PDA

View Full Version : Anyone else getting Nervous?




Duke Leto
Jul 6, 2008, 08:57 PM
With the AppStore coming and the Keynote presenting MonkeyBall and other awesome apps, is anyone else worried that their app will bite the dust?



liptonlover
Jul 6, 2008, 08:58 PM
I'm worried simply because I'm not as good as the big shots, but not any more than I would be in any other case. There's always room for small developers, and great apps like those are on every platform and in more numbers. So no.

t0mat0
Jul 6, 2008, 08:59 PM
Define bite the dust. Are we talking apps already finalised, and ready to go up onto the App Store? Or concepts of apps? Or apps mid way through development?

Duke Leto
Jul 6, 2008, 09:09 PM
By 'bite the dust' I mean that people would not download it because other, better apps would take its place. My app will probably 'bite the dust', becuase during development, I had already found an app that does what mine will do, but better. My only advantage is that mine is free.

Darkroom
Jul 6, 2008, 09:16 PM
i'll be defiantly interested to know how well small, freelance developers do with the iPhone App Store, and if after the dust begins to settle if the investment to sell/promote apps for iPhone thru app store, along with apple's 30% revenue grab is really worth it...

right now i'm more concerned that there are going to be a pants load of trinket 99 apps...

nokq
Jul 6, 2008, 09:54 PM
i'll be defiantly interested to know how well small, freelance developers do with the iPhone App Store, and if after the dust begins to settle if the investment to sell/promote apps for iPhone thru app store, along with apple's 30% revenue grab is really worth it...

right now i'm more concerned that there are going to be a pants load of trinket 99 apps...

There is another macrumors member with a blog on the iphone app economy so to speak. I plan on sharing with him some of my sales stats. You may be able to follow some of the success at his site. His site is

http://www.iphoneappentrepreneur.com/

admanimal
Jul 7, 2008, 12:24 AM
By 'bite the dust' I mean that people would not download it because other, better apps would take its place. My app will probably 'bite the dust', becuase during development, I had already found an app that does what mine will do, but better. My only advantage is that mine is free.

So the question is what exactly are your expectations or hopes? Since your app is free, you obviously don't have any immediate financial goals for it (unless you have a supporting website with ad revenue or something).

I'm selling my app for 1.99. The concept of it is not very imaginative but I think I executed it well enough that someone might choose it over a free (or more expensive) version. If I could get just a few thousand downloads a month, I would be pretty happy, and with the sheer volume of people that the App Store is likely to see, I think that is possible.

Darkroom
Jul 7, 2008, 01:50 AM
So the question is what exactly are your expectations or hopes? Since your app is free, you obviously don't have any immediate financial goals for it (unless you have a supporting website with ad revenue or something).

I'm selling my app for 1.99. The concept of it is not very imaginative but I think I executed it well enough that someone might choose it over a free (or more expensive) version. If I could get just a few thousand downloads a month, I would be pretty happy, and with the sheer volume of people that the App Store is likely to see, I think that is possible.

really?! that much?!! wow... does regular mac os x software get sales like that too? i have an idea for an app that i'll release sometime next year (when i get better at coding) and possible sell it for $10... don't mean to hijack this thread to discuss mac os x software sales, but will the iPhone app store really allow developers to sell their products better than listing your mac os x app on apple's site, macupdate, versiontracker, etc. etc. etc.?

ace2600
Jul 7, 2008, 11:10 AM
Nervous, no. Anxious, yes! I have an app ready to go, but was not one of the 4,000 accepted developers. I find that the most off putting part of this experience.

As for pricing, I hope most developers do NOT release their products for free in order to compete with bigger companies. Developers have put their own time and creativity into these apps, undervaluing them could set a bad precedence. Though in the end, the market decides.

crees!
Jul 7, 2008, 11:36 AM
I'm still in the learning process of Obj-C and unfortunately don't have much free time on my hands to learn. I'd at least like to be accepted so I can get to the point that I can create my own apps and test/use them on my phone; regardless if it ever goes on the app store.

iSee
Jul 7, 2008, 12:53 PM
I think there will be a honeymoon period where iPhone owners will be very open to trying new apps, including paying from $1-$5 (depending on the app) for them. Many will be actively searching the store for anything they might find interesting. In this phase I think anything decent will do quite well.

