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刚刚说完App Store到底能为应用开发商赚多少钱的这件事,昨天TechCrunch的一篇报道又提供了新的信息。这次,情况更加离谱,很多iPhone应用开发商抱怨,至今他们还没有收到1月份的销售分成(应用销售收入的70%,剩下的30%作为苹果的commission fee)。而他们中的一些人,甚至从去年底开始,就没有从苹果那里收到过一分钱,累计被滞留的销售款有数千、甚至上万美元之多。一些开发商由于资金链断裂,已经暂停了一些应用的开发。

苹果的应用开发商协议中,规定每月销售收入中开发商应得的那部分,必须自月末起45天之内转入开发商的银行帐户。实际上,1月份的款项到目前为止已经迟付了一周左右。甚至一些开发商连2月份的销售报告都还没有收到,而苹果给出的理由则是系统升级。

而大家在TechCrunch上抱怨最多的,并不是迟付销售款,而是苹果的客服质量。很多人都有过这样的经历:写给苹果的电子邮件从来没有答复,打给苹果的客服电话,在长达30分钟的等待音乐之后,被莫名其妙挂机。

随着TechCrunch上开发商之间交流的不断深入,大家发现苹果的开发商协议中隐藏着这样一项条款(Section 6.3):

“In the event that Apple refunds any such price to an end-user, You shall reimburse, or grant Apple a credit for, an amount equal to the price for that Licensed Application. Apple will have the right to retain its commission on the sale of that Licensed Application, notwithstanding the refund of the price to the end-user.”

也就是说,当购买你iPhone应用的用户要求refund时,你必须归还100%的销售价格,尽管你实际上只从苹果拿到了70%的销售款。如果有足够多的用户要求退货,你不但无法从App Store赚到一分钱,可能还要倒贴。

与传统渠道商靠压货来最大限度的占有供应商资金一样,苹果通过45天的付款期,占用了一大批本不属于他们的流动资金。优比客认为,作为一种普遍存在的商业实践,苹果这种做法本身无可厚非。但是,客服质量的低劣,实在找不到任何借口。仅就App Store来说,应用开发商创造价值,用户享用这些价值,任何一方都是这个生态系统不可或缺的一部分。服务不好应用开发商,苹果难道不担心将来没有人再来帮他们赚钱?

至于这项refund全部由应用开发商承担的霸王条款,虽然苹果未必会真的执行,但至少说明了在苹果心目中,开发商的地位实在无足轻重。

让人奇怪的是,即使苹果公司对开发商们这么不友好,还是有不少软件开发人员站出来,维护着苹果的立场。或许他们是太喜欢Mac、iPod和iPhone了,不只要花钱去买,还心甘情愿让自己的应用,一分钱一分钱的塞满苹果早已鼓起的口袋。

(图片来源:http://www.cs4fn.org)


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    计算机科学博士、可穿戴设备研究者、互联网创业者、商业评论人和风险投资人。曾共同创办海词,先后设立联想集团硅谷并购办公室和联想科技种子基金,负责百度在美国的开放创新业务,现管理硅谷多支科技创投基金。多次担任黑马大赛、Demo中国、教育部春晖杯、中国教育电视台《创赢未来》、硅谷SVIEF、UCAHP、MIT-CHIEF、GMIC G-Startup等创业大赛评委,同时也是科技部科技评估中心特聘专家、北京团市委青年创业导师、南京321创业人才引进计划评审委员。