Sunday, April 14, 2013

Can’t Buy a Thrill

Chris Adamson responds to Michael Jurewitz and Lex Friedman:

So what’s the proper response? Obviously: don’t write apps for sale in the App Store anymore. This has already happened. But it hasn’t manifested itself as a mass migration off the iOS platform (what, like Android users are any more willing to pay for apps?), but instead a migration into what one article (that I can’t find!) called the “middle class of developers making apps for corporate clients”.


True story: I was going over a GUI design for a client’s Mac app in a group chat and I said “man, I’d love a touch version of this on an iPad.” The client said they’d love to do it, but could never charge enough on the iPad to cover the development costs.

Think about that for a second. With 100 million iPads sold since 2010, versus a Mac installed base of about 60 million, the iPad market is nearly twice as large, yet cannot justify development or even porting.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

A different Chris

I think people have unrealistic expectations. I think developers need to realize that, if they're really not going to make money on an app in the App Store, probably they wouldn't have made money at Egghead Software/Babbages either. The migration Mr. Adamson describes already happened in the PC market during the eighties and nineties. Retail is not the primary market for software. It never was. A lot of hobbyist programmers discovered this the hard way.

Those of us who can make a fulfilling living producing commercial products sold to retail consumers are incredibly lucky. Most programming occurs by and for large enterprises, not the consumer market.

There *is* a market on the app store for quality apps that sell for high prices. If the app is that good, and fills a need or want that many people have, word will probably get around.

@Chris I think you’re right, but I also think that Apple had a golden opportunity to fix a lot of the problems with the software market. The future could possibly have been different. Instead, Apple deliberately structured the App Store to encourage race-to-the-bottom pricing.

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