I am starting here yet another discussion about the Mac App Store, and the iTunes Store, as a follow up of posts in https://forum.xojo.com/1955-commercial-software-licence because this is not in the topic of the OP there.
[quote=13609:@Dave S]All Apple wants from you is 30%
Like any retailer. Cosmetics, clothes, furniture usually have a gross margin of 50% an nobody thinks of it.
[quote=16483:@Martin Gallo]I am just now running in to another potential cost - the $99/year cost of becoming an Apple Developer. This is apparently what provides your certificates and profiles that make it possible to sell in the MacStore OR the iTunesStore.
Yes, you have to rent your retail shelf space $99 a year. Compared among other aspects to $20 a month hosting+$15 a year domain rental of your own domain.
You got to realize that the Apple Store brings you home the cream of the crop of worldwide Mac customers without zilch in marketing or back-office engineering, local annoyances, foreign money exchange and transfers, credit card processing, customer support (refunds). Just to compare a few aspects of all that with a do-it-yourself endeavor, how much would it cost to :
- Open shop in over 100 countries with different set of laws, moneys and banking system
- Create local web sites in over 100 languages : .fr, …de, .co.uk, cn, who knows ?
- Support the engineering needed for all these web sites
- Support customers in all these countries
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Those here who have sold software over web sites for a while will tell you that even with a small one site operation, it is far from being as simple as hosting companies would like you to believe.
Precisely because I started back in the days before Internet with Compuserve and SWREG, I can tell you that MAS is a unique opportunity for all Mac developers. All you got to worry about is putting together the best app you can, and put it on the MAS or iTunes store. Then Apple takes care of all the sales burden. You get your money and run with it. All investment, day to day operation and marketing is done by Apple. I’ll say thats a pretty good deal.
In terms of volume, I was surprised. Although in over 20 years of online presence I had grown sites that are constantly on top of searches and have a respectable circulation, the MAS brings in about five time the amount of business on average. My sites are in English and up to now mainly sell to US and UK customers. The MAS non-english sales account for over a third of total sales. I would have never been able to achieve that.
The MAS brings in new customers. It does not lower the number of sales on my sites. So the 30% share of Apple is entirely painless: without Apple, I would have never had the business anyway. As for what the mere $99 a year represent in the earnings total amount, let us say that it never count pennies I leave on a table corner.
One has a very simple choice with Mac OS X apps : sell on a confidential basis through a web site to chance customers painfully enticed through shareware archives abused by major free software pimps who could not care less about you, or go with the biggest app retailer on earth and collect. With iOS apps the scrawny option of your own corner shop does not exist, as iTune is the only venue for any program. Fact of the matter being that thanks to Apple, some dozens of millions computers in form of phones sold a year with a bunch of apps, which would have never existed otherwise. As for the iPad, with nearly 50% of the total tablet market which itself represents 50% of personal computing, it accounts for a whopping 25% of the global computing market. Compared to 8% Mac OS X market share, Apple created here an unprecedented opportunity.
As an additional consideration, I should point out that Microsoft does the same with its Windows Store, with far inferior results, in spite of its overwhelming market dominance, and the fact that selling Xojo made apps requires a separate web site to carry out the sales, and a $599 a year Verisign certificate.
I’ll say so far, I never encountered such as sweet deal as the MAS
Oh, but it does : you become part of a searchable catalog called the App store, which seats on every Mac OS X desktop. In the days of paper, one would pay much more than $99 a year to have a small corner in a catalog.
Of course, that in no way means you do not have to carry out your own promotion.