I'd guess it will tighten up within a few weeks and months. Things will return to normal where people will look for something when they have a particular need or have heard about some great app. After the honeymoon I think an app will have to stand out in terms of features, design, marketing, etc. (all the usual stuff) to be successful, free or not. This is when even decent apps will bite the dust.

Still, its a really nice thing that all developers, regardless of size and connections, get their spot on the shelf--in the only retail store that matters for this platform. (By contrast, try getting Walmart or Circut City, etc. to carry your product!)
... Well, you do have to be one of the approved developers. But the cost is nominal and I am assuming Apple will allow pretty much all interested developers in without too much delay...

By the way, Apple's 30% cut is very reasonable for getting such a high-quality sales channel. I mean the store is the place customers will be looking to buy any software to do with the iPhone.

ChrisA
Jul 7, 2008, 12:59 PM
With the AppStore coming and the Keynote presenting MonkeyBall and other awesome apps, is anyone else worried that their app will bite the dust?

There will be a huge "shakeout". After all, how many of the same simple games does the world need? Two of each is many one to many. Not only that but the price will eventually approach zero. If you try to sell for $5 some one will offer the same for $4 and so on.

What you need to do is offer a service. Something that people will subscribe to and just give away the software. It's a gamble but if you gues what people might want you can do well. I figure it's a one in a thousand shot. But I'm certain no one will make much money selling software for the iPhone

admanimal
Jul 7, 2008, 12:59 PM
I think there will be a honeymoon period where iPhone owners will be very open to trying new apps, including paying from $1-$5 (depending on the app) for them. Many will be actively searching the store for anything they might find interesting. In this phase I think anything decent will do quite well.


I think you're right on- there will definitely be a lot of people buying apps just for the sake of trying it for the first month or two.

really?! that much?!! wow... does regular mac os x software get sales like that too? i have an idea for an app that i'll release sometime next year (when i get better at coding) and possible sell it for $10... don't mean to hijack this thread to discuss mac os x software sales, but will the iPhone app store really allow developers to sell their products better than listing your mac os x app on apple's site, macupdate, versiontracker, etc. etc. etc.?

Well, I think it would be totally reasonable for me to get 1000 downloads the first month or so because of what iSee mentioned in his post. After that depends on several factors, the most important probably being how many other apps do the same thing and how good/expensive they are. I would say that the App Store will drive sales much, much better than listing on the other sites you mentioned does for normal apps, because people are so familiar and comfortable with the iTunes buying experience. Plus you don't have to worry about people not looking in the right place for your app, since there is only one place to look.

crees!
Jul 7, 2008, 02:08 PM
I think there will be a honeymoon period where iPhone owners will be very open to trying new apps, including paying from $1-$5 (depending on the app) for them. Many will be actively searching the store for anything they might find interesting. In this phase I think anything decent will do quite well. I'd have no problem paying an arbitrary $40 (and possibly more) for an app if it assists in my productivity on a daily basis.

Greencardman
Jul 7, 2008, 02:41 PM
A lot of people are anxious. I wouldn't worry about biting the dust if your app is something good though. A bigger threat is to stop working on it and never get it out there, or not seeing any sales and giving up.

The App Store does concentrate buyers into one place, which makes it very helpful. After all, if there are 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, you only need to get .0001 percent of users to buy your app to have 1000 users. If you sell it for $1.99 like the person above, you'll make $1390.

But the App Store doesn't magically do your work for you. So a bigger worry is not getting noticed, and giving up. Do some work on your own outside the App Store, like submitting your app to App directories, sending out a press release, or launching it here on the forums. Even something simple can have good results. Just don't be annoying.

admanimal
Jul 7, 2008, 02:58 PM
But the App Store doesn't magically do your work for you. So a bigger worry is not getting noticed, and giving up. Do some work on your own outside the App Store, like submitting your app to App directories, sending out a press release, or launching it here on the forums. Even something simple can have good results. Just don't be annoying.

