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John Carmack of id Software posted some of his thoughts on the new iTunes App Store and Apple's distribution model:
Just based on the blurbs, it looks very good -- a simulator plus debugging on the native device is the best of both worlds, and a 70% royalty deal for apps over iTunes is quite good.

The iTunes distribution channel is really a more important aspect than a lot of people understand. The ability to distribute larger applications than the over-the-air limits and effectively market your title with more than a dozen character deck name, combined with the reasonable income split make this look like a very interesting market. This type of developer / customer interaction is probably the wave of the future for mobile devices, it will be interesting to see how quickly the other players can react. Based on our experiences with the carriers, I am betting not very quickly.
Carmack is a well known programmer who cofounded id Software and was the lead programmer of the popular Doom and Quake software titles.

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Macsational

macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2008
7
0
Tourbus
Just what I need to procrastinate more - Quake on my iPhone... the only way Apple could sacrifice my social life to the gods of gaming is to give the SDK to Blizzard... Ah to have the power to gank with a touchscreen.
 
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g-7

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2006
393
72
Poland
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.
 
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Malcster

Contributor
Apr 26, 2005
580
183
Bristol, UK
Its gonna get interesting because Nokia are desperately attempting to revive the corpse of the N-Gage gaming platform, using the same sort of over the air concept, no more sidetalking hehe!.. or having to take the battery out to change game.. (dope!)

But seriously, they must have wet themselves when EA demo'd Spore on iPhone, its no contest that you'd rather play it on an iphone than an N95 or N81..

Expect to see an iphone like N-Gage phone from Nokia sooner rather than later! They'll want in on this action.
 
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yoman

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2003
635
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In the Bowels of the Cosmos
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g-7 said:
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.

it seems possible that the app store could work independently from iTunes. Here's hoping
 
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Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,433
12,251
UK
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.

I think it'll be worldwide, there are no licensing issues like with music and developers want the widest possible audience.
 
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jmmo20

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2006
1,159
102
Well we have to consider to things:

- When they release the payed-for 1.1.3 ipod touch update, there was no "App Store" infrastructure, so the only way to deliver it was to use the already existing iTunes Store - and hence the problem of our polish friend.. no way to buy (legally) if there's no Store in your country.

- Classic iPod Games: no issues with music/video licensing but still can only buy if there's an iTunes store in you own country.

So.. yeah, they could possible make App Store independent from iTunes store but if we consider the already iPod game's delivery system, I would doubt Apple will release a "worldwide App Store" on top of the media iTunes Store
 
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dbwie

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2007
467
49
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Store

The App Store is supposed to download over-the-air, so it shouldn't matter if one has access to the iTunes Music Store or not. If you can get a cellular signal, you should be able to use it.

The iFund is an interesting "one more thing". The iPhone as a new computing platform is about to take off.
 
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Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,433
12,251
UK
So.. yeah, they could possible make App Store independent from iTunes store but if we consider the already iPod game's delivery system, I would doubt Apple will release a "worldwide App Store" on top of the media iTunes Store

It may not be possible to go completely worldwide, but I see no reason they can't support 50-100 countries.
 
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spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,859
1,731
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.

So there is places that sell the iPhone that don't have iTuenes :eek: I think people forget Apple only plays nice with none sim unlocked phones....
 
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goosnarrggh

macrumors 68000
May 16, 2006
1,602
20
So there is places that sell the iPhone that don't have iTuenes :eek: I think people forget Apple only plays nice with none sim unlocked phones....

I was under the impression that iPhones sold officially sim-unlocked in France and (for a few days) in Germany were still supported.

But that's not really relevant because there is an iTunes store in France anyway.

What'll be more interesting to watch in the coming months, is how Apple handles the situation with iPod Touches. They are legitimately offered for sale in countries which don't have iTunes Stores.
 
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11thIndian

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2007
166
0
Hamilton, Ontario
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.

I don't get it. Regions without an iTunes store are certainly regions without iPhones- so it's a non issue! If someone has an iPhone in an area where they're not currently available, and there's no iTunes store- then they'll be jailbreaking it anyways. So they'll have to look for hacked versions of those apps.

I'm in Canada, so unless we get an official release here then they'll be no app store anyways--
 
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err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
2,522
623
g-7 is more concerned about Touch owners. The Touch is officially distributed in countries w/o iTunes.
 
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jmmo20

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2006
1,159
102
I don't get it. Regions without an iTunes store are certainly regions without iPhones- so it's a non issue! If someone has an iPhone in an area where they're not currently available, and there's no iTunes store- then they'll be jailbreaking it anyways. So they'll have to look for hacked versions of those apps.

I'm in Canada, so unless we get an official release here then they'll be no app store anyways--



But there are iPod touches everywhere in the world and Apple would be missing revenue from the App store if they ignore this niche.
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
Exactly ....

