1. Zildjian71's Avatar
    This is a featured story today on ZDNet.com

    I found it eye opening and possibly open for rebuttal. Also I found it intersting to find in a Ziff Davis publication since ZD has historically favored this device platform in their pubs.

    True confessions of a former iPhone developer

    Please refrain from flaming here and post honest opinions and observations as there is valuable information in this story for any developer on any platform.
    08-17-12 01:28 PM
  2. madman0141's Avatar
    I liked the article. It was informative and it reaffirmed my belief that Apple is an Evil Empire. This shows simply that they are like any other corrupt business and saying what they did about a former President is horrible. Sorry if my opinion isn't what you wanted to hear OP it is just how the article made me feel. 7K in 4 years is sad. I always hear of the app developers making large amounts of money.
    08-17-12 01:36 PM
  3. CrackedBarry's Avatar
    7K in 4 years is sad. I always hear of the app developers making large amounts of money.
    Did you even READ the article? The guy basically made the same app FORTY times (X days to Christmas/Easter/whatever).

    Considering he spent just a month on developing those 40 apps (again something you'd know if you'd actually read the article, instead of gleefully clicking respond the moment you saw something that looks like criticism of Apple) I'd say he made out handsomely... Heck, 7K is a pretty darn nice paycheck for a months work.

    Obviously its not everybody who can make a living out of Apples app store. (its only few of the people who submit an app who set out to do that) But tens of thousands of deva do... And its apparently much easier than developing for VB which the exodus of devs and apps from blackberry is proof of...
    app_Developer likes this.
    08-17-12 02:18 PM
  4. ccbs's Avatar
    Man, that type of apps and the lack of quality would only work for getting free Playbook. I am surprised it even sold that many copies.
    08-17-12 02:24 PM
  5. CrackedBarry's Avatar
    Oh, and "evil empire"?!? Chill out and take a break from gadgets cause you seem to be taking it way too seriously... Apple isn't evil by any stretch of the definition... Its a very successful technology company that occasionally takes actions some people disagree with on moral or ethical grounds. Its also crushing RIM (among others) in the marketplace.

    That reminds you of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union exactly how?!? It would suit you to keep some perspective, bro...
    Shlooky likes this.
    08-17-12 02:31 PM
  6. Neely2005's Avatar
    Man, that type of apps and the lack of quality would only work for getting free Playbook. I am surprised it even sold that many copies.
    If you read the whole article he freely admits that they were very basic Apps. He mad money because he made the Apps early in the life of the Apple App Store.
    08-17-12 02:57 PM
  7. mikeo007's Avatar
    Reading comprehension...some people should improve theirs.

    On topic, this experience shares some eerie resemblence with my experiences developing for Blackberry years ago. The one thing they did do fairly well was technical support, but everything else seems strangely familiar. Especially the cost of getting into development and lack of support once your app hit the vendor portal.

    Things have changed for the better now, for both companies. Apple in my experience delivers better support, and blackberry has much better developer relationships and a lower cost of entry into the development game.
    08-17-12 03:02 PM
  8. Zildjian71's Avatar
    My goal in posting the article has nothing to do with any fandom, but to show real world experience.

    There is a lot of this guys experience that is common to any developer on any platform.

    It also supports my opinion about app stores that brag about their app count, if that is what sways you to make a device purchase decision then you get what you paid for.

    Also I think the story points out the lack of culling that is needed in almost all online app stores. Device manufactures have been seduced by the media into thinking a large app count is good for business when it is actually bad for users and developers. Poor choice to choose from and low discovery and download count because of knock off duplicates.
    anon(3896606) likes this.
    08-17-12 03:46 PM
  9. CrackedBarry's Avatar
    Sure all app stores could use some weeding out. Some more than others.

    (The ironic thing is, that Apple is one of the manufacturers who exercises the most control over their app store. And gets accused of being an evil empire, control freaks and lord knows what for it)

    And yes, all appstores have a certain amount of trash in them, but hey, one mans trash is another mans treasure. If somebody feels like paying a buck for a Christmas countdown app, then why not.

    But your argument that app quantity doesn't matter falls flat on its face. An App store with 500.000 apps, half of which are below some perceived standard of quality, still has many more quality apps than a store with 100.000 apps that manages to keep the riff raft out and has a smashing 90% quality rating.

    And sorry, you're just plain wrong when you try to argue that a large number of apps somehow is bad for the ecosystem. Or bad for developers for that matter. (Why is it for example, that developers actively move away from platforms that are seen to be failing, like Symbian or BB, and quit developing for it? After all, it has a low number of apps, and that's good for developers, according to you?)

