In the endless internecine wars about Apple on “Hacker” “News,” there’s a common complaint that the Apple Developer Program costs $99/year. I can never get my head wrapped around that particular protest, as though it were some great barrier to entry. To put it in perspective, I subscribe to <deep breath> Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Now, Apple One, Office365, PS+, and Xbox Live, and that’s just off the top of my head. Most of them are for purely-optional entertainment, and all of them cost more money than the developer program. I suspect most people who frequent the board pay for several of these too. So, in comparison, the $99/yr for the developer program is not a lot of money. It’s certainly comparable with other optional digital services. It’s less than a single restaurant lunch per month.
You can complain that it’s not right to charge for the program, purely out of principle, but I look at it as though the developer program has a cover charge to keep out the riff raff, and I don’t think this is a bad thing. We all know how much junk is in the App Store as it is, and how long it takes to get a review. Imagine if they didn’t charge for the opportunity to submit apps? How much quickly-abandoned junk would suddenly appear, and how long would it take for proper apps to get approved?