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Apr 12, 2001
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There's been some confusion on this topic due to the reporting of the iPhone SDK event, but it appears that the $99 fee required to publish your applications to the iTunes App Store is an annual charge.

From Apple's press release:
The Standard Program costs $99 (US) per year and gives members an iPhone SDK and development tools; access to pre-release iPhone software; technical support; the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing; and distribution of applications via the new App Store.

To sum up:

- iTunes App Store to browse, purchase and download iPhone apps
- Developers set the price and get 70% of revenue. Apple keeps 30% for their costs.
- Applications must be approved by Apple and apps are available exclusively through the App Store
- No charge to distribute free applications, but you still have to pay the $99/year fee.



Article Link
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
So now how likely are people to provide free apps if they have to cough up 100 a year? Will they just rely on donations? Ad money from their site?
 

matthiasgoodman

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2005
49
8
Chandler, AZ
$99 cheaper than hosting it yourself

So now how likely are people to provide free apps if they have to cough up 100 a year? Will they just rely on donations? Ad money from their site?

As I understand it, when your App is on iTunes, Apple hosts it. $99 per year is cheaper than hosting it yourself, something that most developers of free apps have to pay for themselves, so this $99 is a good deal, no?
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
149
As I understand it, when your App is on iTunes, Apple hosts it. $99 per year is cheaper than hosting it yourself, something that most developers of free apps have to pay for themselves, so this $99 is a good deal, no?
This is very much the case and I also agree $99 a year is a great deal.
 

overanalyzer

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2007
909
0
Boston, MA USA
I'm still confused about whether this is in addition to the usual $99/year ADC membership fee or if they just mean you have to be a non-free member, i.e. have at least the $99/year membership.... Wasn't there also something about it being $299/year to be able to distribute apps within an enterprise not via the App Store?
 

matthiasgoodman

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2005
49
8
Chandler, AZ
I'm still confused about whether this is in addition to the usual $99/year ADC membership fee or if they just mean you have to be a non-free member, i.e. have at least the $99/year membership.... Wasn't there also something about it being $299/year to be able to distribute apps within an enterprise not via the App Store?


It is completely separate from ADC membership levels. I am a free ADC member and just applied to sign up for the developer program.

The $299 level is something we may do at the medical practice I work at. I actually like that they are charging more if you plan not to contribute (even commercially) your programs to the community. Also, since they need to set up a special iTunes conduit or some other way to limit access to your company only, I think this is a very reasonable fee as well.

Now for my question, does the firmware come with the PAID version? It seems it may, since it says that you will be able to test on your iPhone.
 

JMax1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2006
424
1
Harlem, NY
So now how likely are people to provide free apps if they have to cough up 100 a year? Will they just rely on donations? Ad money from their site?

My guess is that someone will have some paid for apps, if they develop a bunch, and might offer some free ones too that aren't probably as good as paid-for apps. Or maybe they'll offer free demo versions of their full app. Image the downloads section of the apple website. Lots of free downloads, but many are just demos.

Another note about the apple website, while I'm thinking of it: why isn't the apple website iPhone friendly?
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
I was honestly a bit surprised that Apple's charging people to distribute their applications.

I'm a college student, and I have had a couple ideas for iPhone applications, but I'm certainly not planning on paying $99 a year just to give them away! :confused:
 

72930

Retired
May 16, 2006
9,060
4
I was honestly a bit surprised that Apple's charging people to distribute their applications.

I'm a college student, and I have had a couple ideas for iPhone applications, but I'm certainly not planning on paying $99 a year just to give them away! :confused:

I'm using iProcrastinate, and if you had a specific Donate-For-iPhone part on your home page, I'm sure many people (including me, when I get an iPhone/touch) would donate for the cause.
 

matthiasgoodman

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2005
49
8
Chandler, AZ
Another thing I could foresee happening would be that packagers, like Ste, could get the source from developers and upload it to iTunes. That way many free applications can be posted under one $99/year fee.
 

Snips

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2008
152
4
Suffolk, UK
U.S. only, and limited numbers

Note also (from the iPhone Developer Program page):

"The iPhone Developer Program will initially be available to a limited number of developers in the U.S. and will expand to other countries in the coming months."

I believe this refers to the $99 App Store program, the free SDK is available to all.

Nige
--
http://www.binarydisco.com
 

killmoms

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2003
3,724
13
Durham, NC
I was honestly a bit surprised that Apple's charging people to distribute their applications.

I'm a college student, and I have had a couple ideas for iPhone applications, but I'm certainly not planning on paying $99 a year just to give them away! :confused:

So why not develop the hell out of them and charge a dollar. You'd only need 142 people to buy the app in a year to recoup your cost.
 

ghall

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2006
3,771
1
Rhode Island
I watched that part of the video and Steve says that there are no charges expect the commission Apple takes out of the price of your app.
 

miep

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2007
14
0
Because you seem to be able to push unlimited apps, I could easily see a shareware model: you download a full-functional demo for free, but after a few days of use, you'll be asked to download the for-pay service, which is cheap/expensive enough to offset the costs of hosting.

