Apple expands App Store support for some; WSJ iPhone fees

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
One high-profile developer now has direct-line telephone access to Apple for App Store support; and The Wall Street Journal intends to charge iPhone users and others for access to mobile content soon.



Million dollar app gets direct support



After Apple was heavily criticized by some developers and pundits for its lack of communication regarding iPhone App Store policies, at least one developer reports that they have been given their own hotline to call when issues arise.



Mike Simon, CEO of LogMeIn, told The Register that his company was given a number by Apple that it can call when it has questions. The software is said to have earned more than $1 million in sales. Simon also said that he knows of at least one other company that has been given first-class treatment.



The report notes that both LogMeIn and the unnamed second application have been featured in TV and print ads from Apple touting the App Store. Simon said that his company's software was included in the advertisements and given the free publicity without any prior consultation. Apple has the right to do so within its developers agreement.



"When we opened up the Wall Street Journal and saw the ad, we were as surprised as anyone else to see our name there," Simon said.



In recent months, some developers have expressed discontent with Apple's App Store approval process. As the handset maker requires all software for the iPhone and iPod touch to be approved before it can be made available for download. Some who had their submissions rejected said the communication from Apple was not clear or fast enough for their liking. In response to some critics, Phil Schiller, the company's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, personally responded to explain the situation and resolve issues.



The situation came to a head when the Federal Communications Commission inquired about Apple's non-acceptance of the Google Voice application. The software is still not available for the iPhone.



Wall Street Journal fees starting Oct. 24



Subscribers to The Wall Street Journal will be able to continue reading the paper on the iPhone or other mobile device after Oct. 24, but those who do not subscribe will have to pay $2 per week to access the publication.



According to MarketWatch, that's a change from earlier this week, when News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said subscribers would have to pay $1 per week to read the publication online.



Those who download the WSJ iPhone app prior to Oct. 24 will receive 90 days of access for free. Murdoch recently said that News Corp. will charge for all of its online news sites, because online advertising supply far exceeds demand.



"Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," Murdoch said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    So I guess the rest of the developers don't matter? I wonder what the criteria is to become part of this exclusive "club." If you have $900,000 in sales are you not important enough?
  • Reply 2 of 33
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    it's like Ebay and the powersellers getting special treatment
  • Reply 3 of 33
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:

    "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," Murdoch said.



    True, but what does that have to do with any of Murdoch's rags?
  • Reply 4 of 33
    morkymorky Posts: 198member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    True, but what does that have to do with any of Murdoch's rags?



    Exactly. The WSJ purchase should not have been allowed, but he got it in under Bush.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    WSJ already charges for premium content. Guess they're not interested in growing their audience with snippets of free content and they're not interested in having ad revenue support the free functions of their online presence. Oh, well. Consider that app gone.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    So I guess the rest of the developers don't matter? I wonder what the criteria is to become part of this exclusive "club." If you have $900,000 in sales are you not important enough?



    God, I HATE capitalism. It's so UNFAIR!
  • Reply 7 of 33
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    WSJ already charges for premium content. Guess they're not interested in growing their audience with snippets of free content and they're not interested in having ad revenue support the free functions of their online presence. Oh, well. Consider that app gone.



    The iPhone data isn't snippets - its the whole article. I was pleasantly surprised to find it free but will consider paying for it when I need it (love it for long flights).
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Big-money developers help sell the platform. Popular apps help sell the platform, with an expectation that similar quality can be expected from the same developer.



    The perks should be an incentive for developers to aim higher.



    Besides, look at MS' App Store policies on the iPod H . . . err, Zune HD. Yikes.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member
    Who would pay $2 per week to read that crap anyway? I know, lots, but not me.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    The iPhone data isn't snippets - its the whole article. I was pleasantly surprised to find it free but will consider paying for it when I need it (love it for long flights).



    I don't think the issue is whether or not it should be free or paid, but the price.



    The whole point (or one of the main points), of in-app purchases is to enable online magazines and so forth, but two dollars a week? That's insane. That's over a hundred bucks a year for an online newspaper. A newspaper. In an age when free newspapers are handed out on every street corner and most contain the same information as is available for free online.



    I know the WSJ has some content that goes far beyond "regular" newspapers, but they need to separate out that content and give away the teaser stuff and the dreck for free. They probably also need to go through the entire paper content-wise and re-think (from a truly objective perspective) which parts of that content is actually worth paying for because almost certainly most of it is not.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    LMAO. App Deleted. I'll find free news elsewhere. Cant wait till they go for broke
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Murdoch says that all of their online sites will start charging for access soon. $ 2 per week? hahahah. Pay for an online news site where they copy stories from blogs and present them as their own work? Crappy reporting where they can't get facts straight?



