Indie Mobile Available Until Aug 31st

Published Monday July 6th, 2015
27 Comments on Indie Mobile Available Until Aug 31st
Posted in Biz Circuit, iOS, Mobile, News | Tags:

There are many of you who have expressed disappointment with our decision to discontinue the Indie Mobile commercial license subscription product – we are disappointed with this decision as well. Our disappointment comes from the fact that we expected and believed from previous feedback that there in fact would be potential for this kind of product, as there has been tens if not hundreds of people who have expressed interest in that in different forums. Unfortunately, that potential has not materialized in real life, the adoption rate has been extremely low, and we were forced to discontinue that product as it requires resources that we are not able to justify by commercial terms. We did not expect this to be a gold mine for us, rather a product that would fill a demand gap in our offering, with a very affordable pricing. In the end, we must say that we did not see any real demand for this – having just some tens of subscribers is a testament to this. Our mistake was not to announce the retirement of that offering earlier, and we do apologize for that.

We do honor our current subscribers, and we would like to now offer, for a limited time, those who have been considering the Indie Mobile package the opportunity to still subscribe to it with the same price of $25/month. We will offer this until August 31. Please use the following link to take advantage of the offer: www.qt.io/buy-product. We will continue to honor all subscribers of Indie Mobile after August 31st, however, after that date we will no longer make new sales of the package and we will proceed with discontinuing it.

We are constantly looking for new business models and opportunities to serve our customers and community better. The discontinuation of Indie Mobile will enable us to invest in new things, and we still believe that there should be opportunities for other products like Indie Mobile. Our new Qt for Application Development offering provides all desktop and mobile platforms and the subscription price is actually a lot cheaper than it was previously ($350 vs. $399). The latest Vision Mobile CPT report names Qt #4 with 18% mindshare as a cross-platform mobile development tool. Vision Mobile, at least, believes Qt will catch up to the Top 3 in no time. So, if you would still like to develop with Qt for mobile app development, you can, of course, use our Open Source offering.

Thanks again for your feedback and we do apologize for not being transparent earlier with our plans for the Indie Mobile package. We hope that those that were planning to develop a commercial mobile  app with Qt, take advantage of Indie Mobile before August 31st.

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Posted in Biz Circuit, iOS, Mobile, News | Tags:

27 comments

Daniel says:

The problem is that Qt is not really ready for mobile. It’s missing some crucial features.

How do you kill a product before it’s even ready? Some people, including me, was expecting new features to be ready (like IOS multimedia support) to buy an indie license.

I’m pretty disappointed with this decision.

Ha says:

Agree. I am a big fan of Qt but there are some essential features used in many mobile applications which are not available or still too buggy (althought the situation has improved rapidly during the last releases – thanks for that!).

– Monetization: not adding IAP features to the indie license, lack of ad network support. Both are vital for generating revenues these days.
– Map features: The Qt Location preview fixes this but I guess it will be not really useable until Qt 6 (the current implementation for instance lacks extensibility).
– Multimedia features: these are especially buggy on iOS but have improved recently.
– Networking issues when using sockets.
– Difficult to handle different screen densities

Dilshod Mukhtarov says:

Highly appreciated your listening to community feedback.
Thank you for giving another chance!

Julien says:

I already took one subscription. But could you bring back your package comparator?
As a developer, I don’t like wording and it’s easier to read a check-list.

Nejat says:

Totally agree. The previous table was so informative.

Philippe Lelong says:

Thanks for listening to us

Riff raff says:

But exactly how do you plan to make Qt popular and successful on iOS (and on other app stores where the LGPL is not accepted), if you request a 350$/month paywall? Can one have a simple answer to this question?

jcelerier says:

Note that with the licensing change: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2933052/apple-frees-casual-ios-developers-of-membership-requirement.html, GPL should now become possible on the app store since you can now have the right to modify and reupload the app freely on your device.

Joao says:

The potential has not yet materialized because Qt was still lacking a lot to be able to compete with other stacks on mobile platforms.

You need time and a mature product.
It is baffling that you cannot see.

Also what resources are required?
All indie devs want is the assurance to be able to publish on the app stores without legal concerns, for a reasonable price. I don’t see how this requires so many resources.

And your communication keeps making no sense, don’t these last phases of your post contradict each other?

“So, if you would still like to develop with Qt for mobile app development, you can, of course, use our Open Source offering.”

“We hope that those that were planning to develop a commercial mobile app with Qt, take advantage of Indie Mobile before August 31st.”

Mathieu says:

Very appealing : ” …however, after that date we will no longer make new sales of the package and we will proceed with discontinuing it.” Also as another person pointed out, how does it consume resources on your side ?

@Mathieu: Resources are needed for example to create, test, release and update the packages, resolve possible installation and payment issues, create and maintain the product configurations in the online store, content delivery network and other business support systems, as well as in website and marketing. Qt is very widely used, and we are proud about that. But the amount of Indie Mobile subscriptions is in no way comparable to the usage of Qt in mobile, therefore we see that product as one that is not worth keeping. We are of course continuously aiming to improve our offering as well as to develop Qt further. And we do care also about the indie developers.

