Apple and Google’s tax on developers

“Before Apple sent its iPhone out into the world, anyone with a great idea for a cellphone app had to deal with the carriers — a difficult and time-consuming proposition. Apple simplified the process so a bright high school student could bring an app to market,” David Streitfeld writes for The New York Times.

“What’s a fair price for offering that platform? Apple concluded that it was 30 percent of the price of the app,” Streitfeld writes. “The subscription announcement generated controversy, including assertions that Apple was being shortsighted as well as greedy.”

Streitfeld writes, “Android has indeed become a formidable competitor in terms of the number of devices using that platform. According to new numbers from Gartner, over the last year sales of Android devices doubled to 120 million. Apple’s iOS system, meanwhile, grew 36 percent to 24 million units. In other ways, however – number of downloads, percentage of paid versus free apps — Apple is still the system of choice. That certainly strengthens its hand. But there is another reason why Apple has not reduced its cut: Google is charging the same 30 percent.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]

9 Comments

  1. Well apple got the ecosystem right, which is why the app store and itunes is so successful and vibrant, i dont see samsung and android ever competing with the app store

  2. “Before Apple sent its iPhone out into the world, anyone with a great idea for a cellphone app had to deal with the carriers — a difficult and time-consuming proposition.”

    Notice how he doesn’t mention COSTLY! Anything can be difficult and time-consuming… But the main reason why you didn’t have hobby developers intent on making a profit is because there was LITTLE profit to be had.

    “controversy, including assertions that Apple was being shortsighted as well as greedy.”

    No, actually developers were EXCITED because that meant they wouldn’t have to pay up to 75% to the carrier. The controversy came later as devs that never had to deal with carriers thought 30% was too much.

  3. Back when I used to be in the game development business, we got 3%-6% and had our expenses. I’ll take the 70% any day of the week with no expenses.

    The Streitfeld should shut up. He’s not a developer and has no clue what he’s talking about. Must be hard to find something to write about these days.

  4. I’ve never heard a developer upset with Apple’s 30% share of sales.

    It’s way less than almost any other form of distribution, and has a built-in addressable market of hundreds of millions.

  5. The analysts are once again full of it. Yes, distribution costs have decreased — but marketing costs haven’t. It’s harder now to get people’s attention with so much info out on the ‘net.

    These types of people are the same ones in the late 1990’s & early 2000’s were predicting Apples decline and fall.

  6. Apple provides the iOS platform and SDK. Apple developed the App Store under its valuable brand name, distributes the products, and handles the transactions. Apple advertises iOS products and maintains interest in iOS apps.

    How does David Streitfeld figure that 30% of gross is too much?

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