Feeds

Getting rich off iPhone apps is b*llocks, say UK devs

MPs told sales can't cover costs while Apple coins it

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Almost no apps cover their development costs and software services only make money in "extremely unusual" cases, some proper engineers have told MPs.

A panel of engineers and boffins drawn from the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing poured cold water on the idea of the internet economy in their response to MPs' questions about commercialising research.

Speaking through the UK Computing Research Committee, a joint group on policy, they told MPs on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that apps rarely made enough money to justify their development:

Software "apps" can be marketed through App Stores, such as Apple Inc’s iTunes store, but competition is intense, individual apps sell typically for 99p, and almost no one recovers the realistic costs of development...

The software engineers added that internet businesses like Facebook and Google were one-offs that only made money after long periods of soaking up investment:

Some innovative software-based services have been commercialised extremely successfully – Facebook and Google being the leading examples – but the commercial model is extremely unusual, as it requires huge investment to provide free services so that a vast population of users is developed and monetised through advertising revenue and added-value services.

Sustained initial funding was required if the UK wanted to build businesses out of research science, the group said, pointing out the example of the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, which funded companies for up to 10 years before they became sustainable businesses.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has put out a call-out for opinions on the question of turning research in science and tech into successful business. They have published the responses of 89 universities, businesses and organisations and aim to produce recommendations on what they call "Bridging the Valley of Death" or turning "successful science into successful business".

Click here for the written evidence submitted to the Science and Technology Committee on "Bridging the "Valley of Death": improving the commercialisation of research". ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?