Tag: developers

Apple’s App store is the kiss of death for sales

For a long-time, developers have been forced to bend over backwards to satisfy the fruity cargo-cult Apple’s controls so that they can be granted entry to its App store.

While developers admit that Apple is a nightmare to work for, the belief is that they can be sure of getting money back by being involved in the store.

However, developers are starting to question the wisdom of their Apple involvement and are discovering that pulling apps from Apple’s store do them no harm at all.

Techcrunch spoke to Dash creator Bogdan Popescu who thought he was in trouble when Apple pulled his Dash app off of the App Store. In the 100 day period since the move, Dash maintained and even increased revenue and found that its users didn’t care which platform they were using.

More than 84 per cent of the customers simply moved over to the independent app license from the App Store license and Popescu found that he did not have to deal with Apple anymore. He had full control over his business and did not have any App Store installation/updating/purchasing issues.

Paul Kafasis tried something similar. When he pulled his Appl a year ago he found that the 50 per cent of sales which went through the App Store turned into direct sales through his website.

“It appears that nearly everyone who would have purchased Piezo via the Mac App Store opted to purchase directly once that was the only option,” he said.

It appears that the Mac App Store was not driving sales to developers it was driving sales away from our own site, and into the Mac App Store.

Maintaining the app for the app store is costly and much of his revenue went to paying the App Store a commission. Moving to a direct model was much better than trying to obey Apple’s channel rules.

Basically, developers are discovering that having more than one sales channel is also massively important.

Many developers are considering setting up a system where they exist on the App store but charge more for the product. Smarter customer will go to the website where they can get it cheaper, but the lazier types will effectively end up paying Apple’s tax.

Apple can’t interest developers in its watch

iType SmartwatchFruity cargo cult Apple can’t find key developers who are interested in writing code for its iWatch, indicating that the technology is dead in the water.

Even the New York Times  which normally sings Apple’s praises against all reason has admitted that few are interested in supporting the idea.

Apple managers courted Facebook in the hopes that the social networking giant would make a software application for the new gadget, and Facebook made its excuses and left.

Adam Mosseri, who oversees Facebook’s news feed, said the social network had been studying the Apple Watch but had not figured out how to deliver a good Facebook experience. The screen was too small to be worthwhile.

Other app makers like Snapchat and Google also have few if any apps for Apple Watch. There are 7,400 apps for the iWatch which sounds a lot but it really isn’t. The number is also not growing fast enough either.

Analysts estimated that Apple sold three million to five million watches for the quarter which is far lower than the 10 million which were predicted. Some analysts even claimed 80 million for the year,
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s chief executive, said he did not find the watch compelling.

“Why would you look at a small picture when you can look at a large one on your phone?” Mr. Spiegel said, adding that he preferred to focus on improving Snapchat — an app made for sharing images and videos — for other platforms. A Snapchat spokeswoman said the company had no additional comment on the watch.

Google, which has invested in its smartwatch platform called Android Wear, could use the Apple device as another hook to its services, like Gmail. Yet though Google offers a news and weather app for the watch, its more prominent mobile services, like Google Maps and Gmail, are missing from the catalogue

Greek Geeks flee economic Thermopylae

King Leonidas & Dead 300 Spartans at ThermopylaeGreek developers are fleeing the country in droves, fed up with working for companies were they are not paid for six months.

According to ZDNET  they are headed away from their homeland and into other countries which can actually pay them.

One developer said that in the last three years, almost 80 percent of his friends, mostly developers, left Greece.

From a developer’s perspective, the choice is simple one: an experienced Java or a C++ specialist can earn up to three times their Greek salary and will be paid according to what their contract states rather than what suits the employer.

An Endeavour study estimates that 200,000 Greeks below the age of 35 have left the country between 2010 and 2013. Most of them are “highly educated and skilled,” the report says, with medical, finance, and ICT among the sectors seeing the biggest brain drains.

