The iOS In-App Purchases Requirement

Marco Arment lays out the arguments against Apple’s new in-app purchase requirements for iOS apps:

This is partially defensible: Apple’s promotions in the App Store certainly bring a lot of people to apps, and it’s all happening on their hardware and platform. But if someone wants the Wall Street Journal app and finds it by searching for “WSJ” in the App Store and selecting it directly, who really brought that customer to the app?

I laid out my arguments why Apple already isn’t earning their 30% commission for app sales, and nothing changes when the conversation shifts to commissions for in-app sales. Less than a tenth of a percent of apps are featured at one time by Apple, and those are the only ones for which Apple is bringing a customer to the app. For the other 99.9%+ of apps, the developer is doing all the work, and Apple is merely a ridiculously overpriced, feature-poor payment processor.

If Android had a sub-$300, contract-free device similar to the iPod touch, Apple would have a serious problem on their hands. I’ve never seriously considered getting into Android development until now.