I don't know, is 50 cents reasonable for a good app? Now you only need 286 users (because you only get to keep 70% of those 50 cts) to pay for the developer program. That sounds very reasonable.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,433
12,251
UK
I was honestly a bit surprised that Apple's charging people to distribute their applications.

I'm a college student, and I have had a couple ideas for iPhone applications, but I'm certainly not planning on paying $99 a year just to give them away! :confused:

But as previously argued it is fairly similar to the bandwidth costs, for hosting D&D Manager which gets 5000 downloads/month my costs are currently in the same ballpark, though admittedly a bit lower.

Another thing I could foresee happening would be that packagers, like Ste, could get the source from developers and upload it to iTunes. That way many free applications can be posted under one $99/year fee.

True.
 

ata

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2007
55
0
So Apple is going to be trying to actively prevent application distribution outside the App Store?

That's disappointing. But surely there's a way for developers to install their applications on their own phones indefinitely? If that's the case, couldn't people get around the App Store requirement by distributing their apps as open source/free software, so anyone can appear to be the 'developer' from the phone's perspective?
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,433
12,251
UK
So Apple is going to be trying to actively prevent application distribution outside the App Store?

That's disappointing. But surely there's a way for developers to install their applications on their own phones indefinitely? If that's the case, couldn't people get around the App Store requirement by distributing their apps as open source/free software, so anyone can appear to be the 'developer' from the phone's perspective?

Not too much of a shock IMO. And it should keep the security tight.

I wonder if unlocked phones will be able to use the AppStore? It should reduce unlockings if not.
 

davidje13

macrumors member
Dec 4, 2007
31
0
Warwick, UK
So Apple is going to be trying to actively prevent application distribution outside the App Store?

That's disappointing. But surely there's a way for developers to install their applications on their own phones indefinitely? If that's the case, couldn't people get around the App Store requirement by distributing their apps as open source/free software, so anyone can appear to be the 'developer' from the phone's perspective?
Testing on an iPhone is a $99 extra, so no, because it would mean any users would need to pay $99 anyway.

It's a shame they're charging, but I'm (slowly) downloading the SDK and I'm going to see what I can come up with :D
(no iPhone to test on tho :( )
 

View

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2007
247
0
Testing on an iPhone is a $99 extra, so no, because it would mean any users would need to pay $99 anyway.

It's a shame they're charging, but I'm (slowly) downloading the SDK and I'm going to see what I can come up with :D
(no iPhone to test on tho :( )

I don't think you can actually test it on the iPhone right now. You still have to use the emulator to test your application now. Unless I'm missing something.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,858
4,797
I don't like the idea, but I can see why it would be necessary. The fee isn't big enough to be a money maker.

The reason Apple might be doing this is to make sure people are serious about what goes up there. There's a lot of crap that makes it onto VersionTracker-- tutorial applications from Cocoa text books, for example. The $99 ensures you're not just submitting an app to see your name in lights.

The other reason is probably to make sure that apps get pulled off the site once they're not being maintained anymore. Again, VT has a bunch of stuff that's been there since 2005 and hasn't worked since Panther or whatever. Charging prevents this from happening as well.
Another thing I could foresee happening would be that packagers, like Ste, could get the source from developers and upload it to iTunes. That way many free applications can be posted under one $99/year fee.
Not sure what would prevent this, unless it's in the EULA as well. I'm sure there's a clause somewhere to block it.
So Apple is going to be trying to actively prevent application distribution outside the App Store?

That's disappointing. But surely there's a way for developers to install their applications on their own phones indefinitely? If that's the case, couldn't people get around the App Store requirement by distributing their apps as open source/free software, so anyone can appear to be the 'developer' from the phone's perspective?
It's probably ok to put the source on SourceForge or something. Binary distributions on iTunes.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,816
603
Redondo Beach, California
So now how likely are people to provide free apps if they have to cough up 100 a year? Will they just rely on donations? Ad money from their site?

If you are writing software as a hobby what might happen is that one $99 account might get used by a large group of developers. Bussiness will do the same they might hire a dozen developers and would need only one $99 acount for all of their products.

Botton line is that the $99 price is not per application or per developer. It is per organization.
 

emptyCup

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2005
1,482
1
Another thing I could foresee happening would be that packagers, like Ste, could get the source from developers and upload it to iTunes. That way many free applications can be posted under one $99/year fee.

That's true but the packager would have to trust all the developers or review the code themselves. The $99 includes a certificate to digitally sign every app. Any malicious app. gets traced back to the packager screwing everyone in the group. It is still a good idea for small groups.

Look at it this way: if you just want to put your own private app.s on your own phone, the $99 lets you do that. There is no need to distribute it. If you do distribute it, the $99 protects me from malware, crapware, abandonedware and stuff whose own authors don't think a hundred or so people (out of millions) would pay for. Either way, I don't think it is a bad deal.
 
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