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The Realities of Selling On Apple's App Store

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the languishing-on-the-midlist dept.

Cellphones 223

Owen Goss writes "Everyone is familiar with the story of the iPhone developer who spends two weeks of spare time making a game that goes on to make them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reality is that with the App Store now hosting over 25,000 apps, the competition is fierce. While it's true that a few select apps are making developers rich, the reality is that most apps don't make a lot of money. In a blog post I take a hard look at the first 24 days of sales data for the first game, Dapple, from Streaming Colour Studios. The post reflects what is likely the norm for developers just getting into the iPhone development game."

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Appstore apps are too limited (4, Insightful)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132017)

I got my iPhone a little while after the 3G was released and I haven't found any of the appstore applications to be all that interesting. The only third party application from the appstore I use on a regular basis is Flashlight (which is free). The applications I use semi-regularly are SFNetNews, Palringo and Units (also all free). I can't recall a paid app that I bothered to use for more than a week. On the other hand I use Winterboard, Terminal (and the CLI apps that go with it such as OpenSSH), AdBlock and Reminder quite regularly (granted AdBlock and Reminder are passive applications); all from Cydia. Perhaps if the restrictions on what Appstore applications could do were loosened appstore developers could create really useful applications. Imagine the profit that could be made from an application that provided much needed functionality, such as a "mark all mail as read" button.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (-1, Flamebait)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132027)

Indeed. Until I can download Linux of that App Store, it is dead to me. Do you hear that, Steve Jobs? DEAD. To me and every other self-respecting Linux user on the planet. Linux software is free, more powerful and just plain *better* then the proprietary, closed source nonsense that is spoon fed to the consumer sheep on the App Store. If Apple where to realise, they might get some respect from me.

Parent is a troll... (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132105)

...and a lame one, that is.

Why don't you stick your zitted face in a microwave and cook us pop corn instead?

Try to choke on Linus' tiny dick if his ever-growing belly doesn't prevent you from reaching it...

Re:Parent is a troll... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132145)

I think he's going for 'Funny' karma.
If you're doing the same, you're not doing it right.

Re:Parent is a troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132385)

If you expect karma from "funny" then you're not doing it right.

Then again, don't expect karma as an anonymous coward either.

I'm just happy that UbuntuLinux wasn't doing his usual "ghosts on the moon" troll.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132909)

That will never happen..... I don't think. They did after all have the option when deciding the kernel to use. You'll notice they choose BSD, who's license does not require they contribute back to the community they took it from. Apple has always been about lock in just as much as Microsoft.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (2, Interesting)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133121)

Apple has always been about profit - but then so is every large corporation. But I think the idea behind their lock-in, as opposed to Microsoft's, is that they want to offer a neat, prepackaged, no tech-savvy required unit, that works as advertised and really does live up to "plug-and-play." Not that they are perfect, but controlling hardware and software has put them far closer. While most of us were using Microsoft and having to reboot whenever we disconnected our P/S2 keyboard, Apple was daisy-chaining their USB keyboard and mouse.

Yes, it has limited us geek types over the years, but they have given over to Intel and dual boot with Windows, so I think they are moving in the right direction.

Back on topic, the link in the article doesn't work...

Parent is teh ghey (0, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132169)

The iPhone is overrated: no self-respecting phone-owner would indulge in buying a money-sucking device that can so easilly be pwned.

iPhone apps are as crappy as their users want these to be: if you promoted quality, then you'd get it: instead of that, you just get in the consumer crisis your cheap-ass got yourself into.

Please, kill yourself.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132519)

I suggest you just give it more time. I've been developing an iPhone application for too long - simple and stupid is what people claim pay the best on the App Store, and what Apple is pushing developers to make - but from my experience I can tell you that the iPhone is limited in some senses, yes, but still very powerful and with control inputs that developers are still figuring out how to use best.

My app is very far from optimized, but I would say that it is probably in the range of performance with a similar desktop computer and pro ($500) application set-up from around 10 years ago; that makes sense given the processor speeds involved. I'm sure that sounds pathetic to many people, but if you think of all the things you could do on a desktop computer back then and take into consideration the new packaging and the new input methods available, you can tell that the apps out there are rarely pushing the limits of the hardware for anything other than graphics. My app, and I'm sure others, are going to expand the scope of iPhone apps while still being friendly to quick-in/quick-out usage patterns.

One thing I really need to figure out before I release my app is how to get it on the front page of /. once it's released. That's almost certainly got to be a huge boost to the bottom line.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132679)

No the most telling thing about the Iphone store is that the app iFart has sold an insane amount.

Cater to the lowest common denominator and you got a goldmine. Cater to those that have a brain and you end up poor.

If you can figure out how to text real farts to other people no matter what phone they have, you have found a way to be far richer than bill gates.

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133055)

The smellaphone I guess

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133479)

text real farts to other people

There was a peripheral years ago that could synthesize smells. It didn't catch on. So there's no de facto standard for transmitting farts, and I'm unaware of any efforts to create an industry standard either. This is one dream that will remain the stuff of science fiction, I guess.

cant you release the source? (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132759)

Cant everyone become a developer, and get the source , compile and place the app on their iphone?

Sure its a few more steps, but if its THAT HOT, it will work.

Second, why not just make a 'hit paris hilton with a dildo' app/gimick. Sure its lame, but all those teenies will download it for 2.95

Re:Appstore apps are too limited (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133365)

The only paid app I use is TubeDeluxe, because it is ridiculously useful. I can see its use declining rapidly outside London though. /astroturf

The value of being brutally honest. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132033)

What I am more interested in, is how many sales he gets after being "brutally honest" and then being posted on slashdot for doing so.

Re:The value of being brutally honest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132299)

I wonder if the tone Apple set with their crackdown on any leakage of reality has set the tone for most devs on platforms like that. Apple are hell bent on sticking their heads in the sand on everything they can get away with until the broohaha has built to a level where they can no longer keep shtumm and feel they have to at least say something; even if it isn't very forthcoming. If it's good enough for Apple, why shouldn't it be good enough for the devs who make their money from Apple's platforms?

