When the App Store first opened in 2008, it brought with it an exponential increase in usefulness for users and an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs. The exponential increase in usefulness has continued it's rise, but that opportunity is shrinking. The current trajectory is not sustainable. Turns out great software and service costs money.
One of the very first popular games for iPhone was called Super Monkey Ball. The game debuted for $9.99. Today an equivalently successful game like Clash of Clans is always free with in-app purchases or it uses some sort of in-app advertising strategy. The strategy only works if you get hundreds of thousands of users and a strong percentage are willing to pay for upgrades or watch ads.
Problem is that for every Clash of Clans, there are a 1000 similar apps that quickly flame out. Without an enormous number of downloads, the independent developer cannot afford to keep paying the monthly costs required to host and support the game. The Googles and Facebooks of the world can live by a different set of rules because they have other revenue streams.
As an aspiring indie developer, I want to provide the very best app experience. This is one without ads and hundreds of ways to nickle and dime the user. I know people put up with these types of apps, but no one can convince me that anyone likes this experience. The best apps are those that are compelling, fill a niche specific to you, and focus solely on getting a task done with less friction. If the price for apps keeps being pushed to the bottom and no one is willing to pay for these apps, they will cease to exist. Every developer risks reaching a point where the cost to continue providing the app outweighs the revenue generated by the sales of the app.
What separates the iOS App Store from others are the amazing app experiences indie developers are releasing every day. It is what gave us the familiar trope, "There's an App for that." Question is will that app be around this time next year or the year after that?