Another good thing to do is to try to update the app on a regular basis. If the App Store looks anything like the other download sites that Apple maintains, there will probably be a "recently updated" or "what's new" section that is the first thing that people see when they go to the store/a certain category. Being on one of those front pages really gets you noticed, as most people won't look past those pages.

Greencardman
Jul 7, 2008, 03:45 PM
Thats true. I also think the category of your app will make a big difference. It will be hard to get a casual game noticed just by people browsing through the App Store, because all evidence points to casual games being a crowded category. So if you have a casual game, you should make plans to get your app noticed. Try getting it reviewed on a blog. Google it and find where people are talking about it and address concerns or let fans know when you'll be doing something new. There are a lot of things you can be doing to help your app.

iSee
Jul 7, 2008, 05:29 PM
I'd have no problem paying an arbitrary $40 (and possibly more) for an app if it assists in my productivity on a daily basis.

I would, too. Unless there's an equivalent app for $20 (or $5 or free). It might be that apps for vertical markets or ones that require special expertise to create will sell for $40 (or more).

For example,
General app to jot down and organize ideas: $0-$5
Specialized app for insurance adjuster to take field notes and capture images: $40+ (I don't actually know anything about this so there may or may not be an opportunity here--just an example)

The downside to vertical market apps, of course, is that your pool of potential customers is small.

macfanboy
Jul 7, 2008, 11:40 PM
im not on the developer program, but if anyone wants to pm me with their app name, ill make sure to look for it and consider it when the app store comes

Yixian
Jul 12, 2008, 01:05 PM
When it comes to handheld gaming, the bette products wins out and you can be really experimentative.

Look at Aurora Feint, it's already generating huge buzz, and it's made by a single couple and is completely free.

Do something in depth and original and you'll win out over the hoards of Tetris clones and arcade racers.

sonicwind
Jul 12, 2008, 01:08 PM
Do something in depth and original and you'll win out over the hoards of Tetris clones and arcade racers.

yeah but what about the Tetris Racer I am making?

Yixian
Jul 12, 2008, 01:25 PM
yeah but what about the Tetris Racer I am making?

Does it have space marines?

Billy Boo Bob
Jul 12, 2008, 01:44 PM
Don't mean to hijack this thread to discuss Mac OS X software sales, but will the iPhone app store really allow developers to sell their products better than listing your Mac OS X app on apple's site, macupdate, versiontracker, etc. etc. etc.?

Speaking as a lurker (I'm not an iPhone developer, but I play one on TV :cool: ) I would say yes. Everything is in one place inside iTunes (leaving the on-phone store out of it at the moment). With Mac apps you have to check several places (Apple's site, MacUpdate, VersionTracker, Google, etc...) to find what you're looking for (or to browse "what's out there"). Since most people will be spending a good deal of time inside iTunes, it should be a very busy place. At least for a while.

I would just like to see an easier way to see what's new since the last time you visited.

firewood
Jul 12, 2008, 02:00 PM
don't mean to hijack this thread to discuss mac os x software sales, but will the iPhone app store really allow developers to sell their products better than listing your mac os x app on apple's site, macupdate, versiontracker, etc. etc. etc.?

The iTunes music store sells more music than WalMart. The iPhone app store is sitting right next to it. Your typical iPhone user has never even heard of versiontracker, same with most non-techie Mac users as well.

sonicwind
Jul 12, 2008, 11:18 PM
Does it have space marines?

It does now, and alien cyborgs, and orcs and teenage drama simulation.

dleute
Jul 13, 2008, 12:13 AM
The App Store is an excellent place for apps to be sold but it doesn't make normal marketing obsolete. I am much more likely to buy an app that I have heard of outside of the App Store. Thus far I have only downloaded free apps as I am waiting for the dust to settle and apple to approve more apps for distrubution (including my own). A lot of these early apps are immature. I can't tell you how much I've learned from reading the early comments/reviews on the appstore. It's making it very clear what the user wants and expects. I hope other developers learn to follow that.

--Derrek

-----

iScale: iPhone nutrition tracking made easy.
http://www.allofzero.com/

iphonedev100
Jul 13, 2008, 02:29 AM
It's important to understand:

1. Reviews can be posted by anyone. Even by people who have never downloaded or used the application. There are quite a few of these and all comments are made based on the description. People were psotign reviews before they could download and install the apps(!?) Doesn't make much sense and aren't truly of value to those trying to select apps. I suspect in some case it's a competitor trying to lower reviews or may be the developer pumping up their reviews.