Being open would normally be seen as a good thing, but I feel it may backfire on him since he is an Apple dev. Will Apple punish him or send a C&D letter for him showing the Apple App Store in a less than stellar light? Will it encourage more devs to tell their stories? Will Apple send out the iGestapo after the 3rd or 4th dev has dared to go against the party line in public?

Has step 2 been discovered? (3, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132627)

I thought it was:

2. ???
3. Profit!

But maybe it's

2. Whine about life on Slashdot.
3. Profit!

Anyway, I too look forward to hearing how many Slashdotters will buy something solely because it's linked from here. :)

Piracy... (5, Interesting)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132043)

5 hours after the first sale, it appeared on the warez sites. Man that's got to suck. It's a shame the thieving cunts don't realise that with most of the App Store stuff they pirate that it's usually only a one man band behind it.

How Piracy Can Boost iPhone App Sales (5, Interesting)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132075)

There was an interesting article on TorrentFreak a while back; How Piracy Can Boost iPhone App Sales [torrentfreak.com] , may be worth a read.

Re:How Piracy Can Boost iPhone App Sales (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132443)

Reading an article on how piracy boost sales on torrentfreak.com is like reading about the Bush legacy on foxnews.com.

Very surprised and disappointed (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132135)

that it showed up on pirate sites within five hours. Essentially it shows that the price of software is not a major reason behind piracy. Pirating a five dollar game? I wonder if there is a threshold for pirates? I suspect some do it for the fun of it, the "fame" of being first to do it. Still it blows my mind that people would pirate an iPhone app, let alone a cheap one.

The real problem I see is that he lost among the clutter. There is simply so much shit on the apple store that it is easy to get bored or worse, annoyed, looking through it all. As such if its new it comes up on the list first and that is about the only time outside of reviews like the author noted that an app will get noticed.

Throw in the fact that Apple over sells the game aspect of these units when most people don't associate costs with games on their phones let alone value for anything on the phone short of ring tones (riaa love child I think) or songs. I know on my touch I use a conversion utility, a calculator, a NYTimes reader, and the Apple email program the most; don't get me started on their shitty mail app.

Outside of an ad campaign I don't see how you can stay in the limelight unless you buy reviews on sites, let alone get stories posted to Slashdot. I am not begrudging the author of the game or the submitter, it was truly an interesting read into how it all goes down

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (4, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132291)

It's worth pointing out the difference between someone throwing it on a torrent site and having a significant number of people downloading it. If I make an app and sell it for $1, sure, someone will probably stick it on the piratebay. But I'd argue that the percentage of the overall usebase that will pirate it from that rather than pay $1 to have it installed easily will be quite low.

Don't think it alters your overall point, but I just wanted to make the point that there's a difference between mass-piracy (which may well be because your original product is too expensive) and one bored guy taking something and sticking it on a torrent site.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133091)

I just wanted to make the point that there's a difference between mass-piracy (which may well be because your original product is too expensive)

Yah, because !free = too expensive.

There's always going to be people who can't afford something. In the past, sellers, as part of the free market, have had the freedom to set their own price to maximise profits and the commercial viability of their product. Not any more, thanks to piracy!

Now, consumers can decide what they think is fair for the seller to have, regardless of the seller's wishes, needs, or financial health. While we're at it, we might as well make it legal (or at least morally A-OK) to run out of a retail joint with a physical object, leaving only the manufacturing costs behind.

Or not, whatever you think is fair.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133151)

Without wishing to get dragged into an argument about why people pirate, I think it's obvious that there are three types of people who pirate - those who can afford the product and would have otherwise bought it, those who can afford it and wouldn't have otherwise bought the product, and those who can't afford it.

For the $1 iPhone app, the people the developer is concerned with are those who can afford the $1 and would have bought it if piracy wasn't an option for them. I'm arguing that, in this specific case, that particular group of users is vanishingly small and irrelevant.

Which is better for the seller? One sale from the only guy who can afford / wants the app, or one sale from that guy + 1 million pirated versions from people who either can't afford it or just having it because it's free on piracy? Either way, he makes the same amount of money.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (2, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133487)

There's always going to be people who can't afford something. In the past, sellers, as part of the free market, have had the freedom to set their own price to maximise profits and the commercial viability of their product. Not any more, thanks to piracy!

In a free market, a company has a lot of competitors and its prices are set by its costs, not its profits. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to consider how free various markets are (compare US and UK telecoms, e.g.)

Now, consumers can decide what they think is fair for the seller to have, regardless of the seller's wishes, needs, or financial health. While we're at it, we might as well make it legal (or at least morally A-OK) to run out of a retail joint with a physical object, leaving only the manufacturing costs behind.

"Profit" is a cost of manufacture; as Adam Smith so astutely pointed out, what we call 'profit' should rightly be called 'cost of capital', as it is normally either returned to shareholders who stumped up the capital, re-invested in staying competitive or some combination of the two. If companies didn't 'profit' they'd have no way to pay for capital and hence no company.

Paying the manufacturing cost is not simple; do you pay for the raw materials, the raw materials+cost of capital of machinery, raw materials+cost of labour, raw materials+cost of capital+cost of labour+cost of distribution? When you account for all the costs you have paid the market price.

I'm basically agreeing with you, but refining your argument.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132297)

Essentially it shows that the price of software is not a major reason behind piracy. Pirating a five dollar game? I wonder if there is a threshold for pirates? I suspect some do it for the fun of it, the "fame" of being first to do it. Still it blows my mind that people would pirate an iPhone app, let alone a cheap one.

You're right, the cost doesn't matter. The step from "no cost" to "some cost" is infinitely bigger than the step from "some cost" to "higher cost".

