Google's Android advocate: "App-sales sucks"

 

No life for most developers. Yet.

Tim Bray, the man Google hired to woo developers to its Android platform, has said that app-sales in the US$2 billion a year mobile market “sucks”. 

“I deeply believe that the app-sales business sucks. Selling anything on a one-time basis at a price below $10 is historically the kind of business that’s been owned by companies like Walmart,” he wrote on his personal blog.

Bray’s comments were in part a response to a prediction by analyst firm Forrester that mobile app revenues, which stood at around US$1.9 billion in 2010, would hit US$38 billion by 2015

“If you look at the mobile-apps business, well, it’s just not all that big. Even the kind of money that Rovio’s pulled in with Angry Birds does not point at the kind of exit that makes a venture investor’s heart go pitter-pat,” said Bray. 

At yesterday’s iPad 2 launch Apple boss Steve Jobs reminded the world how important Apple’s iOS platform was to today’s revenue, having delivered US$2 billion to developers since 2009. 

Analyst firm IHS estimated last month that Apple’s App Store held 82.7 per cent of the US$2.2 billion market.

And despite Android’s new found dominance in smartphone operating systems, Google held just 4.7 per cent of app store revenue last year.  

The major problem for developers, according to Bray, was that most of the money today goes to just a few “hitmakers”, while the vast majority of developers fall into the “long tail” that make very little money.

“[$2 billion] sounds like a big number. But if you divide it by the number of active developers, it sounds small,” said Bray.  

“I acknowledge that it’s working for some people, but it’s just not where I’d want to be.”

Apps will become a realist option for developers when those in the long-tail can make a decent living, he said. 

Potential answers to the problem of sub-$10 one-off sales included in-app sales, software upgrades, ad sales or “server-side enablement”, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iTunes. 

But the fact that Apple paved the way for developers to make money from apps should not provide any comfort to developers, according to Bray who last year declared his hatred of Apple’s business model for the iPhone.

“It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger... I hate it.”

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Google's Android advocate: "App-sales sucks"
 
 
 
Top Stories
Photos: Global Switch opens Sydney East data centre
First stage opened, to some fanfare.
 
ATO releases long-awaited Bitcoin guidance
Everyday investors escape the tax man.
 
Why the Weather Bureau’s new supercomputer is a 'gamechanger'
IT transformation starts to reap results.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Run a small business in western Sydney?
Aug 15, 2014
This event might be of interest if you're looking to meet other people with a similar interest ...
Buying a tablet? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale this month
Aug 8, 2014
Microsoft has announced its Surface Pro 3 will go on sale in Australia on 28 August from ...
Apple's top MacBook Pro with Retina is now cheaper
Aug 1, 2014
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro range with faster processors and new pricing, including ...
Pass on carbon tax savings, warns ACCC
Jul 24, 2014
The ACCC is warning businesses that supply "regulated goods" to pass on any cost savings ...
Have customers that won't pay debts?
Jul 10, 2014
The ACCC and ASIC have updated their advice when it comes to collecting debts.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  68%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  12%
 
Denial of service attacks
  7%
 
Insider threats
  11%
TOTAL VOTES: 463

Vote