    The proof is in the pudding. Why else would developers not only flock to Apples App store, if not for the reason that it's more profitable than for example Nokias Ovi store (which has a huge user base but huge piracy) or BBs store (which has a shrinking share of premium users)

    Sorry, it just doesn't hold water...
    08-17-12 05:02 PM
  10. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    My take away from this is

    Get into BB10 developing right away, this guy made 7K with 1 Months worth of work, on simple Apps,

    Make 30-40 Simple Apps throw them on BB10 while the market is young, and spend a bit of time marketing your series of simple apps.

    BB10 should have more users in it's first year than iPhone3G had in it's first year just due to the market size, and the 4 year change in patterns.
    morganplus8, Alex_Hong and kbz1960 like this.
    08-17-12 05:07 PM
  11. CrackedBarry's Avatar
    My take away from this is

    Get into BB10 developing right away, this guy made 7K with 1 Months worth of work, on simple Apps,

    Make 30-40 Simple Apps throw them on BB10 while the market is young, and spend a bit of time marketing your series of simple apps.

    BB10 should have more users in it's first year than iPhone3G had in it's first year just due to the market size, and the 4 year change in patterns.
    To which the smart developer would say: "Why on earth would I do that with an unproven 1.0 platform, which is likely to fail considering the parent company haven't set a foot right the last three years? Meh, I might try to put the old 2.3 version of my Android app and submit it to their Android player. It won't be pretty and it won't be fast, but let's see how it'll do..."

    RIMs Android player screwed up what might have been a promising eco system...
    08-17-12 05:21 PM
  12. app_Developer's Avatar
    CrackedBerry is right, if your play is to make a short term few grand making crap, you can easily do that with an apk.

    I feel that there is way too much focus on little one man developers working out of their basement. You don't build an ecosystem in 2013 from those guys. You need the professional development firms now. Those are the apps users are looking for in 2013 as opposed to 2008.

    I would think a BB10 user wants a top quality Evernote client. She wants to deposit checks to her bank. She wants to pay her traffic ticket. She wants to share something on instagram.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 08-17-12 at 05:48 PM.
    westcoastit likes this.
    08-17-12 05:43 PM
  13. CrackedBarry's Avatar
    Besides, what everyone seems to forget, every time they pull out the "OMG! With 500.000 apps THERE IS NO WAY FOR A DEVELOPER TO MAKE MONEY"!!!!one!11 argument is that not all developers are out to turn a huge profit.

    Yes, let's repeat that... Not all of the developers in an ecosystem are there to make a living, which is why quantity doesn't poison the ecosystem in the least.

    As app-developer pointed ou, the most important players are the (small or large) development houses. Sure, there are plenty of solo devs in basements too, but the vast majority of those are just in the app game for fun, practice, to make something cool, or make a small side income or a myriad of other reasons. They might not make more than a couple of hundred dollars, but that's just an added bonus.

    So no, quantity is nothing but an added bonus when it comes to ecosystems. And the degree of competition, or the lack of it matters less than you might think...
    08-17-12 05:55 PM
  14. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    CrackedBerry is right, if your play is to make a short term few grand making crap, you can easily do that with an apk.

    I feel that there is way too much focus on little one man developers working out of their basement. You don't build an ecosystem in 2013 from those guys. You need the professional development firms now. Those are the apps users are looking for in 2013 as opposed to 2008.

    I would think a BB10 user wants a top quality Evernote client. She wants to deposit checks to her bank. She wants to pay her traffic ticket. She wants to share something on instagram.
    I completely agree with your premiss that the silly little apps don't make the ecosystem
    all they do is help fluff up the numbers when people talk about how many apps, and how many apps downloaded,
    really only meaningful to tech journalists who want to write stories to Joe user it is meaningless
    I don't see CrackedBerry's posts so I can't comment to his right or his wrong.

    as far as an apk, well if one has them ya they could easily fill the app world up with their APK's I am more thinking the take away like this guy did, App development isn't his career, it is a hobby, and as a hobbyist just getting in, I see getting in on the ground floor pretty appealing, just as he did. except his upstart costs were much higher than someone getting into BB10 today, Signing keys are free, RIM is actively helping users learn what they need, there are rules about publishing tutorials, and you have a wide arrange of languages.

    BB10 right now is a good move for the basement programmer, or hobbyist.
    For the developer houses, RIM need to actually show growth in the platform and they'll come, if they see a way to make money, they'll make BlackBerry Apps, people will want something to play with in the meantime, and that is where the hobbyist comes in with his silly little do one thing apps
    08-17-12 05:57 PM
  15. lorax1284's Avatar
    The most startling, nay, appalling thing is the issues he had getting support responses.

