Feeds

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

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?