iPhone versus Windows Mobile


No, I am not going to go into the over-debated argument of which is better, iPhone or Windows Mobile.

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I always think each has its own forte, and shortcomings. There is no perfect phone in this world, you have to look at your own requirements in terms of what do you really use the phone for. Hey, even a $50 phone would be a perfect phone for some, that should say something, isn’t it?

What I would like to blog about, is the software model of iPhone versus Windows Mobile, specifically on the development and distribution of the software, that would enrich the features of the phone.

I know in iPhone, software has to be downloaded from the Apple iTune store, whether it’s for a small token or free. The model works well for the developers, because if they would like to get rewarded for their hardwork, other than just a pat over the shoulder (well, perhaps not physically), having a marketplace like iTune store would provide the necessary infrastructure to regulate, tracking and monetize the downloads. As my colleague has told me, it takes 1000 people to pay $1 for a download, and you get $1000 richer instantly.

It is not that difficult to attract 1000 downloads within a week or two. I have experienced that before when I developed my calendar and home applet for PointUI shell platform. Within 2 weeks, I have gotten close to 800 of downloads for each applets, and to date, it has definitely hit beyond 1000. Did I get $1000 for my hardwork? No, in fact, 0 cent since I, like many individual Windows Mobile developers often than not put out our work for free, or for a donation token. Donation-ware, while it sounds attractive in an ideal society, does not work in reality. Many applications I have come across, were innovative and useful, but the developers hardly attract donors, for the number of user base they have created, based on the download counts. I came across one application where it has a download count of more than 5000, but the developer only has a handful of donors, probably a dozen at most. So that means that’s less than 1% of the users have donated to show their appreciation in monetary form.

The question then is, why wouldn’t we put our software for sale then? Why even put up the “Donate” sign when we clearly know it won’t work? Something to ponder about, and something that I would blog about in a short while.

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