Idea: Reducing the “Apple Tax” for developers
There are two primary reasons I do not own an iPhone today, both relate to my not being a typical user:
- AT&T Wireless is unwilling/unable to port my current South Dakota number over to their network (and I’m not about to give up my existing number).
- The ‘Apple Tax’ involved in getting to develop for it.
... well that and my not being hip and trendy.
Even if my number were portable... or I was willing to get a 425 area code number I’d still run into a bit of an issue as with any kind of smartphone, I’d wanna write a custom app or two for the thing and to do so I’d need a Mac to run the free SDK... the cheapest new one that can be had today runs ~$599 (Mac Mini), while the cheapest new PC I could find (without much looking) comes in closer to ~$299 (Dell Inspiron 530S).
Given the costs involved, it sure looks like one is a lot easier to pick up and start developing on/for than the other.
I’m forced to wonder... what would happen if Apple were to make their SDK (and related emulator) available for Windows PCs in some form. Given the current size of the Macintosh market share (~14%), it would seem to make a lot of sense to expand their developer market share to the predominant (development) platform.
Would such a move increase their their third-party developer ecosystem? Or would it reduce the number of Macs being sold?
Porting the system too much to to consider? Why not use another layer of emulation?
This could be done through a downloadable virtual machine which contained a stripped down version of Mac OS X, the entire SDK, iPhone emulator and whatever other tooling is needed to build an iPhone app.
Ready to deploy? If they were to use VMWare Player for their virtual machine software, VMWare’s USB support would make that a breeze.
Interesting idea I think... but still moot for me as I’m largely stuck with Verizon (or Sprint or Altel (for now)) and horribly disappointed with the Samsung Omnia I waited 2 weeks for arrive and that I returned less than 3 hours after getting out of the box (it would have been sooner but I had a couple of errands to run first).