Gizmodo has an interesting post up on Apple's iPhone App Store, and how it might be headed straight down the road to oblivion. Their basic take is that downward price pressure, users conditioned by iTunes to expect $1 songs and $2 TV shows, Apple recommending (and wanting) cheaper prices, high development costs with low chances for visibility, all combine to put iPhone (and iPod touch) development on the endangered species list. Further, yesterday's announcement of in-app purchase for free apps, they argue, makes things like the Top Lists nebulous going forward.
And it doesn't just apply to the iPhone:
don't forget, Palm and Android fans, this App Store Effect sends ripples well beyond the App Store. Customers expect to see functionally identical apps priced the same way across platforms, because to us, that's what makes sense. Can devs really afford to port an app to the webOS to sell to the tens of thousands of Pre owners, when they're expected to tag it with iPhone prices, calculated for a base of millions? Whether by Apple's design or totally by accident, everyone who doesn't own an iPhone will suffer for it.
Some would argue the market can correct for anything. If premium developers leave in frustration, users will tire of CrApps, a premium developer will sense the voice, fill it, make a killing, and other premium developers will flock back. Others believe Apple controls the market and so it's their job to make it as good a market for developers -- and ultimately users -- as possible through proper policies and procedures (BlackBerry, for example, won't allow paid apps under $2.99 into the App World).
We've all discussed this a lot in the past, and no doubt will continue to discuss it moving forward, but give Giz's article a read and let us know what you think.