Developer Mobile Experience iOS vs. Android, Bankruptcy reality

One of my cloud and mobile friends passed on this post on LinkedIn by one of his friends who writes about his 18 month experience creating a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Here is outline of the author's points

Development Costs are Rising

Customer Acquisition Costs are rising

Monetization is Falling…like a rock

Apple is getting harder to work with

and the author closes with.

The net of this is that the apps economy is bankrupt; if you’re thinking of building and launching an “app”, you missed the window.

If an “app” is a way to engage users as part of your broader strategy, then maybe – but do you really need an “app” to do this or can you do it through a mobile website, webapp or something cheaper and easier to develop?

Don Barnetson was the co-founder and head of sales & marketing at DDT Software, Inc; he is currently enjoying some downtime with his wife and new daughter.

Keep the following in mind if you are thinking of developing a million dollar iPhone app.

Apple is getting harder to work with

  • Apple Approval Hell:  7 Day approval cycle?  Try 13 weeks…3 appeals, 4 new binaries.
  • Apple Changes their Mind Arbitrarily:  6 weeks after our 13 week approval we tried to add a new in-app purchase; we were told that our existing in-app purchase was now “non-compliant” as Apple had changed their interpretation of their own rules and only “actual content” was allowed to use auto-renewing subscriptions; not catalogs.  Ohh, and they’ll be applying this new interpretation retroactively in a few months so no option to just leave what we have in store.
  • Apple bled us out:  We planned on a two week approval cycle and a launch before thanksgiving; instead it took 3 months and we had to launch in December (don’t do that, by the way).  We thus consumed our marketing budget on engineering and had no coverage left for paid acqusition post-launch.