The 99-cent message

Forget the developer perspective for a minute. Even as a user I find the race-to-the-bottom iPhone price drops completely maddening. I’ve bought apps for $5 and $10, and now many of those prices have either been cut in half or lowered to 99 cents. I felt like I got my money’s worth at the higher price, so I’m not complaining that I was ripped off. Instead, I just feel like a fool.

But I’ve learned my lesson. The message from developers could not be more clear. Apparently the way to buy iPhone software is just to wait a month for the price to drop.

I realized this week that I don’t consider myself an iPhone developer. Technically I’ve paid my $99, but I’ve scrapped all my ideas except a prototype I’m working on for “VitalSource”:, and even that I expect someone else to finish and bring to market. If I was an independent iPhone developer I’d be furious at the instability of pricing on the App Store. Even to users it looks like chaos.