They are leaving behind only those IT professionals who have families with children, need to take care of their aging parents, or they simply haven’t got the chance to leave the country.

Half of those that have already left the country don’t plan on returning in the near future, a study conducted by ICAP Group involving over 1,300 Greeks working abroad found.

The reasons being cited for leaving is the lack of meritocracy and the corruption in the country, mentioned by 37 percent of those interviewed for the ICAP study. Second is the absence of suitable jobs (35 percent): Others quote the economic crisis and the need to seek better development prospects (each mentioned by 33 percent of respondents).

Meanwhile it is set to get worse. Seven out of ten university graduates in Greece would like to work abroad, while one in ten is actively seeking a job overseas or plans to continue their education there, thinking that they’ll have access to other job markets, a Kapa Research study showed.

Most Greek IT professionals who decide to build their future somewhere else pick European countries such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Others look farther afield, to the US or even Australia.

Four horsemen ride as Apple open sources something

four horsemenIn a sign that either we woke up in the wrong parallel universe, or the world is coming to an end, the paranoidly proprietary Apple actually open sourced some of its code.

Jobs’ Mob announced that Swift 2 is on its way and the whole codebase—the compiler and standard libraries—will be open sourced. Code that even works on Linux will be released later this year.

Apple VP Craig Federighi dropped the bombshell about Swift following a long description of how wonderful, super and cool the MacOS and iOS features and enhancements were.

Then he said that Apple would be “stepping on the gas this year with Swift 2,” which sort of implies that Apple feels that open sourcing code could speed things up.

Most of the details came from a single slide, which showed the Swift’s new error handling system. Developers will also appreciate much shorter compile times. But there were few other details – something Apple is going to have to change if it is going to outsource anything.

Of course it will be open sourced in Apple’s way and not in anything that Richard Stallman would think was super, cool or brilliant.

Normally such code would be placed on GitHub, issues would be talked about in public, and accepting community pull requests. Hell even Microsoft took a while before it realised that sort of thing was in its best interests.

Swift source code will be released under an OSI-approved permissive license.

Mobile apps getting mature

A survey by Gartner has revealed that after eight years using smarthone applications, the penny has dropped with people and their interest in apps has “mellowed”.

That means that developers need to sharpen their wits and concentrate on keeping people happy by better development, better marketing and better branding.

Gartner conducted a survey of 2,000 people in the USA and Germany and looked at how people intend to use their apps in the future.

App use is high in all categories but unsurprisingly social media and video are top of the pops.

Gartner concludes that peoples’ engagement with apps could be reaching a plateau and that will force product managers to create and make money in different ways because people just won’t change their app consumption patterns.

People, however, “remain excited” about what apps can do for them.

Apple patches dire bug

Fruity cargo cult Apple has no problem with viruses, it just pretends it does not have them and quietly pushes a fix to its users usually months afterwards.

This time though Apple has made the unusual step of issuing a fix for a security flaw within days and telling people.

Part of the problem is that the flaw was a big one and that it allows hackers to intercept data such as email.

The security update for users of Apple’s OS X computer operating software follows a fix issued for iPhones last week, meaning all Apple device users now have access to the patch.

However, security analysts are wondering how the flaw could be in Apple software in the first place. The flaw was in the way iOS handles sessions, in what are known as secure sockets layer (SSL) or transport layer security. The flaw is such a basic software howler that it is a wonder it was not spotted.

Researchers have said the bug could have been present for months. Some have suggested that the flaw might have been an intentional backdoor that Apple was operating in agreement with the NSA. Jobs’ Mob has to be seen to shut it down, or else ordinary hackers might use it.

The bug let attackers with access to a mobile user’s network, such as a shared unsecured wireless service offered by a cafe, to see or alter exchanges between the user and protected sites such as Google Gmail or Facebook.

Apple asks a court to stop telling it what to do

Jobs’ Mob has been channelling Amanda Knox and insisting that it does not have to be punished for breaking the law.