This reminds me of the satellite TV situation here in the United States. Companies like DirecTV want to sell subscriptions, but won't do so unless you're in a valid U.S. zip code. (They have to send your receiver the info on which stations to "black out" for local sporting events in your city, to comply with the law, etc. etc.) If you happen to live in parts of Mexico or Canada close enough to our border, however, you can still receive the satellite transmissions pretty well. You just can't legally subscribe. So these folks used to use hacked receivers and get all the programming they could pick up for free. Generally, they weren't considered to be breaking any laws by doing it either - since there was no LEGAL way to subscribe.


I don't get it. Regions without an iTunes store are certainly regions without iPhones- so it's a non issue! If someone has an iPhone in an area where they're not currently available, and there's no iTunes store- then they'll be jailbreaking it anyways. So they'll have to look for hacked versions of those apps.

I'm in Canada, so unless we get an official release here then they'll be no app store anyways--
 
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Buschmaster

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
1,306
26
Minnesota
So I like this model but the one thing that scares me is that companies won't be very likely to distribute apps for free. Better start saving up those iTunes gift cards, eh?

I know if I wrote a couple apps I'd probably sell them for $1, then I'd be able to hopefully sell 143 of my apps within a year.

So, it's a GREAT deal for developers, because selling 143 apps to the millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users out there can't be too hard, can it? I hope not.

My only concern is getting other people's apps, and if I want to stick my OWN app on the iPhone, do I have to put it onto iTunes and then pay to download it?
 
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AlphaBob

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
193
0
Rhode Island
Confused

OK, what the heck does this part of Carmack's statement mean?

"with more than a dozen character deck name"

:confused:
 
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g-7

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2006
393
72
Poland
But there are iPod touches everywhere in the world and Apple would be missing revenue from the App store if they ignore this niche.

But that's exactly what they already did with that $20 update for iPod Touch. If one lives in a country without iTunes Store, one cannot install those apps. At least not officially, without violating the license agreement in some way. That's why I'm concerned about the access to the App Store.
 
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AlphaBob

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
193
0
Rhode Island
The iTunes distributtion chanell is a terrible idea, because (surprisingly enough) there are contries where there is still no iTunes Store. Maybe the App Store will work independently from iTunes Store, but I wouldn't count on that. It's the same thing as the 20$ apps for iPod touch. The only way to get them was to set up a fake US iTunes account and get an iTunes gift card on eBay. It's sad that some people have to choose between one "not-so-legal" way (jailbreaking) and another "not-so-legal" way, ie. setting up fake accounts with made-up US street addresses.

Well, the first (jailbreaking) is mearly a violation of civil law that might have some criminal issues (copyright or license violation). The second issue is far more severe. It is a violation of US federal law because it is a violation of the export controls. Setting up the fake iTunes account and obtaining export controlled code that way is a huge issue.

Hopefully more European iTunes stores will open up. It sure seems like Apple is working in that direction.
 
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AlphaBob

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
193
0
Rhode Island
So I like this model but the one thing that scares me is that companies won't be very likely to distribute apps for free. Better start saving up those iTunes gift cards, eh?

Actually Apple has stated that a developer can provide an application for free and Apple will charge nothing. So there is no problem with the iTunes store model in that regard either. In fact, as you point out, it may tend to reduce the end-user cost of some applications just because the market is so potentially large and the iTunes store model gets the applications in front of so many people. If I were a new developer and wanted to start building a reputation for myself, I'd create several free applications to get my stuff out there.
 
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jmmo20

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2006
1,159
102
But that's exactly what they already did with that $20 update for iPod Touch. If one lives in a country without iTunes Store, one cannot install those apps. At least not officially, without violating the license agreement in some way. That's why I'm concerned about the access to the App Store.

Yes but the 1.1.3 upgrade didn't bring any revenue-generating app, like 2.0 does..
 
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11thIndian

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2007
166
0
Hamilton, Ontario
But there are iPod touches everywhere in the world and Apple would be missing revenue from the App store if they ignore this niche.

Of course, you're right. I'd forgotten this. As has been mentioned, you'll likely be able to download app directly to your iPod Touch directly- so hopefully having an iTunes store won't be necessary.

I hear what people are saying, and it sucks that all Apple products and services aren't available world-wide right now. But I wish people would quit thinking this is Apple's fault. The world is fractured into hundreds of regions that have their own legal and distribution walls that Apple must leap over. I'm sure they wish they could just have iTunes Global, and the Apple store worldwide offering products to everyone everywhere- how could they NOT want to? But it's just not gonna happen.

Living in Canada, I have no iPhone, limited TV shows, no movie rentals or sales-- and we're SO CLOSE! Damn borders!
 
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jmmo20

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2006
1,159
102
Actually Apple has stated that a developer can provide an application for free and Apple will charge nothing. So there is no problem with the iTunes store model in that regard either. In fact, as you point out, it may tend to reduce the end-user cost of some applications just because the market is so potentially large and the iTunes store model gets the applications in front of so many people. If I were a new developer and wanted to start building a reputation for myself, I'd create several free applications to get my stuff out there.

Won't they be charging the 99$ listing fee in such cases anyway?
 
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