There’s been a lot of talk about the iPad and all the minutia that surrounds it. But what about some stuff that no one is talking about, stuff like how much apps could cost, what the pricing sweet spot might be, and how developers could use the iPhone and the iPad in tandem. Here are some thoughts on all of those things.
Apple’s facing a real opportunity to increase revenue for developers.
It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of developers out there that are a little annoyed by the downwards push of the appstore pricing. It’s made it hard from some great innovators to turn a coin on their applications. They might not complain publicly about it, but they’ll certainly gripe about it over a couple of beers. Apple’s facing a real opportunity to help developers with the iPad. A bigger screen means more features, and in some cases a better experience. Things that were smooshed into the small screen on the iPhone now has a bit more space to breathe. Suddenly an application like TweetDeck might become a little more use on a device like the iPad. No offence to the TweetDeck team (I use the app on my desktop), but I just couldn’t stand it on the iPhone. While there will obviously be a slew of new applications for the iPad, some developers might be finding solace in the fact that they can now offer a more in-depth version of their iPhone apps on the iPad, and as a result sell them for a little bit more. The difference between a Sim City on the iPhone and a Sim City on the iPad could be substantial, and if done properly, and not a direct port to a new system, could easily increase revenue for the developer.
What do you think the average price point for an iPad app might be? I’m going to say between 5.99 and 9.99. The iPhone has taught us a valuable lesson, and there’s some mistakes that won’t be made this time around. Developers know that if they start under pricing themselves off the start they’ll be in a world of hurt once the market economy for the iPad starts stabilizing and meeting consumer expectations.
The real power of the device might be a combination
I get why people are speculating about the iPad in terms of a completely unique and new device, but lets take a moment and evaluate what the iPad could mean in conjunction with the iPhone. It’s a whole new possibility that many aren’t thinking about, and I’d like to see some developers really challenge the perception as it currently stands. Imagine having the calculator on your iPhone connect to Numbers on the iPad, and work together to create a whole new experience? What about being able to load up Eliminate Pro on your iPad, and have the iPhone act as the controller? If this were to become a reality companies could developer a whole bundle of applications to support an application on the iPad. We might see a 0.99 cent application for the iPhone that’s a controller for a development firms games, then an iPad game for 9.99. Talk about a new spin on the expected revenue model that’s being discussed.
All it’s going to take is some innovation from developers, and if there’s group of developers that can do it it’s iPhone developers.