Sore Losers in the App Store
There are a lot of devs bemoaning the app store for it’s lack of quality applications and blaming customers (and Apple) for driving down app prices and making it impossible to create high-end apps that will sell for premium prices.
It’s called competition, folks. I know it’s hard, understanding how business is outside of the little Apple-shaped bubble you’ve been living in, but $30 or $40 dollars for an application that adds perspective to pictures? You can sit there and tell me it’s worth it, but it’s also crazy. To expect to then go and charge, on the iPhone, anywhere near the same premium prices that drive the mac piracy machine is completely unreasonable. These are iPhone applications. I tap in the price of my meal after dinner or spend 5 minutes playing a game while waiting in line at the bank. You’re competing against a candy bar or a phone call to my girlfriend– both of which fall squarely in line with a lot of the most popular iPhone app prices: $0.99 and free.
That’s ignoring the fact that Apple isn’t doing anything to encourage low prices– as far as I know, they’ve never dictated the price of any app on the app store. If your competition lowers their app to $0.99 to get on the top 100 list, well, damn, you’ve just been bested by your fellow man. Build a faster application bundle or a prettier UI. Update your program and play with the price until you’ve reached a happy medium and then create something new that Joe Schmoe can’t price out of relevancy. Bitching about it on the internet, especially when your app, Twitterific doesn’t hold a candle to Tweetie (and/or Tweetdeck (when comparing the mac versions), even), just proves you should go back to your contract job and stop trying to compete in a market that doesn’t bend over backwards to suit your whims.
Ultimately, this is one of those awkward “It’s not me, it’s you,” situations.
I think the second paragraph was a little unclear, so I’ll mention that yes, I know that Picturesque is a mac app. My first point was that even the simplest mac apps are stupidly expensive. Following that, I think it’s stupid for developers to think that they can just go and charge the same crazy prices for applications on the iPhone with greatly reduced functionality. It’s also stupid that the most prominent developers blame Apple, of all things. Apple has given developers a completely captive audience (jailbreaking is the fringe science of the iPhone world– yes, I know it’s easy. Yes, I’ve done it. But most people don’t and even the people who do still tend to shop at the app store) and they’ve given developers a DIRECT way to reach everybody with an iPhone and they’re complaining that Apple is colluding against them on the price front? What? What ever happened to advertising anyway? Instead of making you advertise your shitty iPhone app on your backwoods “company” website, Apple’s given you a storefront that’s availible 24/7 AND you can still put your marketing on your own site.
Oh wait, you still can’t fund/market/burn piles of money while laughing about your iPhone application? Then maybe you need to find another job.