If I owned an iPhone I likely would never buy stuff from the Appstore, especially if it required me to use a credit card ('cause I don't have a credit card). It doesn't matter to me if the game costs â5 or â50; I would only play games that were â0.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133177)

If I owned an iPhone I likely would never buy stuff from the Appstore, especially if it required me to use a credit card ('cause I don't have a credit card). It doesn't matter to me if the game costs $5 or $50; I would only play games that were $0.

Emphasis mine. That is the crux of the matter. To even get a FREE app, one needs an iTunes account, which needs, yes you guessed it, a credit card (or some form of payment means)

This is probably why Android Market has a better chance, as free stuff are downloadable without the need to register a credit card.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133513)

To even get a FREE app, one needs an iTunes account, which needs, yes you guessed it, a credit card (or some form of payment means)

If you're using an iPhone, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that you already have an iTunes account set up and linked to the phone. Frankly, I don't know anyone that has the phone but not an iTunes account linked to it...the phone's not worth much without it, so I wouldn't see the point (the tiny group of jailbreakers aside).

The fact that you only need to punch in your iTunes password to make a purchase is exactly what makes the iPhone a viable marketplace for paid games, I don't think it's particularly hurting anything.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

Skrynkelberg (910137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132489)

It's not about the cost. It's all about how easy it is to obtain the app via different distribution channels.

People do what is easiest for them. By now, people have so much experience searching for and downloading torrents that they can do it in their sleep. Why then bother with going to a store, having to login and bring up your credit card, when the other path is faster and more familiar?

I'm not defending piracy here, but stores have quite an uphill battle.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132685)

You think setting up bittorrent is easier than clicking buy on the appstore?

Bittorrent is *hard* for non-geeks who think port forwarding is something that boats do. Hell, I've yet to meet a non-geek who even knew what it is.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132891)

that's inaccurate at best. all you have to do is install a client, like Azureus, and download the .torrent file, execute it, and Az takes over, asks you where to save it, and all that good stuff.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (5, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133043)

Your post is completely inaccurate. When I first looked to get a P2P client, I spent HOURS reading up on how it worked. Five or six years later, I still don't understand what a "seed" is, or why some files take 3 days to download, while others of the same size download in two minutes. The real boon to legitimate stores is the complexity and shaky quality of P2P clients. Most of the time it's just easier to click on iTunes and pay $9 than it is to weed through the fifth or sixth copy off of P2P that is labeled by a third grade dyslexic moron, or a song recorded off the radio in a bathroom with a 1984 Sony Walkman.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133599)

Why would non-geeks have to even worry about port forwarding? Any decent home NAT box will support UPnP so the torrent app (if it is any good) will just automatically configure port forwarding for them. I haven't had to manually forward ports to my bittorrent clients or gnutella clients in years.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

linhux (104645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133503)

Buying something from the App Store is nothing like the hassle you describe - at most you have to enter your iTunes Store password at purchase time (once you have an iTunes Store account, that is, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of iPhone and iPod Touch users have). It's much easier than jailbreaking your iPhone and installing a copy from a third-party source.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132619)

If it is a true pirate site, e.g. you can actualy download it (not a torrent) then most likely it is about either advertisement hits or installing unwanted software on your machine or both.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (2, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132641)

Essentially it shows that the price of software is not a major reason behind piracy.

Sometimes - maybe most of the time - not even the desire to use the software is a major reason behind piracy. The people doing most of the downloading are simply hoarding, and most of the stuff that they grab ends up in a stack of DVDs along with hundreds of gigabytes of other stuff that will never see the light of day.

This kind of piracy is economically irrelevant. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132787)

"This kind of piracy is economically irrelevant. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Hold on lemme check Tree.app for the answer.

Obiously Jobs doesnt even use an iphone!! (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132805)

because if he did, he would get pissed of at the mail app too.

UNLESS, he can afford to use his personal $$$, to pay apple engineers to add his own techy nerd features, to his id#1 iphone that is 100% unlocked or has a 'VIP' section on istore.

Mmmmm Seriously, its not hard to make a VIP section, two - i bet its done, three, I bet he sells those accounts for $5k a pop to his Fortune 500 buddies.

Oh and then theres the UltraVIP NSA accounts, using their specially hand soldered 512GIG iphones with dual battery & sat mode with 1024bit AES secure talk mode.

Money can buy anything. Especially if the DHS calls.

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132999)

I wonder if there is a threshold for pirates?

By the very definition of pirate: no. They have hording disorder. They download stuff they'll never use (that's why it isn't illegal, because they would have never paid for it in the first place, gawsh, don't you read slashdot!)

Re:Very surprised and disappointed (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133271)

The real problem I see is that he lost among the clutter.

In other words if you are thinking about starting iPhone development now you are almost certainly too late.

Re:Piracy... (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132677)

5 hours after the first sale, it appeared on the warez sites. Man that's got to suck. It's a shame the thieving cunts don't realise that with most of the App Store stuff they pirate that it's usually only a one man band behind it.

As the title summary says, "everyone is familiar with the story of the iPhone developer who spends two weeks of spare time making a game that goes on to make them hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The developer writes software to make money, the pirate pirates for whatever reason. As a software developer, I wish it was a straightforward path of writing software to making money but it's not.

Any other industry, it's the same thing. For any one thing that is right, there are a thousand things that can go wrong. You can't just waltz in and expect to make money. There are pirates, there are contracts, there are barriers, there are always something.

Maybe the pirates give the developer the benefit of the doubt and think they wrote it to make the world a better place. Maybe the pirates are just filling in the unspoken role of getting the work out there.

Re:Piracy... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132775)

It's a shame the thieving cunts don't realise that with most of the App Store stuff they pirate that it's usually only a one man band behind it.

What's the cutoff before it becomes okay for people to pirate?

10 people company? 40 people?

Piracy sucks all the way around, not just for the little guy.

Re:Piracy... (1)

drewvr6 (1400341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133073)

Interesting that when it's Apple products it's called "thieving". For DVDs, music and other digital content it's just sticking it to the man. Rationalization can free you from any constraints.