Apple has been found guilty of running a cartel with publishers which aimed to push up the price of ebooks. The judge ordered an antitrust monitor to be appointed to Apple to help educate it how to avoid screwing its customers by illegal means ever again.

However Apple whined to the court that since it never believed that it had done anything wrong in the first place, having an outsider telling it what to do was annoying.

Apple urged a federal appeals court on Tuesday to put a court-appointed antitrust monitor on hold, arguing that his efforts were harming the company’s business and stopping it screwing over customers, er coming up with new ideas for products.

The iPhone maker asked the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to halt monitor Michael Bromwich’s work while the court considers Apple’s bid to remove him altogether, a process that could last several months.

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for Apple, in explaining why the company would suffer irreparable harm if the monitor is allowed to continue before the appeals court has a chance to decide whether his appointment was appropriate in the first place.

A US Department of Justice lawyer told the court that the monitor was essential to ensure that Apple complies with the law, after a federal judge last summer found the company liable for conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices. Apple cannot be trusted to comply on its own.

Finnuala Tessier said that the preliminary injunction demands that Apple fully understands why and how it needs to comply with antitrust laws, not a year from now … but today.

Apple has accused Bromwich of aggressively and unnecessarily pursuing multiple interviews with top executives, including Jonathan Ive, the company’s chief designer. We would have thought that was his job.

It has also complained that Bromwich’s fees and duties would cost it millions of dollars, however the lawyers it has paid to make these ridiculous requests have also cost it millions so we cannot see why it is so upset.

We also do not think these arguments are going to fly. The judges seemed sceptical saying that the company had a fair bit of cash to play with.

“Maybe if they had spent some of their very valuable time keeping the company from violating antitrust laws, perhaps they wouldn’t be in this position,” Judge Gerard Lynch said.

Apple has long said that it was perfectly justified in setting up a price cartel with publishers and it is convinced that an Appeals court will agree with it. 

Apple losing in China

While the Tame Apple Press was trying to tell the world that Apple was going to do well in China, TechEye received a good kicking from Apple Fanboys for daring to say it was not going to happen.

Well it looks like we were right and anyone who invested in Jobs’ Mob would have a case for suing the New York Times and its ilk for trying to talk up what was obviously false.

Apple is in trouble anyway – it had a disappointing March-quarter revenue forecast, coupled with surprisingly weak holiday iPhone sales, but what is interesting is how much the Tame Apple Press over-estimated initial demand from China Mobile’s 700 million-plus subscribers. This 30 million units a year over-estimation pushed Apple’s share price up 18 percent higher in the fourth quarter.

The shortfall raises doubt about the country’s appetite for its devices as well as broader concerns about flagging global demand for smartphones and tablets. Apple and China Mobile struck their deal in December, and iPhones went on sale in January.

The reason for the failure however was obvious. Apple was going to trot out its same business model in China that it did elsewhere using products which were expensive and more or less the same as that which was already in the market. After all that works in America, where Apple Fanboys have dosh to spend and tend to fall for marketing easily.

However in China, not only are buyers more sensible, they also have a lot less money to waste. The iPhone was selling for $740 which is about a tenth of the average urban income of $7,600. There was also insufficient high-speed 4G wireless coverage to make the phone worthwhile and persistently stiff competition from local players such as Huawei and Xiaomi.

Apple arrogantly refused to adapt and evolve for the Chinese market. Its doom was obvious. So what are the Tame Apple Press saying about this disaster and their own inability to see the obvious? Its iPhone 5C, which many had hoped would finally grant it an unassailable foothold in the market, was just $100 cheaper than the high-end 5S.

Apparently iPhone buyers may also be waiting for the next iteration, which is widely rumoured to adopt the larger screens that Samsung Electronics and other rivals have proved can be more popular with Asian buyers!

That is right, Apple is going to produce yet another expensive handset following the design of its more competent rivals. Yeah, that should do it. People often buy a more expensive version of technology which is already out there.

