An interesting piece from a gadget blog I have never heard of. 


Gaj-it.com asks is Apple pushing its loyal customers and developers too far in times of recession. They highlight the latest murmur of discontent over the change to the iPhone developers T&Cs.

The changes will allow folk to 'return' an app after 90 days if they're not happy with it. Which is great; I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of iPhone apps stop being used after a couple of weeks. Score 1 for the iCustomer!

The only problem is that Apple has sought to insulate itself from the inevitable flurry of returns by demanding that the developer reimburse its cut as well!

So a developer sells an app for $5
I buy it
Apple takes my money. Keeps $1.50 and gives $3.50 to the developer
I then decide after 89 days, that I no longer want the app and I would quite like by $5 back. So I hit the return button
Apple hands back my $5
It then bills the developer for $1.50 - so it can keep its original cut.

Mmmm .... 

So having only received $3.50 from an app sale, the developer has to pay $5.00 if it is returned ...

Now Gaj-it argues that they can see the logic. Apple hopes to encourage developers to create better more innovative applications (after all, you're not going to submit something to the app store if its going to penalise you for being crap) which should cut down on the 90%  dross that fills the store at the moment. But is it fair to squeeze developers in this way?

It's a tricky one, but at the end of the day, no-one is forced to develop for the iPhone. Apple does exist in a free market, which is certainly demonstrated by their falling laptop/desktop sales.

If the new terms are too harsh, then developers will walk. If they are not, then Apple might have found a way of preventing some of the poorer applications from getting onto the store. Talk about taking a big risk!