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Michal Jerz

Joined: 01 Sep 1999

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Location: Poland
Phone: Jolla, BB Z10, BB Passport, N950, N900, N8, Nexus 4 (Ubuntu Touch), Lumia 920

PostPosted: Friday, 25.Apr.2014 22:34    Post subject:   Reply with quote   


I can understand your hesitation.

I dont think it is usefull to think of Jolla as a phone company. It is infinitely smaller than anyting else out there. Better to think of it as an experiment.

No matter how we call it, the question is if Jolla wants to REMAIN an experiment or rather to eventually become a serious OS or phone vendor/manufacturer. If the former then they don't have to do anything besides what they do - and not much will ever change. But if the latter then they should start thinking about something more, because the situation for them will become HARDER over time, not easier. Nokia X conquering the low-end market, Tizen to come out soon, possibly also Ubuntu, which may take away from them their current (only?) advantage of being an open Linux-based mobile OS.

Developing support for paid applications with content-protection, encryption, etc. surely is a difficult and time consuming thing. But why not in the meantime offer support for paid software WITHOUT content protection? Surely better than nothing. Nokia has never offered any kind of content protection in the Ovi store yet it was one of the biggest (in terms of downloads and users) appstore in the world. A simple disclaimer would be enough informing developers that currently applications are not protected, and everyone would have a free choice whether to publish his apps without protection or not. Many would do it, because selling those apps themselves they wouldn't have any protection, either. And the only thing needed to offer a basic support for paid apps without content protection would be to sign an agreement with a company processing credit card payments, just like they did in case of the Jolla phone preorders.

As I said, selling applications yourself is nowadays a major pain. Not only all the tax bureaucracy mentioned earlier, but also the need to provide technical support for each individual customer, keep the download (and possibly activation system if present) available for years (because someone may want to reinstall the purchased application and reactivate it e.g in late 2015 and he lost the .rpm and/or the activation code so he demands it from where he bought it), and many other things. On a small platform where you can expect (in the very best case) a few hundred of sales per application, it makes little sense, if any at all...

I bet that if Jolla launched even such a basic support for paid apps, the situation would rapidly improve. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of available native applications DOUBLED within a few weeks, and then continued to grow much more rapidly than now, of which I am the best example myself. Not only I'd instantly publish all my existing apps (that I'm still forced to keep unavailable), but within a few weeks I'd make another 3-4 apps that I want to make but currently see no point in doing it. Read: within a few weeks almost 15 applications from just one person, nearly +10% of what's available now after 5 months. And I'm surely not an exception - all those Symbian and Harmattan Qt developers surely didn't just vanish and Jolla is a natural choice for them simply because porting their apps to it is easier than to anything else.

Finally, as I said many times, an app store with paid software would simply be an additional revenue source for Jolla. Appstores usually take 30%, so even in case of just a few thousand app sales a month (given the platform's microscopic size) it would still at least fully cover salaries of those couple of persons involved in running the store, and over time it'd be bringing more and more. So I really don't get it why not do it.

Back to my apps, if at all I decide to distribute them myself, I may need to offer them as kind of "donationware", i.e. ask for a voluntary donation of a given minimum amount (corresponding with the app's intended price) and in exchange for it give the application as kind of a "thank you" gift. That's probably the only way not to get involved in the VAT nightmare. The question is how many people (who are extremely demanding these days) will accept it this way; I'm afraid that very few will bother, which - again - will make the whole undertaking pointless.

To recap: these days an app store is actually A MUST, or else there simply won't be any paid apps (and there will be much less of free ones, too - it's paid apps what stimulates development of free applications, e.g. Lite versions). Even those who decide to try to sell their apps themselves will quickly realize that it's not worth the hassle and will very soon give up.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 26.Apr.2014 16:32    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Kleuter wrote:
Better to think of it as an experiment.

This one hits the spot. To push a bit further in that direction... then I guess we are the lab-rats. Smile

Anyway, thank you for your suggestions. I was also thinking of simple games, making obstacles for the fluid, adding rigid bodies, there are lots of ideas, but very little time (and motivation) right now. Considering the dim prospects for Jolla, I think it is more likely newer versions will be written for some other platform, maybe Ubuntu or something else that comes with Qt5. We'll see.
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