Re:Piracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133157)

It's not about price, it's about morality. Information wants to be free. Preventing it from being so is amoral.

The 3 rules of dumb of indie sales (2)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132077)

1. The pirates will like your game.
2. Going first page on a website or list, has a direct effect on sales.
3. Dev's buy/play other dev's games/tools. Dev's are cool people to dev for.

Crappy color matching game. (5, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132083)

What, a company makes YET ANOTHER crappy color matching game, and people are ASTONISHED they don't get rich?

What are they honestly expecting? If all you're going to do is repeat, for the nth time, yet another basic, basic, simple crappy puzzle game, you ARE NOT going to make much cash, or get much recognition.

Why is that a story? Just because it's an 'Apple's App Store' thing?

Release a crappy color matching puzzle game onto the web at large, and they'll probably do worse.

Gets right down to the most basic of basics: if you're not going to put the effort in, don't expect to get rewarded.

In terms of the story - make yet another crappy duplicate of yet another crappy puzzle game, become yet another crappy also-ran.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132203)

What are they honestly expecting? If all you're going to do is repeat, for the nth time, yet another basic, basic, simple crappy puzzle game, you ARE NOT going to make much cash, or get much recognition.

Maybe it's an example program in the development framework?

At least he's not writing about how his "Hello World!" program is selling.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (5, Insightful)

vrai (521708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132315)

While the parent poster has clearly had too much coffee, the overall point made is valid. There are so many colour/pattern matching games available it's no surprise that this one failed to make an impact. It must be disappointing for the author, but he has to be honest with himself as to whether the game is actually any good and if there's any space in market for it at the chosen price point.

Obviously it would have been better if these questions had been asked and researched before spending six months and thirty-two grand on development; but what's done is done.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (5, Interesting)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132427)

I would be forced to agree as well. To sell well in the app store you have to first find what it doesn't have a lot of, and then make it better.

I know the guy who wrote Countdown, and he said that on release there was only 1 other app that did anything close, which had been submitted to the app store just days before his. My friend did it better, so his app sells more than the other guy's.

Contrasting this to games, which are a dime a dozen on the app store. While Dapple does appear to be better, what makes it warrant a $5 price, other than your development costs? What makes me, as the consumer, want to spend $4.99? I could buy 5 $0.99 games and play those for an hour or two each rather than buy a game for $4.99 and get 6 hours out of it.

The Dapple Lite idea is great, especially if you market it as either a free demo or a $0.99 app and offer an upgrade path (I'm not an iphone dev so I'm not sure what restrictions there are for doing stuff like that)

Disclaimer: I don't have an iTouch or iPhone; just know a dozen guys who do.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132797)

I must add that after writing my own Crappy color matching game for the iPhone over 2 weekends, the costs of the application seems extremely high. At this rate the contractor he hired must have been Halliburton.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (3, Interesting)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133317)

Agreed. I love my new iPod Touch and I'm desperate to find some good games for it, but so far, only Zen Bound has been worth more than 5 minutes of my time. Honestly folks, colour-matching games are not "good". Games you can play for free online through Flash applets are not worth paying for. The iPhone platform needs DS-calibre games.

What we really need is a new version of Civilization, Master of Orion, or Sim City (and not the aging Sim City 2000 port that is currently available).

unles the game has boobies. (3, Funny)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132845)

Match 1000 boobies to 1000 faces app.

I doubt apple would approve of this app.

Easy to code, but an effort to put together the media.

Re:Crappy color matching game. (1)

ventonegro (181739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133013)

Some people really must read the Blue Ocean Strategy book.

Costs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132085)

Dapple took me about 6 months to make and had a budget of roughly $32,000 USD

6 months? 32,000?

What happened to people making games like this in their spare time for fun and maybe getting ad revenue on their website. What kind of a person earning a living (ie. exlcuding rich children, who as far as I can tell make up a substantial portion of the iPhone userbase btw) would pay for this type of entertainment?

Re:Costs (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132707)

Seems a bit unlikely, but he says he paid contractors to do it.. that tells me he's not a programmer - a phone based puzzle game doesn't require multiple developers (and I'd love to know how they stretched development time to 6 months). So the project is paying at least two people, one of whom isn't actually doing any coding - effectively deadweight - and it goes on for far too long... and they wonder why it fails to make a profit. This isn't unique to the appstore, the world of business is full of ideas that failed in the same way. Hell, I've worked on a few...

Re:Costs (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132883)

Seems a bit unlikely, but he says he paid contractors to do it.. that tells me he's not a programmer - a phone based puzzle game doesn't require multiple developers (and I'd love to know how they stretched development time to 6 months)

Except TFA indicates that he is a programmer:

[...]paying myself a very small salary (akin to what I made as a junior front-end programmer when I first started in the industry).

Having not seen the game, I can only speculate on what contractors might have done. Perhaps a nice-looking splash screen, and he's not a graphic designer? Maybe a custom bit of music? Maybe he did share some of the coding?

Re:Costs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132837)

For comparison's sake, Braid cost 180,000$ and took 3 years of development, exactly 6x as Dapple.

- Is Dapple 1/6 as good as Braid? I wonder... subjective as these things are, I'm gonna hazard that a color-matching puzzle isn't 1/6 as original as Braid was.

- Did the dev spent at least 1/6 as much effort promoting his game as Jonathan Blow? Whatever you may think of him, he made damn sure everybody knew about Braid.

- At $15, perhaps 1.5x as much as the average XBLA game, Braid was criticized for being too expensive. Dapple goes for roughly 5x the average iPhone game, so...

Finally, I'm working on an iPhone game myself, on my spare time but with a full-time paid programmer. The 32,000$ budget sounds crazy expensive to me, as does the development time. The quality and fun factor of my game will be for others to judge, but I can at least say that it is far more unique than Dapple, is probably more complex a program than it, and has much better graphics than pretty much any puzzle on the iPhone. And I'll be pricing it on the $1-$2 range.

