Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch moves herald ‘gold rush’ for developers

Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch developer “tools look awesome — far better and more advanced than what most Mac developers were expecting,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball.

“The tools are, unsurprisingly, Mac-only. It’s a new version of the same Xcode and Interface Builder (and performance tuning) apps that Mac developers use today. This has the potential to do for Windows developers what the iPod did for Windows users — move them to the Mac,” Gruber writes.

The iPhone/iPod touch games will “make the iPhone analogous to the Wii, in that it opens up new concepts in game UI design,” Gruber writes.

“Apple’s 30/70 split with developers is steep, but initial reaction from the developers I follow on Twitter seems to be positive,” Gruber writes. “The reasons developers are willing to accept a 70/30 split are simple: convenience and exposure… The $99 fee for getting your app listed in the store is a no-brainer. A bummer, perhaps, for the student set, but I suspect it’s intended as a bozo filter to keep the process from being inundated with glorified do-little “Hello World” apps. (I’m almost certain even freeware apps require the $99 listing fee — although that fee is per-developer, not per-app.)”

Gruber writes, “In short, what developers lose per-transaction from Apple’s 30 percent take, they can more than make up for in volume. This is going to be a gold rush.”

More in the full article here.

26 Comments

  1. Other developers please chime in on this, but I heard other “Palm” software sites charge the same split as Apple has just done for the iPhone.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  2. Well if the guy listened to Mr J in the first place he would have realised that developers set the price of the App not Apple so they lose nothing if Apple takes 30%.

    Think about it. If they want $100 for their App they just have to set the price at $143 and they get the $100 they wanted in the first place.

    Fair enuff innit!

  3. @British Mac Head
    Of course you are right, and it seemed pretty obvious to me too. I guess some tech writers and programmers don’t understand the concept of building distribution costs into the product pricing.

  4. And those newly moved developers will, by virtue of the iPhone’s Cocoa API, be steps away from being Mac developers. I see potential for a large increase in Mac software alongside the tidal wave of iPhone software.

  5. @ Wally Wallet
    What an idiotic remark. No iPhone user has to spend one nickle or dime on any of the applications. The software update is free, many apps will be free, and no one is twisting your arm to buy applications.

    There… I fed the troll. Couldn’t help it.

  6. That 30% pays for the credit card transaction fee (usually around 5%), plus bandwidth, a store presence, etc. So it really isn’t a profit making system for Apple. It’s actually quite fair.

  7. Because people can be inherently impulsive, this method of making apps available on the iPhone and iPod touch represents a tremendous opportunity for new developers. Ever notice all the crap at the checkout aisle at the market? … that stuff is there for a reason. By making it easy to find, buy and download the apps at the Appstore, Apple is providing developers an opportunity to make [more] money than they would otherwise having to sell the same app on their own individual website.

    Those who can’t see this as a benefit probably never had to actually market an app or fail to take into consideration the value of the exposure it provides developers.

    Gruber really got it right about … “In short, what developers lose per-transaction from Apple’s 30 percent take, they can more than make up for in volume. This is going to be a gold rush.”

    Think about it, would you rather have 100% of the profits on LOW volume sales (after paying all the expenses to market and deliver) or 70% of HIGHER volume sales (net).

    This is a Small Developers dream. I’ll focus on developing great apps and let Apple handle the marketing, delivery and transaction expenses… all for 30% and I get to set the price. Cool.

  8. Wally Wallet,

    Like all of the apps from Handango or whatever it’s called are available for free.

    Why does everyone want a successful Apple so long as they don’t have to pay for it?

  9. Bozo filter eliminate 97.3% of the comments?

    That leaves me, ChrissyOne and DL-whatsherface as the only posters who would get to post comments on this forum. I’m getting tiresome and DL is a bore. That leaves ChrissyOne as the only one worth reading.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  10. Developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers.

    I. LOVE. THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.