Apple likes to claim that the App Store replaced the system of selling software in physical boxes in stores and over the mail.
But it’s not true.
My experience selling apps before the App Store was not unique or new — it’s only interesting now because people may have forgotten this history, and younger people may never have heard it.
His setup for selling NetNewsWire online in 2003 seems pretty simple. And I’m sure it’s even easier now with an additional 18 years of development on software for online sales.
The App Store still has value. Having a place where you can get software that has been “sanctioned” by Apple seems great for novice users. But it shouldn’t be the only way to install apps on iOS. Apple needs to open the platform.