Re:Costs (1)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132875)

Why is it OK for everyone to expect programmers to work for free, but not graphic artists? Programming is tedious, hard work, that few people are able to do at all, and even fewer are able to do well. Expecting to be paid for performing work that other people find useful is the rule, not the exception.

Re:Costs (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133413)

Why is it OK for everyone to expect programmers to work for free, but not graphic artists? Programming is tedious, hard work, that few people are able to do at all, and even fewer are able to do well. Expecting to be paid for performing work that other people find useful is the rule, not the exception.

I've worked for an artist who had an idea and wrote for him programs to do things that he couldn't do for himself. I get a pay check, he gets the fame. That's how it works. If I wanted to turn the relationship around it would be him that got the paycheck and me that got the fame.

All of this presumes the project is successful. More often it fails. So the guy who gets the paycheck is smart. The one that "works for free" is the one taking the risk on the vision, his payday may never come... or he may become wealthy because he held out. That's the breaks.

The programmer is more likely to be the guy with a novel idea for software so what you see is more likely to be the programmer taking the risk. That's all. I've seen artists take risks too... and fail miserably. The fact is that the ideas that artists have usually don't require much in the way of novel software.

Re:Costs (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133037)

Tried it. Couldn't even get signed up for the program. After getting turned down for the fourth time for 'not having a complete web site' I decided it was an urban legend or a game you had to know someone to get into.

Re:Costs (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133083)

Rich kids make up the user base of a phone that costs the same or less than pretty much every other phone on the market? A $199 phone qualifies somebody as rich. I have two iPhones...I'm rich bitches!

Re:Costs (1)

enHatt (1283014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133543)

Then I know just the iPhone app for you.

Sadly, it was removed because it was too easy to buy for people who wasn't actually all that rich to begin with, so I suspect you'll have to torrent it.

Try this one: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4359111/390_Cracked_iPhone_iPod_Touch_IPA_s_-_Pr0x [thepiratebay.org]

Color me shocked (5, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132119)

The reality is that with the App Store now hosting over 25,000 apps, the competition is fierce. While it's true that a few select apps are making developers rich, the reality is that most apps don't make a lot of money.

And how is that different from what happens IRL (or, as the cool cats are calling it now, AFK)? You enter a market, develop a product and compete with hundreds or thousands of similar offers. A couple will succeed, some will get by and most will flunk and disappear in its own mediocrity (averageness, ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding).

That is not the "[r]ealities of Selling On Apple's App Store", that's the reality of selling. People will copy your idea and sell. People will copy your product look and feel. The toughest ones will survive, the rest won't, but maybe will make enough money to keep the viability of their business choice. Or not. At all.

Re:Color me shocked (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132273)

Part of the difference, though the AppStore is not the only example of this, is that you can get in on the action with minimal effort. Blogs are similar in this respect. You end up with a large amount of mediocrity but if they're having fun then as far as I can see they have still succeeded.

If I were to start a business that would require resources on top of my time and effort. With this the resources are minimal so I've only wasted time and effort. If I feel like it I can keep doing so without major loss.

How is this different to any other market? (4, Insightful)

theolein (316044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132205)

The iPhone software market, like it or hate it, is like any other market. There is competition and only a few are successful. It's no different to the Windows software market or the Mac software market in this this.

Re:How is this different to any other market? (1)

drewvr6 (1400341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133105)

Capitalism is not soft and fluffy. It is hard and sharp-edged. Better to teach a person their mistakes when it is mis-handled.

Mobile Phone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132223)

Ts, kids these days. I don't even have a mobile phone and I can't think of any situation where I was ever in need of one. If you're so busy that you need a mobile phone, you should already have a secretary that keeps track of all communications and your schedule for you. Nobody needs a mobile phone except a few kids that have too much time to kill.

It's not astroturfing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132229)

it's slashvertising.

Fix the tags!

Anonymous Coward (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132245)

and it seems slashdotted now. does anyone have a mirror? :)

Perceived value (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132293)

I don't have an iPhone, but from the description and reviews, Dapple looks like a dinky little fun time-killer app. There are loads of such games, at least on other mobile platforms, and looks like on iPhone too, quite a few of them great fun, and many very cheap. Meanwhile for PC I just bought Sid Meier's Civilization III Complete on Steam for £2.99 (about $4.20) - a great edition of one of the greatest games of it's type ever. So I'd say the guy's $5 valuation is way out of whack. Dinky little time-killer games of that sort will never be worth more than a token payment to me (like $1), if anything. No matter how much fun it is, it's inherently replaceable, and therefore of limited value. Expecting to get rich selling such games on iPhone is just wishful thinking unless you get hugely lucky.

Re:Perceived value (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132361)

Often people expect to get simple little puzzle games as part of their phone OS, not having to pay for it. Plenty of people will play them occasionally to pass the time if they're already on the phone but won't pay for it if it's not. Some will pay but the value will be limited; $5 does seem rather optimistic for this type of title.

If that basic thought process ain't enough to dry your market river to a trickle, we're going through a fuckin' recession right now, people ain't throwing money around on little things like this as they maybe would have a few years ago, they have all sorts of demands on their income, with everything rising in price and their jobs potentially on the line. People are holding onto their cash, holding on for bargains and sales to make planned purchases of essential goods, not buying stuff on a whim that they may only play from time to time; or even forget they even have installed.

Are these games DRM'd? With it being Apple I'd suspect the answer would be yes. If so, can the game be transferred to a new phone if they replace it, or are people expected to buy the game again at that point?

Re:Perceived value (3, Insightful)

PeeShootr (949875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132943)

I couldn't agree more! When you see really amazing games on the iPhone like Zen Bound for $5, how can this developer expect to get $5 for a silly color matching game? If there weren't a ton of others like this for free or $0.99 I could understand, but that is not the case! The dev needs a dose of reality and then needs to drop the price.

