It seems that everyone has a mobile application store nowadays… Why not the developers?

There are a dozen of mobile phone application stores out there right? All major mobile phone manufactures have already published an app store or are planning of doing it in the near future. Apple made one, Blackberry made one, Nokia made one, Microsoft made one (at least they tried), all of them are going towards that direction (Samsung-Sony Ericsson-Google)…

Why is that?
The reason is simple… money!
Here is how this business worked in the pre-app store era:


Developer makes app -> gives it to a company[1] -> company sells it -> they split the revenue -> everyone is happy! [1] These companies are portals/websites like Handango, Motricity, Mobihand etc…

Then Apple came along and decided to make their own store. After that they changed this procedure for ever. After Apples great success, most of the mobile phones manufactures made their own store and followed Apples footsteps. Now the business goes like this:


Developer makes app -> Developer applies to company to be a vendor -> Developer pays fee -> gives app to a company[2] -> company checks it -> if ok, company sells it -> they split the revenue-> everyone is happy!
[2] These companies can be: Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Vodafone etc…

But what if there was another way, a better way for the developer and the customer! What if there was another mobile application store, different from all the rest! Imagine a store made from the developers… aiming the customers; no middle man.

Imagine an application store that:

  1. Customer pays the half price to buy the same apps
  2. Apps are not censored at all! Customer can buy whatever he desires.
  3. All developers can submit apps for free. (Even the hobbyists and students)
  4. Developers do not split the revenue with anyone! (that’s why customers pay half price)
  5. The store is not owned by anyone! It’s an open source project.
  6. Developers from all around the world build and maintain the store.

In this imaginary developer store the business goes like this:


Developer makes app -> uploads it in the dev store for free -> customer gets it by the half price -> he does not split the revenue with anybody -> he and the customer are happy! (The middle man is a little pissed off but he’ll get over it…)

I know what you are thinking now… This cannot be done, not in this world, who will bear the costs, maintenance bla… bla… Everything can be done. Here is how this is workable.

In order to work:

  1. No sponsors and owners are allowed whatsoever. The store must be open source and non profitable project.
  2. No bosses and employees. The stores business decisions will be decided by its members in an online wiki/forum discussion fully democratically. Help for the store development and maintenance can be volunteered by anyone (distributed in the wiki/forum discussions).
  3. No accountants, banks, money whatsoever goes in the store. Paid applications will be paid by PAYPAL only and directly to the developer paypal account. The dev store will not handle any money. This way it can be truly international since it will be only an online catalogue of apps owned by developers.
  4. Developers must put their app in the half price in which they sell it on their website because simply they don’t share these money with anyone.
  5. The store should be multi-platform and run on the phones (through an app customers will download for free) and from the website. Platforms that should be included are: Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Linux, Palm etc…
  6. There won’t be any kind of censorship in the store. All apps are allowed.
  7. The only costs it will have will be the server costs which can be handled easily by a $1 donation per developer per year!
  8. Being like that (the above) will guarantee that the listing of apps will be ordered by only one criteria: The customers likeness to the app and not by the size of the developer company/status. All developers are equal in this store, giant companies and hobbyiests.

That’s it. My idea is simple. The Developer Store (dev store)! There is no such thing now but all great things start from a simple idea. All we (developers) have to do is start talking about it. Start a wiki/forum maybe?

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