Sunday, March 8, 2009

"It Never Ends!"

I gave a presentation at eComm on "Governance for Mobile OSs" this past week, I think the audience enjoyed it, especially after the droning quality and inability to finish within the timespan allotted shown by some of the previous presentations. One of the issues I pointed out was that developers face, particularly in developing for the iPhone, huge uncertainties that they cannot resolve independently.

The biggest of these has to do with Apple's position as the unappealable gatekeeper for the store. Developers, as shown by quotes last week, are understandably concerned at "keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best" after having sunk considerable design and development time into their application, knowing full well that Apple can give them the "Thumbs-down" for any reason, or none at all, and that--having done so--they won't spare a second's effort to discuss it with them or even tell them what the issue is.

So (as I actually predicted some time ago), extra-curricular "iPhone App Stores" are springing up, according to a story reported initially by the Wall Street Journal. Apple's threatening to play the DMCA card to stop jailbreakers--although reports are that at least one of the non-Apple stores won't require a jailbroken iPhone to install apps--but it remains to be seen how that's likely to play out.

In a story from yesterday, iPhone developers are "tearing their hair out" over the growing delay in getting applications approved for the iPhone App store: the wait has gone from a matter of days to months, even for free applications. And, of course, Apple doesn't return calls. And, not surprisingly, "developers, who are increasingly being discouraged by a process that in many cases prevents them from getting their first real foothold in the App Store. Without clear signs that Apple is addressing the problem, companies and individuals alike are questioning whether they should continue to produce iPhone apps in the first place." (My emphasis)

Like I keep telling people, it's a big world, and "Who's winning the mobile space?" won't be decided for a good, long time. Situations like the one detailed about show the downside of Apple's store model. Developers are clearly looking for a platform that treats them better...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they face similar issues to distributions like Debian/Fedora/Gentoo.

The irony is that you shared your slides on a site that doesn't work with free flash. Using standards FTW!!

Lefty said...

Of course, Debian, Fedora and Gentoo don't charge you ninety-nine bucks for the privilege.

And it's not my irony: talk to the eComm folks. I can send you a PDF file you can look at if you want to develop some spine and come up with an email address.

hub said...

@anonymous: no because Debian/Fedora/Gentoo does not require their approval to distribute or develop software.

@Lefty: the use of slideshare is terribly annoying. A link to the PDF would be appreciated.

Lefty said...

Try this...

Anonymous said...

It seems I'm not the only who sees a problem in current linux distro model :). I still hope, that we'll get first class support for 3rd party repos some day, maybe even a standard and portable format. But I'm not holding my breath...

xix

Lefty said...

Nonsense. You're posting anonymously, and there certainly hasn't been anything like a flurry of comments in support of your position. You've got some sort of axe to grind, which would be okay if you had the cojones to put a name to these complaints of yours.

Klimbsac said...

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Anonymous said...

I didn't write the first anonymous comment, I write xix at the bottom but sometimes I forget :). Please check IP logs if you don't believe me.

But ok, you think I have an "axe to grind", but I really don't. I just have a wildly unpopular view of the issue. I won't post any more comments here, it's not the end of the world really :).

Lefty said...

I don't mind you disagreeing with me, I just wish you made a better case, because you seem to be stuck at "proof by repetitive assertion". As far as confusing one anony-naut with another, you've got no one but yourself to blame: no one, least of all me, is insisting that you be a craven coward here...