State of the Apps: PCalc Hits 1.2, Dirty Tactics, and a Warning to Developers: Charge More for Apps!
TiPb has been exploring issues surrounding the App Store, especially how developers can earn a living, the various attempts to market apps in a sporting manner, as well the gaming and foul play going on.
I think we got off to a bad start last time with version 1.1. It was my fault entirely. I came out with this big release I'd spent months on, sent out my press releases, and not a soul ran a story with the exception of that nice Mr Gruber fellow [Although TiPb did run an interview -- thanks again, James!]. Sales were quite poor and we both said some things we regretted in the morning.
But I understand, don't worry. You're tired of the deluge of iPhone press releases, and everything you see just starts to look the same after a while. I didn't do anything to make it an interesting read and, let's face it, I'm kind of fighting a losing battle with a calculator which - I'll be the first to admit - is next to the flashlights and to-do list apps in terms of reaching saturation point on the store.
Not quite. I rock PCalc on my iPhone, with narry a flashlight in sight!
While PCalc chose humor, some others have gone decidedly darker...
Another recent TiPb interviewee, Yellow Pages (iTunes link), has a negative review plastered to the top of their app from someone (iTunes link) who also negatively reviewed a White Pages app, recommending instead the competition (which is "part of the new AT&T"). Strangely, over on phonescoop.com, that userid turns up stating an association with AT&T. D'oh! I think most of us would prefer real users giving us real recommendations, with developers sticking to promoting their own products and not wasting time worrying about the competition. B'okay?
Last up, via Daring Fireball, comes a great post from Andy Finnell of Order N on "How to Price Your iPhone App Out of Existence". The whole article is definitely worth a read, but the conclusion is killer:
There will be an iPhone app bust. The current prices simply aren’t sustainable. Either developers will crash out of the market when they discover they can’t make a living off their current prices, or the gold rush developers will lose interest and leave when they realize they can’t make a quick buck off the store. The developers left standing will be the ones who set reasonable prices for their applications.
I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. I currently have an iPhone app in development, and when it comes out, I will price it $9.99 or higher. I’ll let you know how it goes for me.
Dieter has spoken at length about the Long Tail of App Store business, but could the race to bottom really be putting things in short order? I'd gladly pay $10 or $20 for desktop quality apps or PSP/DS quality games, especially if it feeds developers' families and ensures we, you know, actually get those kinds of apps. What about you?