Developers Union urges Apple to allow free app trials, make it easier to earn a living

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 90
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 119unconfirmed, member
    asdasd said:
    nunzy said:
    asdasd said:
    rob53 said:
    Apple hosts the servers and provides billing. It also checks apps to (hopefully) make sure they are abiding by the rules, which helps all users. Isn’t that worth 30%? If developers had to do all of this on their own (if App Store was open) I bet the vast majority would never even get more than a handful of downloads. 
    Prior to the Mac App Store there were, probably still are, other payment and download services. Not that’s it too onerous for large devs  to do this either. 

    The mac Mac App Store might be good for discoverability if featured. 
    If Apple wants Mac App Store to be the best for its customers, it should make Mac impossible to sideload with malware. It works great for iPhone. Security is paramount to the user experience.
    I think by malware you mean non Mac App Store apps. They already can stop malware (default settings force the app to be registered and Apple can invalidate the very).

    If you mean Mac App Store only that would kill the Mac. 
    Agreed. The day they lock down the Mac as if it were a giant iPad is the day I say "goodbye". I have too much necessary software that isn't in the Mac App Store, and probably will never be because of the restrictions Apple places on its operability if in there, for me to be without it. I'll just run it on "that other platform" although I loath to do so.
    nunzyasdasd
  • Reply 62 of 90
    Whatever happened to the old model of making a free trial version of their game? Developers used to do that all the time. If they want to do free trials so much, do what Nintendo did with Super Mario Run.
  • Reply 63 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    provide developers a livable revenue cut
    For fuck’s sake. Charge more, idiots. Or just educate yourselves on what the REAL economic problem is.
    "Apple owns the App Store. Apple shapes its economics,"

    "advocate for a more reasonable revenue cut."
    Sounds like they’re too stupid for their own message. Unless they want to openly admit their message is “less freedom, more control.”
    Whatever happened to the old model of making a free trial version of their game?
    Didn’t Apple force them to stop that?
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 64 of 90
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 450member
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    In physical stores it used to be 40%
    You can’t really compare physical and digital stores.
    Sure you can.  You're making the common mistake of assuming the majority of the cost of having a product for sale is the physical space, when in fact whether it is Walmart or Apple, the entire cost of the running the company is part of the "overhead" in offering a product for sale.  Apple has spent many billions of dollars, and must continue to spend many billions of dollars, to keep the App store up and running. From the thousands of engineers to develop and maintain upgrades for the various OS's, to the lawyers, to the managers, to the buildings needed to house their staff, to advertising, to the servers, to the energy to run the servers, to the billing systems, to the HR Departments, etc., etc., OH, and at the end, there's a reason you take on all that risk and expense,  it's the need for profits.  That's how business runs. 
  • Reply 65 of 90
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,906member
    Whatever happened to the old model of making a free trial version of their game? Developers used to do that all the time. If they want to do free trials so much, do what Nintendo did with Super Mario Run.
    I didn’t think the developers in question were talking games. Games have a low quality expectation at the best of times seen as disposable. It pushes the price expectations down.  

    What they  are talking about is utility software and getting that on the AppStore in a way consumers are willing to pay for the work that goes in to them. Something Apple really should be trying to to push if the iPad is going to reach its potential.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 66 of 90
    croprcropr Posts: 1,078member
    Owning an SW development company that develops non games apps, and I have a different view then most people here. All of my apps are connecting to a own developed cloud service and come in 3 versions: an iOS version, an Android version and a web app version, as requested by my customers.
    rob53 said:
    Apple hosts the servers and provides billing. It also checks apps to (hopefully) make sure they are abiding by the rules, which helps all users. Isn’t that worth 30%? If developers had to do all of this on their own (if App Store was open) I bet the vast majority would never even get more than a handful of downloads. 

    Because I am providing a cloud service, I have a hosting platform available.  And I have a secure payment system available for the web app.  So I am doing these things already
    zoetmb said:

    IMO, the issue isn't the revenue split.   The issue is discoverability.  
    Discoverability is indeed the  issue.  
    wizard69 said:

    This so called Developers Union apparently is populated by complete idiots.   Seriously they must not have any experience at all running a business, if they did they would understand some of the value Apple provides to each developer.   

    sflocal said:
      
    It would take at LEAST 30% if not more of one's resources to do it themselves.  Perhaps Apple will some day drop the rate, and if they do, great!  I personally think it's still a bargain considering what they do and in return getting access to millions of people in an easy way.  
    That is exactly the issue.  A survey among my customers revealed that none of them downloaded my apps because they found it in the App store, and that is a major issue. I have to do the marketing myself at my own expense. 

