I’d been thinking about how much Apple is able to do – when they want to – with iPhone App distribution, because of how they set it up.
And I’d been thinking about how much I’d like – both as a user and a developer – trial versions of iPhone apps. But I know what a can of worms is opened by giving developers the ability make and unlock trials.
And then I thought – could Apple handle trials themselves, completely, by making all apps in the iTunes App Store free for the first few days, and then processing the payments if the apps were still installed after that?
The answer, of course, is that I don’t know. I have no idea if this would work or even be possible. I’m sure there are a ton of issues and implications to be thought through. It may be technically impossible, financially unfeasible, or just a lot more trouble than simply letting developers handle trials on their own.
But I can’t help thinking how cool it would be if Apple pulled it off.
It’s clear that no one else could do this with their app stores – no one else has that kind of control. Or – let’s face it – the guts. And it seems to me that it would be very much Apple’s style: here’s a better way to do something, we can do it, let’s do it. And if it turns the existing software distribution model upside-down, that’s just a bonus.
Any thoughts? I can’t tell if this is a good idea, a terrible idea, or something in-between. And it’s probably just wishful thinking on my part. But it would – in my opinion – be a huge benefit to both iPhone developers and users.
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