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5/23/2014
09:16 AM
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Osmo iPad Game System Dodges Apple Tax

Osmo sells physical game pieces directly to consumers, bypassing Apple's efforts to grab a slice of the revenue.

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RogerWilliams
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RogerWilliams,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2014 | 11:59:20 PM
Re: Games potential?
You know Windows operated for more than two decades without taking a 30% cut of ALL software revenue, they did quite well with profits from OEMs buying the OS.  Opposite to that is Google, which can at least justify they don't sell android so they operate more on a business model more similar to video game consoles.  Apple on the other hand wants their cake and get to eat it too by taking profits from both consumers and developers.  They have the most popular tech product in the world and they milk it at both ends.  This is the point!!!!!  If you can't understand that, then you're not as smart as you think you are.  Comparing to brick and mortar stores and tangible goods makes not sense since their business models are not comparible.  Durrrrr Doy.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 12:51:30 PM
Re: Games potential?
There are many devices that work with iOS and have a free app, but these apps communicate over an unrestricted channel like WiFi or Bluetooth. 

There are also a few games that rely on physical objects and use the iPhone or iPad as a remote (Sphero and Anki Drive come to mind), but again, these apps don't have a hardware interface component.

Osmo is noteworthy because it uses a custom hardware interface -- something Apple tries to limit through its MiFi program -- and weds it to a game (and not a remote control interface like Sphero or Anki Drive).

It is noteworthy particularly in the context of games, which have come under so much pressure to be free and present such a profit challenge to game developers. The existing business models for game apps -- paid, ads, and in-app purchases -- all are problematic and few game companies but the largest can manage this challenge. GE doesn't face this issue with a $500,000 medical scanner.

And Apple's 30% fee for iOS apps qualifies as a tax more than Google's 30% fee because it's mandatory if you want to sell iOS apps (or in-app items). Google's fee is optional, just as Apple's Mac App Store fee is for OS X apps. If you don't want to sell through Google Play, you can distribute your .apk file through other stores (which may not offer a better deal) or via your own website. There is no legal way to sell iOS apps without that fee, just as there's no legal way to sell taxable goods and not pay tax.

As for the Google tax, that's a different article, related to advertising and websites.
DavidJ014
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DavidJ014,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2014 | 11:45:59 AM
Re: Games potential?
So I play 99 dollars for a mirror and a couple of crappy apps? This is not even an innovative way around the Apple Tax.  There are many companies not paying royalties for myfi.  Lets up the game here IW.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 10:06:37 AM
Re: Games potential?
Thanks for weighing in. I made no comment here on what % would be mild, appropriate, or inappropriate. Of course stores must reap profits. I am always interested in people who push the limits of existing business models in new ways. Tom Claburn has explained this as one example of innovation in that regard.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2014 | 9:57:13 AM
Re: Games potential?
I do t understand the big deal about this. There are many devices that are designed to work with iOS that are sold from the manufacturer's website, or even in a store, but have a free app in Apple's App Store. This is nothing to write an article about. Apple tax, Microsoft tax, Google tax and Blackberry tax. It's not a tax. What's with you people? Don't you think that every store out there is entitled to make a profit on what they sell? Laurianne, from your position here, you shouldn't have it thought that you are naive enough to not understand that. And brick and mortar stores can get as much as a 45% cut of sales. 30% is quite mild. Just understand that Apple's App Store has never sold hardware, and so this is the only way to do it. When GE sells a $500,000 medical scanner, and gives the app that interacts with it away for free on Apple's App Store, are they trying to avoid Apple's "tax" by not selling the hardware there too? Silly. Do you talk about the Google tax, or is anything that sounds even faintly critical of Google off limits, as it seems to be for most publications, while Apple is eager game for them.
Laurianne
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50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 9:43:17 AM
Games potential?
Why not just play word games that let you move tiles around on screen by swiping? Maybe there are other game scenarios yet to come that I'm not visualizing. Interesting way to work around the Apple tax.
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