Cellular carrier announced a few weeks ago that they were looking into their own iPhone App Store-like online store that would allow their handsets to download new goodies similar to how the iPhone and iPod Touch can now using Apple’s App Store.
T-Mobile’s Venetia Espinoza and Sue Schmitz announced a bit more info about what to expect from the upcoming store:
- The initial offering will allow free and paid apps and nothing will contain advertising. There will also be no Android apps (they will be in Google’s own Android Marketplace store), nor will there be Sidekick apps.
- The developer agreement will be available next week.
- 50/50 revenue split with developers able to increase their amount to as much as 70% if they meet certain criteria such as providing multiple points of contact for support and supporting 10 or more T-Mobile handsets.
- T-Mobile will provide demo handsets and a virtual lab to developers.
- Free apps can be added to the store at no cost to developers but there will be limitations for how much bandwidth they can use.
- There won’t be an API available to allow developers to access handset features such as GPS, contacts, camera, etc.
Google has announced that it’s Android-based mobile phone platform will be getting it’s own online application distribution system similar to the iPhone’s App Store called Android Market.
While the Android Market will initially be released in beta form, it is expected to be available when the first Android-based handsets hit the market later this year.
The process for developers to add their applications to the Android Market seems pretty straight forward–register as a merchant, upload your apps content, then publish it.
For more info check out Eric Chu’s blog post here.
Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Wingfield had a chance to talk with Steve Jobs a bit about the success of the App Store, Apple’s iTunes-based store for iPhone and iPod Touch applications.
Everyone knows that the App Store is a success but just how much of a success is a bit mind boggling.
In the first month it was open for business, 60 million applications were download. Sure, many are free, but quite a few others cost from 99-cents to a few dollars. Roughly $1 million worth of paid apps have been downloaded so far, meaning the App Store has raked in around $30 million in just one month.
If the the pace of $1 million per day continues, that means $360 million each year of additional revenue.
It’s important to point out that the majority of this revenue won’t be staying with Apple, and will instead be going back to the developers who write the applications.
For example, of the $30 million from the first month of sales, $21 of that will be going back to the developers.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career for software,” said Jobs.
“Phone differentiation used to be about radios and antennas and things like that…we think, going forward, the phone of the future will be differentiated by software.”
Not revenue related but still worth noting, if an application is found to pose privacy and security issues Apple does have the ability to remotely disable it just in case.
Says Jobs, “hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull.”
For the full story check out WSJ here.
Are you an iPhone and a Lotus Domino Server user? If so you’ll probably be interested in IBM’s upcoming version of their Lotus Notes application for the iPhone called ‘IBM Lotus iNotes Ultralite”.
Built on Lotus Domino Web Access, the upcoming Lotus iNotes Ultralite will provide users access to email, calendar and contacts specially formatted for the iPhone.
Look for it to hit later this year.
For more info and to see a few screenshots check out the product page here.
While the iPhone was a successful product well before the App Store launched this year, having something like the App Store available sure isn’t helping the competitors much.
A one-stop-shopping for everything iPhone and iPod Touch that makes buying and installing a new application roughly as simple as buying a song from iTunes much be giving the competition fits. Plus, that’s a lot of potential revenue they’re unable to take advantage of.
Not blind to this, T-Mobile has announced that they will start looking into their own App Store-like store that would be used by all handsets in their line-up.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with an how well it works.
Apple has a few advantages here, not the least of which is that the iPhone and iPod Touches all run the same firmware and roughly the same hardware so developers don’t have to worry as much they might otherwise have to about compatibility.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, offers devices that run multiple platforms and use hardware from multiple vendors, so look for it to be a bit more complicated.
You’ve may have already heard about the I Am Rich iPhone app available in the App Store but just in case you haven’t, here’s a summary: It’s an “application” that doesn’t do anything (no, seriously) and costs $999.99.
According to the “developer” Armin Heinrich, eight people have purchased the app but Apple has pulled the plug and he doesn’t know why.
I am sure a lot more people would like to buy it—but currently can’t do so. I have no idea why they [Apple] did it [retire the application] and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store. The App is a work of Art and included a ‘secret mantra’—that’s all.
Is there technically anything wrong with this sort of application and it’s just shy of $1k asking price?
Technically no, there really isn’t.
But, since Apple’s own App Store is the point of distribution for all iPhone apps I do believe that the company has an obligation to protect consumers. Why? Because consumers don’t have a choice in where to get their apps; if Apple wants to keep their ecosystem closed, I believe they need to keep the people that use it safe.
One of the first apps many new iPhone owners download is PhoneSaber, a simple little program that shows a Star Wars lightsaber on the screen and, using the iPhone’s accelerometer to detect motion, will make lightsaber-like sounds as you move and swing your phone around.
Unfortunately the popular app has been removed from the App Store so if you don’t have it by now it looks like you won’t be able to get it, at least not for a while and not in this form.
THQ Wireless, owners of the rights to mobile Star Wars apps, spoke with the developer and they agreed to take down the free PhoneSaber. No legal actions, etc., just plain old telephone call.
The developer agreed to take it down and it looks like THQ Wireless will be working on their own similar app.
No word yet on price or release date for that one yet.
Sorry, PhoneSaber fans. Hopefully THQ Wireless won’t just throw out something inferior and charge for it to try and make a few bucks off of the Stars Wars franchise.
For more info about what happened check out the developers post here.
The App Store is full of some really wonderful applications, most of which are very reasonably priced.
Then there’s “I Am Rich”.
It’s a blank black screen with red glowing gem in the middle and it doesn’t do anything. Seriously. The description even says that “it’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.”
I understand that it’s pretty easy to get a free application into the App Store but I thought that Apple was going to be doing some screening on paid apps. Assuming that’s true, how in the world does an app like this make it in? What exactly screening for?
If you want to see it for yourself search iTunes for an app called “I Am Rich” (sorry, the phobos link doesn’t seem to work anymore so I can’t link you directly to it). If you check it out, obviously you’ll want to keep away from the “BUY APP” button or you’ll be very sorry.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go turn some of my own lame Photoshop effects into cash.
Much to the surprise to the developer, the movie showtime and review finding iPhone application called Box Office, previously available for free in the iTunes App Store, has been pulled but so far no one knows why.
According to the developer:
Apple pulled the app yesterday without giving my any notification that they were doing it, or what their justification was for removing it.
I’ve tried to contact them about the issue, but it’s been a complete dead end. If anyone has a useful contact number for apple, please let me know.
I’m in regular contact with all my data providers, and none of them have had an issue with my app. Indeed, the response was the exact opposite. They like my app and have even asked if i would do custom application work for them in the future. Furthermore, all the data i use is licensed by the owners as ‘free for non commercial use’. i.e. precisely what BoxOffice is.
So i’m stuck here not knowing what has happened, or what i can do about it.
As Gizmodo points out there might be a security flaw or some other reasonable explination for the action, but would it really kill them to tell the developer? Seriously, Apple, what’s up with you lately?
Video game development god John Carmack and the software company he co-founded, id Software, says that they will be working on a game for the iPhone.
In an interview with Forbes, Carmack says “we wanted to do something for the iPhone, but we just didn’t have the scheduling or the resources available…I really regret not having something at launch.”
“We have a title we want to develop exclusively for iPhone,” he says. “I’m not announcing anything specifically, but it would be a graphical tour de force.”
Power wise, Carmack doesn’t sound so worried about the iPhone, comparing it’s power to a PS2 or Xbox, saying that it’s the same generation as those consoles power-wise and adding that “the graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher.”
Check out the entire interview here if you’re interested.