2. Reviews have not been updated since Friday morning for most apps. So good/bad, many have not changed.


Once reviews are re-enabled and the store has been running long enough that the good or bad fictious reviews are equalized out of the system then you'll have a chance to get the true story.

dwm
Jul 13, 2008, 07:42 AM
It's important to understand:

1. Reviews can be posted by anyone. Even by people who have never downloaded or used the application. There are quite a few of these and all comments are made based on the description. People were psotign reviews before they could download and install the apps(!?) Doesn't make much sense and aren't truly of value to those trying to select apps. I suspect in some case it's a competitor trying to lower reviews or may be the developer pumping up their reviews.



I thought I was one of the fortunate few (~500) who had an app "ready for sale" on opening day. My app is a utility not actually meant for the lay public, that is, a vertical app for a specifc market (maybe a few thousand or even just hundreds of potential customers - but where else can I market the app?), and yes, it costs MONEY to buy (and build - I contracted out the core programming because I could not get up to speed with Cocoa Touch in time having never used Cocoa, the frameworks, or Obj-C).

The "reviews" (they're not actually reviews at all) so far have been brutal for my app, not at all about its functionality or value in the right hands (because almost all of the reviewers had no clue what the app was even for), but all bitching that it COSTS money and it should be FREE.

So, I was getting real paranoid until I went through the reviews of almost every app that costs more than $2. They were ALL the same! Bitching about the price and that the apps should be free. People were even bitching that apps selling for $.99 should be free and are a "ripoff" for $.99!

My price point was completely arbitrary and decided on what I thought was fair for my target market and I had to choose in a total vacuum. Even if I wanted to change the price, I'm frozen now because with the download count broken I have no data to base the price decision on (and if I lower it, I don't want to piss off early buyers, the number of which I have no idea).

APPLE: You have the unique ability to make reviews more valuable than any other review environment. You know who is signed on, you know if they have bought a particular app, so let someone review a product ONLY if they have actually purchased the product.

louden
Jul 13, 2008, 08:40 AM
I'd say don't be afraid of mistakes.

I think the app pricing will sort itself out in the very near future. I like the ideas of comments, even though reviews might be harsh, and you can't please everybody, I think the cream will rise to the top with the ratings.

iSee
Jul 13, 2008, 10:22 AM
...
APPLE: You have the unique ability to make reviews more valuable than any other review environment. You know who is signed on, you know if they have bought a particular app, so let someone review a product ONLY if they have actually purchased the product.

Or at least have an indicator of whether or not the reviewer has downloaded the app. But don't worry too much. People reading reviews can generally tell when the reviewer doesn't know what they are talking about.

In your particular case, your real potential customers--those in your vertical market--will quickly see which reviews mean anything to them.

I noticed that through the iTunes app store, browsers can vote on whether a particular review is helpful or not. And, by default, reviews are sorted by helpfulness. That will help bury the stupid reviews. It doesn't look like the iPhone app store shows this, though--hopefully that will be updated in the near future.

Greencardman
Jul 13, 2008, 12:07 PM
I noticed that through the iTunes app store, browsers can vote on whether a particular review is helpful or not. And, by default, reviews are sorted by helpfulness.

I would argue that its perfectly ok for a developer to review the reviews if they are useless. Go through yours and mark the ones useless as useless. You may think your vote is just a drop in the pond, but its worthwhile in my opinion.

dwm - were you able to get a hold of your download stats before they stopped showing them? Apple was showing how many times an app had been downloaded from inside the App Store app on the iphone. Try googling your app and seeing if anyone caught the numbers.

Don't be afraid of adjusting your price though. It's sometimes just as important to have it priced properly going forward than it is to not upset customers in the past. If you're always afraid of upsetting past customers, then you'll lose all flexibility. A competitor could come in with a lower price and you'd be too stuck to switch.

If you do need to adjust the price, I'd suggest not doing it all at once. Spread it out over a month or two until you get to where you need to be.