    Most of my apps only provide a slick user interface to the cloud service which contains the main value.  I don't get more paying customers because I offer an iOS version to access my valuable data

    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable. 

    This is the reason that  I removed all billing rom the iOS and Android app,  Customers have to use the web app to pay for the content.  Once paid, the content is accessible on all platforms.   And the survey showed that they don't mind..  But of course such a scheme only works for one kind of apps.
     
    cornchipmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 67 of 90
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member
    zoetmb said:
    If a developer can't make a living at 70%, they're not going to be able to make a living at 85%.   If these developers were selling physical software via physical retail as everyone once had to do and going through a distributor, they'd wind up with around 30% and they'd have the cost of manufacturing, because wholesale was about 50% of list and the software distributors also took their cut.  

    IMO, the issue isn't the revenue split.   The issue is discoverability.   While there's no real solution unless Apple selected apps (and then everyone would scream bloody murder if their apps weren't chosen), there are simply too many apps in the App Store and the whole thing becomes self-fulfilling because the apps that sell are the ones that get highlighted and then they sell more because they're highlighted.    

    The real problem is that too many developers are making apps that no one needs, either because the app doesn't fulfill a need or because there are already 25 other apps just like it.  

    I don't really have a beef with Apple taking 30%, but the comparison to retail can't be made without considering other factors. Back when software was sold in physical stores, software cost more and people were willing to pay for it. A simple utility costed $50. Today people won't pay more than $10 on the app store. On a per unit basis, retail was more profitable. Developers could also sell paid upgrades, and offer free downloadable trials. They could also include trials in shareware discs that were sold at retail.

    Developers can market their apps - they don't necessarily need to be featured, though it does certainly help. But to be able to market, they need to be able to afford to market it by charging reasonable prices.

    And that brings us the back to the reason these developers are asking for free trials. Customers don't want to risk paying a lot of money for an app if they can't try it out. Thus we're left with most apps costing no more than $10 because that's the most customers want to risk. So all you'll get is small utilities, and you'll get, as you said, 25 other apps just like it, because you can't make a living making a really good app.

    And to those saying, "if they don't like it, they can stop developing on Apple platforms." Well, they could, but who wins then? The customer gets less software, and developers are out of a job. How is that in any way a reasonable suggestion? And let's not forget that Apple is trying to promote the iPad as a productivity device. That'll never happen if developers can't make a living making good productivity apps.
  • Reply 68 of 90
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    zoetmb said:
    If a developer can't make a living at 70%, they're not going to be able to make a living at 85%.
    I don’t think this is a sensible argument.

    First, they are looking for free trails, which iOS devs have wanted for years, they are now more organised and marketed in asking for said feature from Apple, which is both intelligent and sensible. Free trials for paid apps are a no-brainer. There are many $3-20 apps I’d like to try for a week before I buy. This would make me a much more active downloader and user of apps. This is what they want right now. It’d be great for many of us who are not rent-your-apps kind of folk.

    As to your point, and mine, in the future they’ll be looking for a higher percentage of their sale. The App Store is great, but I think it can be sensibly argued that 30% is too great a stake for small independent shops to expect to give up. And it will be great to put this topic out there for the Gruber’s and the like to duscuss. A tiered approach, for example, is one possible way to better approach this percentage. Something like—revenue up to this* mark sees Apple take 15% and then perhaps 25% on any revenue after that point (perhaps even 30%). Kind of like how subscriptions work, but in reverse and to fit the purchase app model.

    So for devs struggling to make a living building apps, rather than simply blaming them for not being good enough, allow them to keep 85% in their attempt to earn a living making apps. If they are unsuccessful, then taking 30% away from them hardly seems justified. There’s perhaps a good reason why the majority of countries have a tiered tax system, it works better than a blanket tax. And seeing as Apple are already applying the tiered approach to subscriptions, it makes sense to have such a system for purchased apps.
    edited May 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 69 of 90
    sandorsandor Posts: 642member
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    In physical stores it used to be 40%
    You can’t really compare physical and digital stores.
    More to the real point, you cannot compare an era of US$40-60 software titles in store with an era of $5-10 titles in a digital store.

