We've all heard horror stories about Apple's "draconian" control over the iOS App Store for years, but if developer Shifty Jelly is to be believed, and as the old saying goes, Apple ain't got nothing on Amazon.
Amazon’s biggest feature by far, has been their Free App Of The Day promotion. Publicly their terms say that they pay developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free. To both consumers and naive developers alike, this seems like a big chance to make something rare in the Android world: real money. But here’s the dirty secret Amazon don’t want you to know, they don’t pay developers a single cent.
So it's not that they exchange marketing (getting on their features list) for money (getting zero for your app), but that they're not up front about it before hand. But that's not all, in addition to Apple-like lengthy review periods, Amazon takes it upon themselves to set or reset a developer's price, re-write their descriptions, provides fewer reports, and pays later than Google does for the Android Market proper.
This, of course, comes as no surprise to anyone who's ever dealt with Amazon from an author/publisher point of view. They've always made Apple look easy going by comparison. What will be interesting is how developers, media, and enthusiasts respond. They and we, rightly, gave Apple hell in 2008/2009 for their App Store policies. Given the especially harsh contrast between Amazon's policies for their Android Appstore, and Google's policies for the "openy" Android Market, there will be every bit as much outrage directed Amazon's in 2011, right?
Check out the link below for all of Shifty Jelly's cautionary tale...
[Shifty Jelly, thanks Seth!]