If you are a mobile developer thinking of distributing across several app stores than you might like to look at Distmo’s useful PDF App Store Overview.
However, once you actually try to distribute applications you will soon realise that things are a lot more complex. For example…
- Does your application have to be tested by a third party (e.g. Java Verified) and/or signed (e.g. Symbian Signed) ?
- Are there any types of application that won’t get approved due to carrier or phone manufacturer conflict of interest?
- Are there any types of application that won’t get approved due to their implementation choice? (e.g. No runtimes or frameworks on iPhone)
- How long does it take to get an application approved?
- Is there any feedback when an app fails approval?
- Is there any way of querying someone if an applications takes too long to get approved?
- How good is the application approval feedback?
- How long does it take to approve minor updates? (Your customers will hammer you while they are waiting)
- Can you sell items or services from a free app? If so, does this need to use the store payment mechanism?
- Is there sufficient app store information to allow a potential customer to assess your application?
- Can customers comment on your app and if so can you comment back and/or contact them?
- How can customers pay in foreign countries? What currency and price will they see? (the answer may surpise you, especially on Android Market)
- How long will it be before you are paid?
- How good is the reporting on sales?
- Can customers refund no questions asked? (You might not like this)
- Do you have the capability to refund customers?
- How much will you be charged for a customer credit card chargeback?
- What are the terms for a free app? For example, does it then have to be free forever?