Apple drives iPhone app developers to the brink
Could pay, will pay. Just not right now
A backlog in Apple's payment processing system has left some iPhone developers still waiting for February's payments, leaving some at risk of bankruptcy and considering legal action against the lads in Cupertino.
Desperate developers have been told to stop e-mailing the iTunes finance system and to wait patiently for their money - in some cases tens of thousands of dollars - while Apple sorts things out.
The huge success of Apple's iTunes store has caught the company by surprise, but having sold the service to small-scale developers it's harsh to leave them begging and desperate. Such people don't have the reserves - or lines of credit - to last while Apple sorts out its paper work:
"Over $10,000 here. Family, kids, mortgage etc. Mails unanswered etc. In dispair. No where to go. They don't reply to emails and there is no number. Can't do anything physically because I'm in the European Union."
According to postings on the iPhone developer community Apple has been blaming bank errors and processing problems for the delays. Complainants are being told that payments have been made, that bank errors have caused rejections and, eventually, to stop making such a fuss as they're really busy and trying their best:
"Please stop emailing us. Your 22 emails in the past two days is bordering harassment. We receive a thousand emails a day, and will respond as soon as we can," it told one hard-up dev.
The developer concerned reckons he posted that story onto Apple's support forum too, from where he claims the thread was deleted.
Dealing with thousands of developers (and their banks) all over the world is a significant undertaking, and one for which Apple seems ill-prepared, even when pocketing almost a third of the money in addition to an annual fee. The situation, as ever, is exacerbated by Apple's refusal to comment or apologise, which seems to be a blanket position on everything, except shaken babies. ®
With so few developers, whats the problem!
There are 15,000 apps. 90% are free, so only 1,500 are paid for. A quick sampling indicates 2 per publisher on average, so only 750 publishers to pay MAX. Thats hardly any (like 10 seconds of eBay transactions) so how can Apple be screwing up so badly!!!!
<i>Now its 4 weeks and there are hundreds of people owed money, apparently most of them around the 10,000, so assume 20 dollors * 100 = $2000. Great way to earn a bit of money, specially as they released there accounts etc in that time, would look good having more cash on hand on them for investors.</i>
Let's say 1000 devs * $10,000 * 2.5% interest / 365 days per year * 28 days late payments = $19,178
Okay, in the most "optimistic" case they were able to report an extra $20k cash onhand to investors via late payment shenanigans. You do realize they just reported $1.21 BILLION in profit right? Explain to me again why they're going to risk bad press and lawsuits in order to increase their profit by 0.00158%? If ONE SINGLE DEVELOPER sues them over contract breach, it will likely cost them more than $20k in legal fees to handle the situation.
They clearly have every reason to pay, and probably every intention, who knows why they haven't but I assume it's some kind of human error in the chain somewhere and I assume they're working on it.
<i>Slightly on topic, is this not monopolistic behaviour where ONLY appstore provides a means of selling iPhone applications?</i>
Sure, and it's monopolistic that Apple is the only company that makes iPhones. Why don't they give their software and hardware designs to other companies so I can buy an HP iPhone?
Apple carew nothing for customers and EVERYTHING for MONEY
Apple have no interest in ANY of its customers, only grabbing money from what I've seen over the last few years, they just don't care. I can now say that Microsoft are BETTER than them!!!!! -faints-