Developers Wary Of iPhone
Developers of location-based services should be clamoring to make applications for Apple’s 3G iPhone, which features built-in global positioning system technology–but they’re not.
Instead, many are steering clear of the new device, which will go on sale July 11, because they likely won’t be able to make money on Apple’s (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ) iTunes store, which will distribute iPhone apps.
Steve Andler, vice president of marketing at Networks In Motion, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based firm that provides GPS services for Verizon (nyse: VZ – news – people ) Wireless, Sprint (nyse: S – news – people ) and Alltel (nyse: AT – news – people ), says the problem is that iTunes ties applications to a user’s iTunes account, as opposed to a device. For instance, a customer could have “three iPhones synched to the same iTunes account, and thus would only be paying for one copy of the application, but using it on three devices,” Andler says.
ITunes also presents billing challenges for developers, which typically charge users a monthly or daily access fee for mapping services. The firms say their billing system keeps users’ data current and helps underwrite the expense of constantly updating maps.
But it’s not a system that Apple is embracing, at least not right now. Developers say the company has discussed only two billing options so far: free distribution or a one-time fee. This has left Networks In Motion, which charges $9.99 a month or $2.99 a day for its maps and turn-by-turn directions, cooling its heels.
(Read full Article HERE – Forbes)