Please note the date on this post. Read our more recent posts on the iPhone for more up-to-date information.
I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the discussion we’ve been having about the upcoming iPhone SDK (due out next month) and Laridian’s plans with respect to a native iPhone app. I want to clarify a few points and let you know what the future holds with respect to the iPhone and iPocketBible.
Our position from the beginning has been that we’re neither going to commit to a native iPhone app nor refuse to do one until we see the SDK. Some of you interpreted my comments about not doing a native app in the present (that is, before the SDK is released) to imply that we’re not going to do one in the future (that is, after the SDK is released). This is not a valid assumption.
I admit I’ve probably been egging you on a little bit. I love a good discussion but I want people to make sound arguments. I’ve been defending the “no native apps” position more strongly here on the blog than I actually hold to in person in order to see if I can get you to give me some better arguments in favor of native apps. While playing devil’s advocate, I’ve always been careful to clarify that I’m not saying we’d never do a native app, but for those who don’t always read to the end of my comments before firing off a response, you got the impression that we’re pretty entrenched.
So here’s where we really stand: We’re not going to make a decision about a native iPhone app until we see the SDK and have time to study it. If you got the impression our minds were already made up, you got the wrong impression. To the extent that I gave you that impression, it’s either the case that you misread what I wrote or that I didn’t write as clearly as I thought. I would apologize for the latter if I didn’t strongly suspect the former was the real problem.
Furthermore, we won’t announce our decision about a native iPhone app one way or the other until well after the SDK is released. Don’t expect a comment the next day saying that we’re definitely working on a native app. Don’t assume that we’re not working on a native app if you don’t hear anything from us. Don’t assume that we are working on a native app if we refuse to say one way or the other. Don’t expect us to announce the fact that we’ve decided not to do a native iPhone app, even if we have.
If we decide to develop a native iPhone app, the chances are good that we won’t say anything about it until it’s ready for beta testing. If we decide not to develop a native iPhone app, we won’t say so because there’s always a chance we’ll change our mind. We don’t want to chase people away who might otherwise wait for an app to come from us instead of going to a competitor.
Don’t expect a native app (if we decide to do such a thing) to appear a week or a month or maybe even six months after the SDK is released. All good things take time. During that time we will be neither confirming nor denying that the work is underway. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but that’s how it goes.
In the meantime, the best thing you can do to encourage us to develop a native iPhone app is to purchase the iPocketBible subscription service. This might seem counterproductive if you’re really dead-set on getting a native app, but the only gauge we have of your interest in an iPhone app is sales of iPocketBible subscriptions. If interest drops off, then why would we want to invest $100K or more in developing an app for a non-existent audience?
I’ve deleted the most active blog post on this topic in an effort to bring the discussion to an end. We’ve heard all the arguments. Some of them were good. We’ll weigh them all as we consider what we do next. We just won’t necessarily be sharing that decision with the world until it’s in our interest to do so.