I nodded my head when Marco Arment (Tumblr) posited there were two App Stores, but Steven Frank (Panic) has identified their origins:
The iPhone/iPod Touch, being available for both Mac and Windows, has a single source of software in the app store. That Mac AND Windows thing is key. The app store is not just a software market for Mac users. This is why it blows the minds of indie Mac developers like myself. It’s because it follows the rules of the general software market, not just the Mac software microcosm that we Mac indies enjoy.
Specifically, you have a large group of people who will download and suffer any old shit by the bucketload as long as it is free or extremely cheap. And you have 10% of people who are actually particular about software quality and are willing to pay for it.
In other words, you have the Windows market, and the Mac market, but within the app store itself. And you’d better be damn sure which one you’re targeting, and set pricing and development schedule accordingly.
I am firmly in the Mac, not Windows, camp, and that is why FatWatch is $9.99. Yes, the iPhone provides a bigger market to sell software to, but customers who care about quality will always be a minority. And that’s fine with me. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, they may only be 10% of the market, but they are clearly the top 10%.
Now I’m thinking I should raise the price of MetroCost.