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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 151
    kindredmackindredmac Posts: 153member
    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!

  • Reply 2 of 151
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 151
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 151
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,258member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 151
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 151
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 151
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,998member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 151
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 151
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 151
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 151
    robporrobpor Posts: 2member
    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!
  • Reply 12 of 151
    hypermarkhypermark Posts: 152member
    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.



  • Reply 13 of 151
    owlboyowlboy Posts: 34member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 151
    owlboyowlboy Posts: 34member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 151
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 151
    guestguest Posts: 112member
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 151
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 151
    fastredfastred Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 151
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 151
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    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.
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