    Just watch their web site visit counts drop into a bottomless pit.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Yeah, Rupert (Fox News) Murdoch talking about "quality journalism." Quality journalism is fast becoming a relic. Today, people want their news short and sensational. Nothing that makes anyone think--that's too hard.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Big-money developers help sell the platform. Popular apps help sell the platform, with an expectation that similar quality can be expected from the same developer.



    The perks should be an incentive for developers to aim higher.



    I don't think this direction for the App store is a good thing for most developers, and certainly not for customers.



    First, Apple's "improvement" to the App store was to allow viewing apps in order of revenue generation. Why revenue? Do we really care which apps are making the most money when looking for an app for a particular purpose? No, you want the best app, so why not sort by ratings weighted by the number of ratings and reviews? Wouldn't that allow users to find the best apps more easily? Sorting by revenue just pushes the more expensive more established apps to the fore, and ignores whether people felt like they were a waste of money or not. Also, sorting by revenue is really not all that different than "most popular" (number of downloads, which is not a reliable metric of quality), except it's skewed toward the more expensive apps.



    Secondly, special treatment for "major developers" is also not good because, again, it gives certain developers a competitive advantage over others, discouraging newcomers from entering the market and ultimately stifling innovation.



    Both of these developments have the effect of unleveling the playing field and, while they will allow a small number of developers to gain increased revenue (by giving them an unfair competitive advantage and by both encouraging them to raise prices and burying cheaper alternatives) they do so at the expense of small developers, consumers and innovation.



    I understand that special treatment for large developers has been standard operating procedure more or less forever in the software industry. However, it's ultimately harmful to consumers and startups. And it's a very disturbing trend in the development of the App Store.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Ah yes, Fox News baiting the ignorant for ad dollars, and CNN offering entertainment in the guise of news. Now THAT's "quality journalism."



    This is a good move. It will help insure that no dollars go from me to News Corp. Not even ad dollars
  • Reply 16 of 33
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    ...

    I understand that special treatment for large developers has been standard operating procedure more or less forever in the software industry. However, it's ultimately harmful to consumers and startups. And it's a very disturbing trend in the development of the App Store.



    As a SMALL developer (well, unreleased as of yet), I'm glad to see the Top Grossing display. It combats the race-to-the-bottom 99 cent pricing by creating an incentive to find not the LOWEST price for you app, but the BEST price: the one that pays you more for you work without being so high it kills sales.



    I don't have a team, just me. I'll probably never be in any top 200 list. But I have a lot better shot at paying the rent if apps aren't rewarded so much for being just 99 cents. Top Grossing should be above Top Downloaded on the store screen, though.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    I don't think this direction for the App store is a good thing for most developers, and certainly not for customers.



    First, Apple's "improvement" to the App store was to allow viewing apps in order of revenue generation. Why revenue? Do we really care which apps are making the most money when looking for an app for a particular purpose? No, you want the best app, so why not sort by ratings weighted by the number of ratings and reviews? Wouldn't that allow users to find the best apps more easily? Sorting by revenue just pushes the more expensive more established apps to the fore, and ignores whether people felt like they were a waste of money or not. Also, sorting by revenue is really not all that different than "most popular" (number of downloads, which is not a reliable metric of quality), except it's skewed toward the more expensive apps.



    Secondly, special treatment for "major developers" is also not good because, again, it gives certain developers a competitive advantage over others, discouraging newcomers from entering the market and ultimately stifling innovation.



    Both of these developments have the effect of unleveling the playing field and, while they will allow a small number of developers to gain increased revenue (by giving them an unfair competitive advantage and by both encouraging them to raise prices and burying cheaper alternatives) they do so at the expense of small developers, consumers and innovation.



    I understand that special treatment for large developers has been standard operating procedure more or less forever in the software industry. However, it's ultimately harmful to consumers and startups. And it's a very disturbing trend in the development of the App Store.



    Well the answer to all this is pretty simple. The iPhone is a money-making platform, and it looks like it isn't going to slow down. The laggard competition has ensured that Apple's App Store remains a growth industry. Apple is projected to sell a ridiculous amount of iPhones over the coming year. That is a clear indication of demand, which in turn is a clear indication of where the money is and will be.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    So I guess the rest of the developers don't matter? I wonder what the criteria is to become part of this exclusive "club." If you have $900,000 in sales are you not important enough?



    Wah. Better that they offer direct support to some top sellers than none at all. If you seem to think they should be doing this for all developers simply because it's not fair, you need a reality check. They would need to employ and train a very large number of skilled employees to do such a thing and that comes with a high cost.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    The WSJ app will disappear for a while but will return within a year as a free access app again. The subscription model will not work for them when SO MUCH quality content is available for free.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Morky View Post


    Exactly. The WSJ purchase should not have been allowed, but he got it in under Bush.



    Right, the WSJ is such a conservative newspaper, I'm sure the Bush administration did everything in their power to help out the Journal. <sarcasm>
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