Four years ago I switched to iPhone and over the year I tried more than once to transition out of the apple eco system and failed every time, this entry is about why iPhone remain as the best option even if other better phones get made. Last week a friend of mine asked whether he should buy a Samsung S III or an iPhone, I told him for us Egyptians iPhone remains the best option for a certain set or reasons, this entry is about these reasons.
Generally the main reason why iPhones are better is the app store, the applications offered through the Apple app store are far superior to these offered through Google play (Google market). Most apps are built with some kind of monetization scheme attached to it, as it stands on average any iphone application generates up to 100 times the revenue Android or Blackberry apps generate, which means that companies would always go for the apple eco system and then once the revenue stream is achieved they may end up porting it for android or black berry ( ex. instagram). Having an iPhone means that you’ll always be one of the first few people trying that amazing new app, rather than first seeing it for your friends and waiting till it gets ported into android as an after thought.
Locally it gets even worse, I’ve built several android apps before however in order for me to publish them on Google Play I had to create a developer account, which meant i had to pay 35$ in order for me to get my apps available to the android users. However google checkout wouldn’t accept any of my egyptian credit cards, I actually had to contact a friend who has a british credit card and ask him for his credit card detail in order for me to create the android market account. Then it turns out that I can only publish free applications cause in order for me to charge people for my applications i had to had a bank account that Google could deposit money into, and of course that bank account can’t be in egypt or in any other arab country, they only accept 1st world bank accounts. Even if I had that resolved, people purchasing the applications can only use none egyptian credit cards due to the google check out issue, which basically means that there is no way to monetize any application built for the local market. In other words there is no reason for any software house to build an application aimed at the regional market.
Its Almost impossible to monetize an application built for the local market.
App market makes it quite simpler for developer to generate revenue from applications built for the local market, creating a developer account publishing apps and having people buy it on the Apple app store is surprisingly simpler than it is on Google market. Usually similar entries go through other factors such as the device fragmentation and how there are a million different device running android making building an application that’d look good on all of them is almost impossible, and how most people with android devices don’t really feel like paying for applications but I’m not going to go through these reasons as I’m sure you’ve read about them many times before.
Finally lately Google has been actively advertising about their products in Egypt, which means I can only hope they realize the value of the Egyptian market and start making it easier for developers to create accounts and generate revenue from their apps, in other words enable Egypt on Google Checkout.