    We need to remember that percentages are not concrete amounts of money, and the bottom line varies based on the sale price.

    If a developer got 40% of a $40 title from a sale at CompUSA in 2001 (I have made this precise purchase of a Mac utility)  that is 3.5x more than 70% of a $9.99 title at the App Store. That means they need to have 3.5x more sales volume. That means the App Store/developer is a symbiotic relationship, and Apple needs developers as much as the developers need Apple, otherwise the system fails.

    As a 34-year user of Macintosh, I have passed on just as much ( if not more) non-app store software titles to others as I have App Store. 
    Both ecosystems can work, but having the audience pre-packaged for you can help those with less business/marketing acumen.
  • Reply 70 of 90
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Notsofast said:
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    In physical stores it used to be 40%
    You can’t really compare physical and digital stores.
    Sure you can.  You're making the common mistake of assuming the majority of the cost of having a product for sale is the physical space, when in fact whether it is Walmart or Apple, the entire cost of the running the company is part of the "overhead" in offering a product for sale.  Apple has spent many billions of dollars, and must continue to spend many billions of dollars, to keep the App store up and running. From the thousands of engineers to develop and maintain upgrades for the various OS's, to the lawyers, to the managers, to the buildings needed to house their staff, to advertising, to the servers, to the energy to run the servers, to the billing systems, to the HR Departments, etc., etc., OH, and at the end, there's a reason you take on all that risk and expense,  it's the need for profits.  That's how business runs. 
    OK. And none of that is included in the price of the hardware or the yearly fee developers pay to develop for the AppStore? In the Holiday quarter iPhone revenue was up 13% YOY while sales were down 1%. Apple’s profit was $20B. The average selling price of iPhone was higher than its ever been. Apple could say we’re doing very very well and we’ve decided to pass some of that on to consumers and developers. Instead of doing $100B stock buybacks how about upping the free iCloud tier to 10GB? Or adjusting the economics for developers? Microsoft just announced developers keeping 85% if something is discovered through their AppStore and 95% if the download happens via deep linking.
  • Reply 71 of 90
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,056member
    cropr:
    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable.  
    Then, you don't need to use Apple ecosystem as it does not provide any value to your business. This should not be the basis for arguing that Apple needs to change pricing on their products/services, though. Instead it should be the basis for the decision not to develop for iOS in ObjC or Swift.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 72 of 90
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,056member
    Notsofast said:
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    In physical stores it used to be 40%
    You can’t really compare physical and digital stores.
    Sure you can.  You're making the common mistake of assuming the majority of the cost of having a product for sale is the physical space, when in fact whether it is Walmart or Apple, the entire cost of the running the company is part of the "overhead" in offering a product for sale.  Apple has spent many billions of dollars, and must continue to spend many billions of dollars, to keep the App store up and running. From the thousands of engineers to develop and maintain upgrades for the various OS's, to the lawyers, to the managers, to the buildings needed to house their staff, to advertising, to the servers, to the energy to run the servers, to the billing systems, to the HR Departments, etc., etc., OH, and at the end, there's a reason you take on all that risk and expense,  it's the need for profits.  That's how business runs. 
    The average selling price of iPhone was higher than its ever been. Apple could say we’re doing very very well and we’ve decided to pass some of that on to consumers and developers. Instead of doing $100B stock buybacks how about upping the free iCloud tier to 10GB? Or adjusting the economics for developers? Microsoft just announced developers keeping 85% if something is discovered through their AppStore and 95% if the download happens via deep linking.
    Yeah? And how is Microsoft doing when compared to Apple? Are you sure they are doing the right thing? How do you know what they do is sustainable?
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 73 of 90
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Soli said:
    I'm all for the free app trials, but the cut Apple gets seems fair and is much better than what existed before the iPhone and its App Store hit the market.