    And people criticize RIM's developer relations. With Apple's "the first rule is you don't talk about Developer Club" attitude and then NOT backing it up with paid support... beyond :facepalm:

    To pay for support incidents and not even get a reply is, as I said, appalling, and indefensible. They are taking 30% off the top of every single app sold: in addition to the money the developer paid for support, Apple made $3000-ish in profit without lifting a finger to help this guy.

    Appalling.

    Or is it: Applleing. Same thing.
    08-18-12 12:19 PM
  16. Brian Scheirer's Avatar
    I'm not quite sure what this guy is complaining about, he made $7k over 4 years on a month of work. Sounds good to me. I suppose its a shame when he updated xcode he couldn't get it to work but he had already past his "one month" of coding he gave himself...

    Better take away, get in while the market is young!! Learn BB10/Cascades today... if you need help check out BB's dev blog, BB's dev forums, and my blog in my sig

    P.S. I only started coding BB10 2 months ago and I've had direct communication with BB's dev relation team for FREE!
    08-18-12 02:38 PM
  17. Zildjian71's Avatar
    I would like to see some real world numbers comparing profitable developers/apps vs. un-profitable.

    The more a small developer (that is few apps) gets buried in useless knock offs, the more difficult it is to discover that developers apps. That's not an opinion just the reality of the numbers.

    In a smaller app store that small developer is much more likely to be discovered and then more likely to profit from larger download numbers. Again not an opinion but pure math.

    The larger the app count the smaller the number of profitable developers. This is simple supply and demand economics. Over inflated app counts reduce demand. The same argument has been waging over open source apps vs. proprietary apps and the number of standing profitable application developers for major desktop platforms reinforce this.

    I'm not voting here on open vs. closed just using that history to make a point.

    In an app store situation discovery is everything, it will make you or brake you.

    Unless you are a corporation or a coop that has an advertising budget discovery is all you have.

    Second point that I think is debatable from the story is Apple's developer support track record. This guy's stuff is old and from the beginning not the present. I would think and hope that as Apple's maturing in this area progresses their support would improve.

    Again my point is to reveal real world experience not conjecture. Every company is going to have their own personality in the market place which is also an influence on purchasing decisions. Friendly service adds to word of mouth publicity.
    08-18-12 04:34 PM
  18. mikeo007's Avatar
    I would like to see some real world numbers comparing profitable developers/apps vs. un-profitable.

    The more a small developer (that is few apps) gets buried in useless knock offs, the more difficult it is to discover that developers apps. That's not an opinion just the reality of the numbers.

    In a smaller app store that small developer is much more likely to be discovered and then more likely to profit from larger download numbers. Again not an opinion but pure math.

    The larger the app count the smaller the number of profitable developers. This is simple supply and demand economics. Over inflated app counts reduce demand. The same argument has been waging over open source apps vs. proprietary apps and the number of standing profitable application developers for major desktop platforms reinforce this.

    I'm not voting here on open vs. closed just using that history to make a point.

    In an app store situation discovery is everything, it will make you or brake you.

    Unless you are a corporation or a coop that has an advertising budget discovery is all you have.

    Second point that I think is debatable from the story is Apple's developer support track record. This guy's stuff is old and from the beginning not the present. I would think and hope that as Apple's maturing in this area progresses their support would improve.

    Again my point is to reveal real world experience not conjecture. Every company is going to have their own personality in the market place which is also an influence on purchasing decisions. Friendly service adds to word of mouth publicity.
    You're only looking at one variable when you're talking about app store sales. You're missing the bigger picture. Yes, there's no doubt that if there are a bunch of similar apps to choose from, there will be less sales per app.

    But your assuming an equal user-base as well. Totally arbitrary numbers here, but to make my point:

    Suppose you have an app store with 10 apps that all have a similar function. Your platform has 100 users. Assuming an equal split, a single app would receive 10 users worth of revenue.
    Now take a more saturated app store with 100 apps. With a larger app store, you have a larger user base. So lets go with 1000 users to keep the ratio the same. Assuming an equal split again, each app still receives 10 users worth of revenue.

    So more users = more total revenue, assuming the split is still even, you don't make any less in the saturated market.

    And that's only with an equal split, leading to another variable:

    You need to look at the "first to market" benefit.
    If you have a good, original idea, you will have copy-cats.
    But you're idea will still be there first. You'll get the sales benefit of being first to market. This benefit may not last for long, but it will be huge. Look at our dev from the article. Most of his income was front loaded. Sales dwindled substantially as the years went on. So he was first to market and got the sales burst because of it.
    Last edited by mikeo007; 08-18-12 at 05:29 PM.
    08-18-12 05:25 PM
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