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The 70% Solution

Apple announces the iPhone SDK.

Well, the iPhone SDK speculation is all over but the shouting (see Tom Krazit's live blog if you missed the news). The Macalope suspects there will be a lot of shouting about Apple taking a 30% cut of application revenue, although probably less from those who are actually likely to develop iPhone applications than the sage members of our silly pundit corps.

So, potential iPhone developer, let's look at what you get for almost a third of your hard work.

  1. Apple hosts the application for you. You don't even have to have a web server. Actually, since Apple doesn't handle your support, it might be even better if you don't.
  2. Apple charges you zip for marketing. Apple is your MacHeist (no one even knows exactly what those guys charge).
  3. No credit card fees.
  4. Your app gets a storefront with traffic you could only dream of. Think of the impulse buys you'll get. Leo "I'm Downloading It Right Now!" Laporte alone could probably make this worth your while.
  5. Potential access to iFund, which appears to be something like venture capital funding for iPhone applications. Steve Jobs is your pimp daddy!

Well, that's nice and all, but is it worth 30%? Eminently debatable. But one thing you can't deny -- it's certainly worth something.

As John Gruber noted, the $99 ante is a "no brainer". Not only does it "keep the bozos out" as Gruber says, it gives you a digital certificate so your application is verified as "trusted", making the whole system more secure.

One bit Gruber seems off the mark on is how Apple will enforce restrictions on what can and cannot be done on EDGE:

The restrictions are likely based on bandwidth needs, but that seems hard to enforce once an app is out in the wild.

There is no "in the wild". These applications will be controlled either through individual vetting or blanket restrictions in the distribution agreement. Indeed, there is a pretty heavy Father Knows Best vibe going on here, Kitten.

But, you want to cut yourself a slice of that sweet iPhone pie, don't you, potential iPhone developer?

Sure you do! So shrug off those nagging doubts and go download the SDK!

Well, if you can download the SDK, that is. If the way the Apple Developer site is being hit is any indicator, the 70% solution appears not to be bothering anybody.