    That said, the 30% cut may not be ideal today as it was back in 2008 now that the platform is mature. That isn't to say that is should be lower than 30%, but that the optimal cut could be higher or lower than 30%. Whatever can strengthen the platform is likely what is best for Apple and their customers.
    Why do you think the optimal cut might need to be greater than 30%? IMO a big issue with the AppStore is most of the money going to a small number of developers.
    That’s because a small number of devs are providing the majority of the value.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 74 of 90
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    sflocal said:
    As a software for 30+ years, these "developers" are an embarrassment.  They do not represent me, or countless others that live in what is generally known as "Reality".

    They are more than welcome to create software to sell independently.  Go right ahead.  Code the software, set up a website to sell it, hire the people to run it, handle billing, merchant accounts, fraud, hire a security team to make sure your website doesn't get hacked and inject malware/ransomware/viruses into your app binaries, and hire a marketing person/team to actually sell your product.

    And don't forget to maybe create physical copies to sell in retail stores that no one visits anymore.

    Morons.  

    30% is a BARGAIN considering what Apple does by handling everything, freeing the developer to focus on their product.  I'll bet these are 20-something whiners that have zero clue what it takes to run an actual business.  It's because of ecosystems like Apple's App Store that gives the Joe-developer access to literally hundreds of MILLIONS of potential customers all over the world.  

    Face it... if you can't make a living on 70% of the revenue, then you're not going to make that living on anything higher.  In business-speak, it means your "app" is crap.  

    Unbelievable the arrogance that people like these have.  Last time I checked, Android doesn't have those "limitations".  They're more than welcome to give Apple the finger and go elsewhere.  Oh yeah.. I forgot.. no one pays for Android apps.  smh. 
    One of the leaders behind this is Brent Simmons who’s been writing apps for Apple computers for almost 40 years. I find it amusing that AI posters who think Apple can do no wrongs are calling others arrogant. And if you think 30% is a bargain then why isn’t Apple charging 40% or 50%? And why did they make changes to subscription apps taking only 15% after the first year?
    Brent’s apps are open source (and currently unreleased) and he’s not an indie app developer but a corporate one working for Omni.

    NONE of the four principals of the so called “Devlopers Union” are actual independent app devs attempting to make a living making apps.
    cornchipSpamSandwich
  • Reply 75 of 90
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    cropr said:
    Owning an SW development company that develops non games apps, and I have a different view then most people here. All of my apps are connecting to a own developed cloud service and come in 3 versions: an iOS version, an Android version and a web app version, as requested by my customers.
    rob53 said:
    Apple hosts the servers and provides billing. It also checks apps to (hopefully) make sure they are abiding by the rules, which helps all users. Isn’t that worth 30%? If developers had to do all of this on their own (if App Store was open) I bet the vast majority would never even get more than a handful of downloads. 

    Because I am providing a cloud service, I have a hosting platform available.  And I have a secure payment system available for the web app.  So I am doing these things already
    zoetmb said:

    IMO, the issue isn't the revenue split.   The issue is discoverability.  
    Discoverability is indeed the  issue.  
    wizard69 said:

    This so called Developers Union apparently is populated by complete idiots.   Seriously they must not have any experience at all running a business, if they did they would understand some of the value Apple provides to each developer.   

    sflocal said:
      
    It would take at LEAST 30% if not more of one's resources to do it themselves.  Perhaps Apple will some day drop the rate, and if they do, great!  I personally think it's still a bargain considering what they do and in return getting access to millions of people in an easy way.  
    That is exactly the issue.  A survey among my customers revealed that none of them downloaded my apps because they found it in the App store, and that is a major issue. I have to do the marketing myself at my own expense. 

    Most of my apps only provide a slick user interface to the cloud service which contains the main value.  I don't get more paying customers because I offer an iOS version to access my valuable data

    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable. 

    This is the reason that  I removed all billing rom the iOS and Android app,  Customers have to use the web app to pay for the content.  Once paid, the content is accessible on all platforms.   And the survey showed that they don't mind..  But of course such a scheme only works for one kind of apps.
     
    So you’re just freeloading off the Apple and Google app distribution and deployment infrastructure.  Gotcha.