Re:Perceived value (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133133)

You are making the mistake of valuing something compared to something else (not unexpected from the slashdot community...very logical after all). The real value in a Steam game or an iPhone App, or a Best Buy cable, or a Brand-X Widget, is what the consumer will pay. This mistake of saying "product A costs 3x as much as product B but is only 2x as good" is the root of every Mac vs. PC argument on the planet (usually by the overly logical PC guy who can't see past his overly logical logic of why anybody would spend $1200 on a computer).

article text (1, Informative)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132329)

The Numbers Post (aka Brutal Honesty)
March 9th, 2009

I will freely admit, I've been avoiding writing this article. In fact, as I type this, I'm still not sure that it's something that I want to do. However, again, I come back to that damn promise I made when I started this whole thing about being open and honest. Curse me and my big mouth! I also stated just over a week ago that I would write up on my numbers, so now I stand (sit typing) before you to reveal "The Numbers Post (aka Brutal Honesty)".

Dapple

If you've been reading the blog then you know that I released my first iPhone game, Dapple, to the App Store on Feb 13, 2009. The game sells for $4.99 in Canada and the U.S. and at corresponding prices throughout the world.

Dapple is a colour-matching puzzle game based around the idea of mixing paint colours to make new colours. I feel like the gameplay is innovative and new, but rests on top of a solidly proven genre. Critical reviews seem to support this hypothesis, many calling out the fact that they were expecting "just another match-3 game", but instead found themselves completely hooked on a game with an innovative gameplay mechanic that works.

Costs

I did a presentation for the 360|iDev conference on creating an iPhone game. If you've read it, then you've seen my "conclusions" section that had some numbers. Dapple took me about 6 months to make and had a budget of roughly $32,000 USD. That budget includes: paying my contractors, business expenses incurred during the 6 months of development, and paying myself a very small salary (akin to what I made as a junior front-end programmer when I first started in the industry).

Royalties

Apple's deal is this: for every sale, Apple keeps 30% and you get 70%. So for a sale of $4.99, I make $3.50. That's made in the currency where the app was sold, so I make more money when someone from the U.S. buys my game than someone from Canada. If you're in Canada, it's actually cheaper for you to buy the game than for an American, since it only costs your $4.99 Canadian.

If you do the math, you can see that I need to sell about 9,150 units in the U.S. before I break even on Dapple.

Reviews

Again, if you've been reading the blog then you've seen the excellent reviews the game has been getting. People who play the game tend to really enjoy it. Every review I've had so far has been extremely positive. I even managed to get a review from Kotaku, which is a very large gaming blog. It was the Kotaku review that led many people to start asking me about sales numbers, assuming that I must have seen a massive increase in sales.

However, I haven't had reviews yet from any of the "Big 3" iPhone review sites (Touch Arcade, 148Apps, and AppVee). Those are the ones that I think might really affect sales.

Sales Data

This is what you're here for: the numbers. Here's a graph (done in AppViz) of revenue (the y-axis is dollars, not number of sales) I've made world-wide from sales of Dapple since it went live (all funds in Canadian Dollars):
Dapple Revenue Graph

Dapple Revenue Graph

I've marked four important data points:

First Sale - This was the first sale of the game, made maybe an hour after the game went live. I suspect this was purchased by an app cracker. Dapple was cracked and uploaded to pirate sites less than 5 hours after it went live. This was the only sale prior to that. So thanks, Mr./Mrs. Cracker, you were my first sale! On the topic of pirating/cracking: I have no idea how many pirated copies of Dapple are being played right now. I don't track metrics like that, although I should perhaps start.

Launch Day - This was the first day Dapple was on sale. Many of these purchases would have been friends of mine buying the game. Many other sales will have come from my app being in the "New" apps list, as other devs tell me that appearing in any list on the App Store helps sales significantly. By the end of the third day my app wasn't on the front page of newly released puzzle or family games anymore.

Kotaku Review - This was the day that the Kotaku review went live. The review had about 5,500 views on Kotaku.com (not including RSS readers). I had about 55 people click through to my website. I had about 12 sales that I can attribute to the Kotaku review. So a high profile review like one on Kotaku resulted in a ~0.3% conversion rate. Still, that's 12 sales I probably wouldn't have had, otherwise, so hooray!

360iDev Presentation - This was completely unexpected. I had a lot of people come up to me after my presentation and tell me that they had bought a copy of Dapple! I was thrilled that people were so supportive. The iPhone developer community really is an amazing and wonderful group of people. I really appreciate the fact that so many people bought my game. Thank you!

Overall Sales Data

Dapple has sold 131 copies worldwide in the 24 days since it launched. I realise that I'm dealing with a very limited amount of data here, so I'm not going to pretend like I can make any kind of long term projections about how sales will be in a month, six months, or a year. However, what you can see is how far from my goal of 9,150 I remain. So…

What's Next?

I have some ideas up my sleeve that I'm not ready to talk about yet. Those things will have to wait for another day.

One thing I will mention is this: I submitted Dapple Lite to the App Store for review this morning. With a little luck it should be live by the end of the week. I think that at my $4.99 price-point a lot of people are hesitant to buy the game, even after reading a great review. I'm hoping that the Lite version will show people how great the game is and I hope that they will then buy Dapple. Once Dapple Lite has been available for a few weeks I'll revisit the numbers and see if I can draw any conclusions about that.

In Conclusion

I hope that this article might serve as a counter-point to the articles that seem to go around the web about devs making hundreds of thousands of dollars off an iPhone app. Everyone within the dev community understands that the odds of that happening are very slim, yet those are the stories that people like to hear. As I said, I was hesitant to post anything about Dapple in a less than stellar light, but at the end of the day, if I were a publicly traded company, I'd have to make this kind of information available anyway. I hope that it might serve to help set realistic expectations for other developers.

I remain convinced that there is money to be made on the App Store, but I suspect we'll see fewer and fewer stories about people getting suddenly very rich. My hope is that we'll start seeing more developers putting out quality titles in the hopes of gradually growing a sustainable business.

