It seems Apple’s rule change for in-app purchases has claimed its first victim and, as was to be expected, it was one of the smaller players who fell first.
Reading iFlow’s statement is painful work, the hurt and upset felt by the development team oozes from the screen.
From the couple of comments posted under our earlier coverage of iFlow and our issues with Adobe’s support, it was always clear just how passionate the team at BeamItDown Software were about their app.
Sadly they may not be the last ebook app to leave the App Store and, though iFlow ultimately wasn’t for me, I think that’s a real pity.
But for all my sympathy for the iFlow team, there’s a part of their statement which should serve as a warning for all other developers of apps:
“We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game.”
I hate to be the guy who says it, but betting all on a single platform is a high risk approach which leaves you dangerously exposed.
Developers who support multiple platforms have some cushioning against policy changes. If one of your supported platforms becomes unviable you can draw a line under it and focus your improvements on those which remain.
Anyone selling 3rd party content via an app needs should use iFlow’s demise as a wake-up call and take a hard look at whether their margins and supplier deals really offer potential for long-term growth.