The other part of the reality distortion field is claiming that Apple will do better when China Mobile’s high-speed 4G mobile networks start to spread. There are only 16 cities covered so far.

However that bonus will work in favour of all Apple’s rivals too, who all have 4G offerings ready at a price which is much cheaper than Jobs’ Mob.

Yesterday Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Cook argued that investors should not be too fixated on that sales forecast, saying underlying demand remained strong. In other words don’t look at the quality feel the width.

While Apple still keeps doggedly hanging on to its increasingly out of date business model it is going to get more and more of a kicking from its rivals. 

The end is nigh for Apple

There are grave portents of the end of the world for the Apple Cargo cult – the Sky has turned black, clouds did pour forth Late, a four headed dog was birthed by a Chicago woman and people did not buy as many iPhones for Christmas.

For a while now, the Tame Apple Press has been talking up Apple’s deals with the Chinese as a way that Apple would ride out an expected downturn in iPhone sales. However not only are saner heads pointing out that Apple is doomed in China, it seems that the company’s core base, the US, is losing interest in the cargo cult.

The forecast for the March quarter, when Apple is expected to have reaped the fruits of that long-awaited deal, raised questions of whether investors were stupid enough to ignore warnings from TechEye, and instead bought into the New York Time’s vision of a China fit for Apple fanboys.

Shipments to China Mobile were much lower than almost anybody expected and the US market is saturated. In short Jobs’ Mob has nowhere to go.

The world’s most valuable technology company sold a record 51 million iPhones in the quarter. This is not bad but shy of the 55 million analysts had expected.

The company on Monday recorded sales of $57.6 billion in its December or fiscal first quarter, versus expectations for about $57.5 billion. Net profit was flat from a year earlier at $13.1 billion, or $14.50 a share.

In other words, Apple’s days of growth are over and it has no new products or ideas that can save it. This means that its share price will fall.

Of course Apple’s reality distortion field is still working. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer told analysts on a conference call the March quarter revenue outlook was all because of a strong US dollar and more balanced levels of demand and supply for iPhones at the start of 2014 than a year earlier, when demand outstripped available inventory. 

Apple demands the government stops watching it

Fruity cargo cult Apple has made the brave move of telling a US court that it is above the law.

Although there had been rumours that Jobs’ Mob was furious with a court for appointing a monitor to make sure it did not set up price cartels in the future, few expected the company to show complete contempt for the US legal system.

Apple lawyers demanded that a lawyer appointed by a court to monitor its antitrust compliance be removed. They claimed he had shown a personal bias against the company by telling Apple what to do and arrange meetings with key Apple figures.

Jobs’ Mob had refused to allow him to do that and was now asking the court to back its decision. After all any decision about Apple was made by its CEO in consultation with the late spirit of Steve Jobs and was holier than any court ruling.

An attorney for the consumer technology giant on Tuesday asked US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan Apple’s lawyer to knock off a “wholly inappropriate declaration” filed by Bromwich last month.

In the letter Bromwich dared to defend his work as a monitor against Apple’s complaint, he also detailed his unsuccessful efforts to gain Apple’s cooperation for his assignment. According to Apple that was heresy, because it implied that Apple either did not know what it was doing, or was deliberately trying to get around the court order.

The relationship between Apple and Bromwich quickly spiraled downward when it became clear that Bromwich was taking his job seriously. Apple complained Bromwich had aggressively sought to interview top executives, even though his mandate called for him to assess the company’s antitrust policies 90 days after his appointment.

Apple also cited Bromwich’s proposed hourly payment rate of $1,100. Those fees, Apple argued, provided Bromwich incentive to run “as broad and intrusive investigation as possible.”

It is not clear what Judge Cote will say. Apple has indicated several times that it believed it was legal to operate a price fixing cartel with publishers. Our guess is the judge might tell Apple that it has committed a crime against its customers and it was time to face the music on the court’s terms, not the iTunes terms and conditions.