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View Full Version : Are Palm developers making money?

Jason Dunn
02-11-2002, 12:09 AM
<a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-832609.html">http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-832609.html</a><br /><br />This is article is a great read whether you're a Palm or Pocket PC user - I've always wondered if people who write software for PDAs really make money. I know those of us that run web sites don't. ;-)<br /><br />"Palm's operating system unit has a new mantra for its developers: We don't make money unless you make money. The concept went over well when OS chief David Nagel first delivered it Tuesday as part of his keynote speech at the PalmSource developers conference in San Jose, Calif. But it raises the question: Are Palm developers making money? The answer appears to be different depending whom you talk to." Source: Christopher Coulter

Ed Hansberry
02-11-2002, 12:19 AM
Well, if you divide the 13,600 apps (Palm's number) by the number of developers (200,000 - again, Palm's number) there is no way they are making money. :lol:

I am sure the big apps do, like DateBk4 and HanDBase, but with quotes like "One of the difficulties is that there's no one killer program Palm owners want to go into a store to buy. In fact, aside from the built-in programs for the Palm, no application is on more than 10 percent of handhelds" it makes you wonder if they are either...

02-11-2002, 12:53 AM
Many developers (in the PocketPC world) are inside companies doing inside jobs - programs for doctors, wharehousing or insurance companies (as I job I just did for a PocketPC and Win32 app), which uses the device's small size and computation power to serve as tools for mobile professionals.

Count me in in one of those 200,000 who has not written any of the 13000 apps... eh, but in the PocketPC world, where the numbers are going to be different.

Rob Alexander
02-11-2002, 03:36 AM
8O The thing that surprises me in the article is the discussion by the person from Handango suggesting that trial versions reduce sales. I find that really hard to believe as I can count on one finger the number of PPC applications I've purchased without first trying out a demo. There have been several products that I would like to have tried, but with no trial, I have simply passed them by. Am I typical or the exception? Jason, it would be interesting to run a poll on how many people either will or will not buy PPC software without a trial version to check out first. I sure hope Handango doesn't start pushing their developers that way as I think it would hurt the industry, not help it.

02-11-2002, 03:53 AM
I've gotten rather jaded when it comes to apps these days. If I can't grab a trial version, I won't but it...and I find that I usually don't buy things I try because they suck. 8O

02-11-2002, 02:04 PM
The article gives the impression that shareware is downloaded once and can be used indefinitely thereafter without having to pay; a clever journalistic legerdemain but, in the main, simply not true (most expire in some way)!

I suggest that sales have increased because prices have become more reasonable - the days of the USD40 or USD50 Palm or PPC application are numbered, and the point about USD15 being a critical price is plausible (compare ringtones and logos for mobile phones, which have also hit their critical price as people here are quite happy to spend USD1 on them).

That sales increase because demo versions no longer become available seems, to me, to be a classic non-causal correlation and, in fact, disastrous if believed - I, for one, would never now buy anything before being able to try it, and the days when the box and disks came through the post and you had to like them or lump them are, I hope, gone for ever.