Over at CNet Igor Faletski wrote a guest post about Apple’s App Store: An economy for 1 percent of developers.
Ignoring the fact that said Mr. Faletski is, by way of his bio, “the CEO of Mobify, a Web platform that optimizes e-commerce and publishing sites for mobile, and powers more than 20,000 sites.”, who obviously has no interest in giving tainted information…err opinion, let’s look at what he has to say:
Since the Apple App store opened on July 10, 2008, it has paid out more than $4 billion to iOS developers–70 percent of the $5.71 billion it has booked in revenue.
Pretty big numbers, right?
In the mobile commerce world, $4 billion is significant, but it’s not a headline. It’s more of a line item on a table that includes some much bigger numbers.
He goes on to mention that ebay alone accounted for $5 billion in mobile sales…I wonder where those came from mainly…but let’s get on with it:
A reasonable guess would be that 75 percent of the payouts from Apple to developers are for games, since that’s typically the percentage of games in the top 100 grossing apps.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the top grossing apps in Apple online stores are…wait for it….productivity apps!
But in exchange for this boost to developer productivity, Apple expects its pound of flesh.
Want to use Apple iTunes as the payment method in your app? Say goodbye to 30 percent of your revenue. This makes credit card interest rates look generous. It also makes any type of businesses without enormous margins (more than 50 percent) impossible to run in the App Store.
I wonder how much developers and other companies have to pay to get their wares into the hands of customers? Oh, that’s right! The question has been answered multiple times: WAY MORE! The same goes for artists, authors, and the likes too, by the way….
But let’s not get too distracted by the facts and continue our journey into La-La-Land:
If developers want to see what the future looks like when you cede control to Apple, they can look at the music industry. It’s now beholden to Apple as the gatekeeper to iTunes and the entity with control over access to their most coveted market.
He, of course, means the very same music industry that’s been complaining for 20 years about declining sales, while they’re actually rising online, costing them less in distribution, packaging, etc. while making them huge profits for no extra effort – because Apple does all the work. Again, much like with e-books, apps, etc.
The open mobile Web is larger than the world of apps and growing faster. The mobile Web supports all the ingrained Web habits we already have. Search, e-mail and social media all just work already in the browser–the browser that everyone already has installed on their device.
Translation: Please, I beg you, give us your money! Don’t give it to Apple! We have no answer to their superior products, so we’ll just call on “the open web”, which may not give you the class-A experience you’re used to in the walled garden, but at least we’ll get your cash – totally open though, so it’s all good.