    Sounds like a great deal for you...however your complaint that Apple isn’t helping your app discoverability is like complaining that the free water given to you wasn’t chilled to your satisfaction.
    edited May 2018 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 76 of 90
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    cropr:
    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable.  
    Then, you don't need to use Apple ecosystem as it does not provide any value to your business. This should not be the basis for arguing that Apple needs to change pricing on their products/services, though. Instead it should be the basis for the decision not to develop for iOS in ObjC or Swift.
    You don’t need to use objc or Swift to develop for iOS.  It’s often better to go fully native but you don’t have to.
  • Reply 77 of 90
    longfanglongfang Posts: 292member
    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    So, do what everybody else does. Offer a free game with an in-app purchase to get the whole magilla.
    HeliBum said:
    mike1 said:
    So, do what everybody else does. Offer a free game with an in-app purchase to get the whole magilla.
    Exactly. Apple does allow free trials in this manner. Yes, it means the developers have to structure their apps modularly so that functionality can be enabled as purchases are made.
    Developers employ that option because they have no other choice, but it's not necessary an optimal choice. Surely you can think of examples where getting use of the full app for a timed duration is the only decent way in which to experience the app, over having some stripped down version where the consumer isn't able to experience the app the way the developer intended. Do you not see how that could be a problem for certain types of apps?
    Omni already does this in the current versions of their apps. You get to try out all the features of the Pro version for 15 days iirc, after which you have to do an iap to continue using it.
  • Reply 78 of 90
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,911member
    The typical gallery takes 50% of what the artist is asking. Some galleries even 75%. Just throwing that out there.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 79 of 90
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    ascii said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    nunzy said:
    Soli said:
    I'm all for the free app trials, but the cut Apple gets seems fair and is much better than what existed before the iPhone and its App Store hit the market.

    That said, the 30% cut may not be ideal today as it was back in 2008 now that the platform is mature. That isn't to say that is should be lower than 30%, but that the optimal cut could be higher or lower than 30%. Whatever can strengthen the platform is likely what is best for Apple and their customers.
    Why do you think the optimal cut might need to be greater than 30%? IMO a big issue with the AppStore is most of the money going to a small number of developers.
    We don’t know that .Only Apple does.
    Apple knows exactly how much to charge in order to maximize their profits. They've been doing this for a long time.

    Their pricing structure is not intended to be a gift to developers. It is intended to seize as much profit as possible.

    Um Apple has no problem generating profit. It’s a little sad though that some AI posters view Apple through only one metric: how big their profits are. I’m reminded of this Steve Jobs quote from Walter Isaacson’s book:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-products-versus-profits-2011-10
    "My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products," Jobs told Isaacson. "[T]he products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It's a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything."
    And oddly enough, this didn't prevent Jobs from selling some of the most expensive desktop computers of the time.
    But if your starting point is that you're going to make the best computer you can imagine, it shouldn't be surprising that it ends up expensive, regardless of your POV on profits.
    Well, yes exactly. 

    Good stuff is expensive. It’s as simple as that. 
  • Reply 80 of 90
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,906member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ascii said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    nunzy said:
    Soli said:
    I'm all for the free app trials, but the cut Apple gets seems fair and is much better than what existed before the iPhone and its App Store hit the market.

    That said, the 30% cut may not be ideal today as it was back in 2008 now that the platform is mature. That isn't to say that is should be lower than 30%, but that the optimal cut could be higher or lower than 30%. Whatever can strengthen the platform is likely what is best for Apple and their customers.
    Why do you think the optimal cut might need to be greater than 30%? IMO a big issue with the AppStore is most of the money going to a small number of developers.
    We don’t know that .Only Apple does.
    Apple knows exactly how much to charge in order to maximize their profits. They've been doing this for a long time.

    Their pricing structure is not intended to be a gift to developers. It is intended to seize as much profit as possible.

    Um Apple has no problem generating profit. It’s a little sad though that some AI posters view Apple through only one metric: how big their profits are. I’m reminded of this Steve Jobs quote from Walter Isaacson’s book:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-products-versus-profits-2011-10
    "My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products," Jobs told Isaacson. "[T]he products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It's a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything."
    And oddly enough, this didn't prevent Jobs from selling some of the most expensive desktop computers of the time.
    But if your starting point is that you're going to make the best computer you can imagine, it shouldn't be surprising that it ends up expensive, regardless of your POV on profits.
    Well, yes exactly. 

    Good stuff is expensive. It’s as simple as that. 
    But holds it's value so isn't that costly long term.
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