WineAppI would love to create a wine app for every smartphone platform on the market, or even most of the major ones. But the reality is cold hard cash.

I’ve invested $30,000 in the iPhone platform alone to create the existing app. Apple continues to lead the app market by a margin of 10 to 1 when it comes to their smartphone users actually using apps and to supporting those who develop for them.

That said, to date, I have invested another $25,000 into each of the Android and Blackberry platforms. I’ve also created a mobile site that works on all smartphones: www.nataliemaclean.com/mobile

Why not charge for your app so that you can pay to develop new apps?

Been there, done that. The download rate on apps that even charge .99 cents is a small fraction of those that are free. So you lose distribution in a major way, and the money you collect isn’t even 10% of what it costs to develop an app.

Don’t your wine subscriptions pay for the apps?

No. There are also major costs associated with running Canada’s largest wine review web site (hosting, web developers, designers, etc) and a staff of 15. I, too, have to earn a living as this isn’t a hobby for me ;)

Will you update your Android app to match the new iPhone app?

Yes. This is also a matter of time and money.

The existing Android app already has many of the features found in the iPhone app (bar code scanner, GPS store inventory, reviews etc).

As well, Android is a more expensive platform to develop on as there are so many versions of it depending on the smartphone and the company. That’s the reason why there are no other Canadian wine apps on Android: at least we’re there.

Conversely, iPhone is one platform, which makes it far simpler and less costly, relatively speaking.

Why not create your app for BlackBerry 10?

I originally created several wine apps for BlackBerry, but updating to the latest operating system still requires $10,000 to $15,000. I’m also concerned about investing in a company with an uncertain future, much as I’d love to see BlackBerry succeed.

What about Windows and other platforms that are growing quickly?

You have to make choices when your budget is limited. If any platform becomes dominant, especially with mobile app use, you can bet we’ll be there.

Thanks for your interest in my wine app and reviews! I’m always interested to hear your feedback: natdecants AT nataliemaclean DOT com.

Cheers,
Natalie