Owen

Re:article text (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132429)

You realize this entire post is useless without pics?

Re:article text (5, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132653)

If you do the math, you can see that I need to sell about 9,150 units in the U.S. before I break even on Dapple.

Then he should have done the maths before spending time developing the app, and either not bothered or worked out a way to reduce costs. Only a few apps get wildly successful and make everyone rich. Budgeting for over 1000 sales on a simple puzzle game running on a single platform is fantasy land.

Re:article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133077)

I agree in general with your assessment, however calling it fantasy land is a bit of an over-simplification. It's fantasy land now, especially with apparently little to no PR effort put in. If this thing came out in the first month of the app store, 1000 sales would have been quite realistic and probably severely underestimating the results. I'm not quite sure what sales he could have expected six months ago, but it may have been realistic then too.

This guy appears to have made several huge mistakes, mostly resulting from a poor understanding of an evolving market and also likely from wasting resources (though he doesn't break down his budget, which makes me wonder how much of it is his own salary).

That written, some of the problem is also due to the App Store. App Store sales are overwhelmingly influenced by an application's placement on the app store, which is a result of the App Store doing a poor job of helping customers find applications that interest them. Hell, as far as I can tell, you can't even do a text search of only items in the App Store using iTunes - you get music and video results, too. By having the app store be such a poor conduit connecting consumers with products, Apple is hurting themselves along with everyone else involved in the purchasing of iPhone/iPod Touch applications. Better targeted results would mean more sales, happier customers, and a more predictable source of income for developers. Making success so largely dependent on apps being in a top ten sales list or an editor's choice pick is an atrocious and erratic way of encouraging and rewarding developers.

Re:article text (1)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133671)

Budgeting for over 1000 sales on a simple puzzle game running on a single platform is fantasy land.

Particularly at $5 a pop with no free version to try out...

"Everyone" knows that simple iPhone games have to be $1 or nobody will buy them, and that's doubly true when a cursory look at the game indicates that it's exactly the same color matching game that has been released a hundred times already on the store.

turfing (5, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132393)

I refer to my post yesterday [slashdot.org] .

Seems it's more than a day, it's a week. This is paid-for-bashing at its worst.

Seriously:

In a blog post I take a hard look at the first 24 days of sales data for the first game, Dapple, from Streaming Colour Studios

You take a "hard look" at one game. And a game, to boot. You might have noticed that the "games" category is by far the largest, thus the fiercest market.

A friend of mine is an iPhone game developer. He's got three games and four or so small apps in the app store. He's not a millionaire, but from what I hear there's a steady stream of good income. That's seven times the data points of TFA, and still I wouldn't dare to claim that as "the norm".

surprise (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132401)

While it's true that a few select apps are making developers rich, the reality is that most apps don't make a lot of money.

What a surprise. Not so different from the real world, is it? Where every now and then, some idea goes big and makes someone rich, and for every one such lucky guy, there's a thousand whose ideas never work out.

What's even the story here? "Some products sell real well, most sell average"? Why not take it further? "Bell curve distribution confirmed for the 4,000th time!"? :-)

Just the beginning, folks (5, Informative)

garote (682822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132435)

The important thing to take away from this writeup is the fact that, after the author gave a presentation about his game in front of a crowd, he instantly made a handful of sales.

Anyone relying on (or griping about) their position in the App Store listings as an unfair arbiter of their sales needs to account for that simple phenomenon. There is a world outside the app store; a world that must be reached.

Compare it to other media forms: What sells movies? The position of their name on the marquee? No. TV trailers, signage, radio spots, web ads, product tie-ins...

What sells books? Their relative position on the shelf? Not usually. Interviews, book tours, reviews, a good name...

Without real advertising, iPhone devs are beholden to blind chance when they post their app in the store. The only reason a handful of them have become rich is because they are/were pioneers exploring a shiny new UI and form factor. These rags-to-riches stories will fade away, and the usual approach, of advertising in and around established channels, will reassert itself.

Also keep in mind that this is a PLATFORM, and it will move and expand, leaving obsolescence in its wake. Like any good platform game, you need to run and jump to keep up.

Re:Just the beginning, folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27132681)

Mod parent up

Re:Just the beginning, folks (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132763)

The important thing to remember is this.

If you make something people will not MAGICALLY come to your door. you have to market it. Secondly, if you are dumb and paid out a large amount of cash to have a game designed and are disappointed that you did not make all that money back instantly (first 60 days is considered instantly) then you know absolutely nothing about business.

The guys problem is that he knows nothing about business at all. And he is looking to blame everything else for his own failure to fully research and market his idea.

Re:Just the beginning, folks (1)

NeilBright (1496151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133343)

Say no more!

Re:Just the beginning, folks (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133391)

Well, there's a difference between effective marketing, and pity sales because you just gave a speech, and the wealthy (by world standards) members of the audience threw you five bucks as an attaboy.

There is a world outside the app store

Well, sorta. It's still all iPhone users, though, which is a world in itself.

No surprise (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132449)

Wow, a color matching game. How incredibly groundbreaking. And it's only selling for five times the minimum application price. Sorry, but the value isn't there for a game of this simplicity. I've got two games under development, both immensely more complex than this, that I will sell for at most half the price.

So my appraisal:
1) Clone of a clone of a clone of the color matching / bubble popping games that can be written in less than a week. No surprise people aren't jumping up and down with excitement, or going out and buying iPhones so they can play this game.

2) Price is way, way too high for this game.

I do thank the author for his concise summary of sales though.

Re:No surprise (2, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132767)

Wow, a color matching game. How incredibly groundbreaking. And it's only selling for five times the minimum application price. Sorry, but the value isn't there for a game of this simplicity. I've got two games under development, both immensely more complex than this, that I will sell for at most half the price.

Although I wish you good luck with your two games, I don't think so directly correlating complexity and success is wise. Plenty of junk applications sell very well, and I'd argue that was more about pricing and image than complexity and quality.

