Five concerns from developers about app stores

1. App store cuts

1. App store cuts

"It's difficult enough to get a return on investment (RoI) from an app as it is, without Apple taking their 30%, since it seems that apps have to be priced relatively cheaply (almost like songs in iTunes) in order to inspire mass sales," says Craig Marvelley at internet development and consultancy, Box UK.

2. Apple's in-app purchase (IAP) charges

"Clients don't see why they should pay the subscription fees for Apple. They argue that if the model is to sell content, then avoid the in-app purchase (IAP) as much as possible. One client has a solution, which is to take a 'deposit' for a purchase and provide the purchasing online. Taking 30% of a £10 deposit is very different to taking 30% of, for example, £500 purchase," says Paul Johnston, CEO at mobile apps agency, Padajo.

3. Unclear services model

Graham Lee, founder and director at mobile security firm, Fuzzy Aliens, consults banks and publishing companies. He says, "Where my customers are currently worried is that there is no clarity over what services or products actually come under the remit of the [Apple's] new rules. For example, one customer writes an app that's a front-end to a different company's subscription-based cloud service. Is that app still allowed in the store? If so, it is the customer's responsibility or the service provider's to make the subscription service available through in-app purchase?"

4. Platforms need updating

Ian Walker, Windows Phone 7 mobile developer, says, "[Marketplace] is recognised as a version one product. Most developers expect things to get better and easier with the next iteration. It is made harder than it needs to be to submit an update to an existing version of an app already on the marketplace. Instead of the existing app being your starting point for submission, you have to submit everything (app, descriptions, icons, graphics) again."

5. Increasing and unregulated charges

Developer, Jamie Murai, criticised Research in Motion (RIM) for its complex development sign-up process. "I do notice that, although it is currently free to register with [Blackberry] App World, in the future there will be a $200 charge. Considering you are by far the underdog in this game, how do you justify charging double the price of the market leader?" wrote Murai in a blog post.

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