 17 of 47
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    In related news - Apple has a serious problem, people are buying way too many Macs and iPods.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ikir View Post


    I think the opposite: we will se a lot of apps even in the first weeks.



    I agree with both of you.

    Not very many of the people that download, will actually build and sell an app.

    And lots of apps are going to be available day 1. (In June)
  • Reply 19 of 47
    leptonlepton Posts: 107member
    I figured there would be a flood of ideas, big and small, serious and fanciful. It'll settle down and we will get some really, really good stuff out of this.



    I jumped in with an idea on day two, right after I got some time to check out the amazing SDK. I want to leverage the phone's locational abilities with the neural-net-based predicting ability of my site Myallo Online to get a thing that can predict your interests in and find interesting people, places messages and things in any town, and stuff like that there. It's gonna be swell but I bet it's the thousandth location-social proposal app they've seen that morning. Anyway, I'm up for it, and good luck to us all!
  • Reply 20 of 47
    hdasmithhdasmith Posts: 145member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    Hasn't been "public" for a week. Doesn't mean they haven't had access already, or even just questioning apple about information before the official announcement.



    But why is this shocking, considering apple never really answers questions before a product is released.



    The "public" part is the bit we're focusing on. Developers pay $99 to have technical access to Apple about the SDK. One developer has said that they haven't had a response "for weeks". Well that's rubbish seeing as they've only had access for 6 days, 4 if you only include working days.
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