I think the authors blog entry is a useful reminder that the app store isn't a way to print money, and that spending large amounts of cash on developing for it should be considered very carefully.

Re:No surprise (4, Interesting)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133005)

The more complex the app, the more time and money it takes to bring it to market; which means the more money you need to make to break even, let alone start to make a profit. This is always going to tempt you to overvalue your app and turn potential buyers away because it's too expensive; which in turn adds to your woes. By comparison a simple, novel app which is quick to develop can turn a profit much quicker, at a cheaper price tag, which may bring in additional casual buyers.

All creative people have the problem of being too close to the subject to see it the way others do. If you've had the idea for something, spend weeks mulling over the details, working out how to bring it to life, then months of hard work actually turning it into something you have an emotional attachment to it. People who come across the final product don't have that attachment; all they have is another product on a shelf trying to attract their wallets. What you may see as novel, buyers may see as yet another clone with the twist so subtle that they don't see it, to don't give it a try to get a chance to see it. What you may find fun and addictive may bore people because it lacks something you can't see because you're too attached to it. Others can have a quick game of something and dismiss it as "meh", while you spent months of work on it. This is something all creative people have to accept as just part of the job. One man's trash is another man's treasure. You have to hook people REALLY fast to get them to stay with your product long enough to even start to appreciate it. If the screenshots look like a clone of an old idea with the twist not explained in a way that grabs them it'll often be skipped over.....specially if you charge too much for it.

I wonder how many developers only plan on making one game and sticking their entire career on it. The music and movie industry seem hell bent on legalizing that model with extensions to copyright laws. I'd imagine that most developers would release a game, then start working on another; unless their creativity does not match their coding abilities and they only have one good idea in them and have just released it....and wondering why the masses ain't bringing down the App Store servers with sales requests. I'd imagine (like any other creative career) that it's a cumulative sales of many titles which makes their living. Games you made 3 years ago may still sell a few copies a month in addition to the 3 or 4 others released since. Does an author stop getting paid royalties on a book after they release a new book? Of course not, it may not be a best seller but they still get paid for each sale.

Re:No surprise (2, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133349)

i don't know about iphone, but such a game comes free with windows mobile :-b

Need feedback for LexLook! (1)

xenodium (1496067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132671)

This is where I may get grilled for posting about my own app... I've released a reference app called LexLook! Yes, there are a ton of them available, but none allow users to upload their own references and share with other users. It currently has an English dictionary, recipes, cocktails, country codes, etc. The application is currently free. I'm not sure what I'll do about pricing yet. I more interested in getting feedback at the moment and seeing how the application evolves. If you got an iPhone, give LexLook! a try. I'd love to get constructive feedback. See our page below to send us comments. Thanks, Alvaro

Re:Need feedback for LexLook! (1)

xenodium (1496067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132733)

ah yeah, our page is: http://xenodium.com [xenodium.com]

Re:Need feedback for LexLook! (4, Insightful)

FrkyD (545855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132925)

THIS is the reason many apps aren't selling.

Look, the appstore is the market, not the advertising channel. Having a market available has simplified the process of getting your app to the user, and made it easier for users to find apps, but that is it. Compared to what things used to be like with Windows Mobile Apps and Symbian, it's a lot easier for me as a user to find what i am looking for, and the process of purchasing is a dream compared to anything in the past for any computing platform I have had.

But!

I still have to find out about your app. Which means YOU still have to market it. That isn't Apples job. I rarely rely on the whats hot tabs in the app store. I use references from other web sites, from searches, and from reviews. If you aren't out there doing your best to make sure someone else actually sees and talks about you app, then you have no reason to bitch.

Uless you consider bitching part of your marketing as the article poster seems to do. I am sure it might work, but considering the fact that he overpriced his app, and also seemed to overspend on something that couldn't reasonably recoup the cash makes me more likely to not by his game.

And you Mr. Xenodium, despite getting some points for highjacking a thread to sell your app, lose points for not even linking to it in you initial post. If all of the whiney app developers are as incompetent in marketing as you two, it's amazing they have managed any sales at all...

Slashdotted? Here's a cache URL (1)

toolz (2119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132887)

The original article is slashdotted. Here's a cached copy [74.125.47.132] .

Re:Slashdotted? Here's a cache URL (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133141)

The original article is slashdotted. Here's a cached copy [74.125.47.132] .

Thanks. It's a 403 error someone may have been forced to pull the article. That could be either due to load or being too frank.

403 Error - Forbidden (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27132979)

The RA doesn't seem to be accessible.

$0.99 apps aren't serious (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133597)

Here's a thought: most iPhone/iPodTouch apps are too cheap. How much performance do buyers seriously expect for a buck? and do developers really expect someone to pay even a buck for such lousy performance?

A recent /. story addressed the "killer app" BulletFlight. Currently it is selling for $11.99 - rather high, relatively speaking, for an iPhone app. The author is planning to raise the price into the hundreds of dollars, reflecting both the price of equivalent top-grade PC applications, the standard price of tools and accessories it will typically be used with, and the sheer convenience of using a tiny iPod instead of lugging around a laptop.

As time passes and developers start creating REAL applications - relatively robust video/audio/photo editing, detailed special-purpose apps, etc. - the prices will go up. Personal computers had cheap crappy software too in the early days of the IBM PC and Windows, much of it "buy it cheap, use it once, shelve it 'cuz it's crap". Ditto iPod apps: right now it's easy to make cheezy apps that might actually sell; give developers some time, and we'll see worthwhile apps - at profitable prices.

Free Market, Baby (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133681)

The apple store is a great example of the free market at work.

The daily whines here at slashdot don't change that.

Fierce competition is the sign of a WORKING market, not one that's broken.

Compare the 30% cut you give apple to the 80% cut you'll give a distributor and store in the real world.

I have yet to see a single useful app developed for the "open" G1 that isn't available on the iPhone because some API's are "closed".

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