Pau Garcia i Quiles says:

And we do care also about the indie developers.

Kind words but what’s the alternative for indies starting September 1st? USD 350/month?

Leandro says:

Exactly this. No indie has the cash to pay $350/month

James says:

Your argument seems a little flawed as you’ll still have to do all the work minus the marketing and website front end to buy the new subscriptions. If your still going to allow current Indie Developer Subscribers to continue subscribing. So the path your going down will insure you’ll spend 90% of the cost while ensuring 0% new income growth.

Like many others have pointed out removing this licencing option is premature as I would still consider mobile device support just starting to get out of it’s infancy stage. Just as the framework is starting to look like a valid option your adding a giant cost barrier for added platforms mobile developers don’t care about.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the main reason I see people needing the Indie license is simply to statically link against QT. It’s not because they want to change the QT code and not give back their changes.

Leo says:

Have to agree about the maturity of Qt on mobile platforms. I love Qt and we’ve gone whole hog on it for most of our development, but Qt on iOS and Android is just now getting to be a viable choice. We have spent a LOT of time on issues specific to limitations in Qt for our mobile apps. That said it’s a heck of a lot better than anything else out there and definitely faster than doing native for every platform. However it is not nearly as mature on mobile yet as on the desktop.

Unfortunately being a non-profit we cannot afford the $350/month. Will evaluate selectively open sourcing our code if we want to publish on iOS (as I understand it GPL doesn’t work on the App Store).

Robin says:

Wow, this scares me even more! It sounds like: “Take the indie subscription before August 31st or look elsewhere for an affordable framework.”
In 2014 and early 2015 most of the other popular frameworks (not only game engines) introduced a free offer with no restrictions regarding deployment of your apps to all mobile stores. There are also new technologies approaching like RoboVM, libGDX and NativeScript that also have a good free offer.
So what is your response to this? Dropping your not so great indie license (it’s not free and even has a speed penalty) is not the decision that I expected.
I think you should put something more in the balance to compete against the other solutions.

Tim says:

I’m curious about the “speed penalty” you mention. Is it deliberately crippled (build with bad choice of optimisation flags), or do you mean the fact it doesn’t include the QML compiler or something?

@Tim: It is not crippled in any way, so I assume Robin is referring to the Qt Quick Compiler.

Pau Garcia i Quiles says:

I can’t believe this. The new licensing has been managed in the poorest way I have ever seen.

First, Indy and Professional (i. e. affordable for indies and small shops) licenses are gone.

Now, Indy is re-introduced, but with a sell-by date (August 31st). And no reasonable alternative after that.

Does Digia realize the *only* sales you’ll get are from developers who were already quite advanced in development and cannot afford to re-develop their apps with a new toolkit?

In light of the lack of alternative for the future, I would not buy a license for developing a new app. I would rather look elsewhere.

What if I need more licenses in the future? What if I need to use the Qt Purchasing APIs or the QML Compiler? No choice but the USD 350/month license.

Also, what about the Professional license? Why is that one not re-introduced?

Cuke says:

To be honest a way to purchase the QML compiler as standalone product would be great…

Eric Gregory says:

The reason I never signed up for Indie Mobile is pretty much in the name — it didn’t provide a path forward for distribution on the Mac OS X app store.

I’m not sure how this would work in practice, but what I’d like to see is an option royalty-based payments for independent developers. Seems like that would be a better for both parties.

Stan Morris says:

I hoped that the Indie license would include some of the upgraded Qt Creator features. I would have paid the $300 a year just to have the test runner interface and QML compiler – I don’t publish apps (yet). I’m a convert from Microsoft and am accustomed to MS pricing for licensing and developer tools. $4200 a year for the new Qt application developer license is somewhat astronomically out of my price range as a hobbyist and is difficult to defend as a per-seat cost when pitching to my company. I would pay for an Indie license once I had an app ready to ship, even without added Qt Creator features, but I will not pay $300 a year just to park a license. I envy the Professional Qt Creator features… but at $4200 a year I’ll pass.

Jakub says:

Same here. I have some pending mobile projects for my clients. As I’m using Qt for over 6 years, I wanted to develop new apps with Qt and buy indie mobile when it is needed. I don’t need any of the Digia services, the only thing I need is commercial license to deploy app to the mobile shops. I’m one man business in eastern Europe and $4200/year for Qt is 15% of my annual income! I thought that VisualStudio13 for $700 was expensive…

Tim says:

This is a real shame. I was working towards a (closed source, static linked) app release sometime in the next 6-8 months and planning on using Indy. Now instead I’m contemplating whether it’s really possible to meet licensing requirements by making the object files available, or by dipping in and out of the $350 license only in the months I put a release up. I’m with Eric above that I’d happily pay a royalty as some reasonable % of app store price (bearing in mind the app stores take 30%). Having used Qt for free for many years I’m really quite happy to contribute some funds to helping it, but $4200/year is a heck of a leap of faith for someone just dipping their toes in commercial waters for the first time. (Maybe there’s an opportunity for arbitrage here… someone with a $350 license provide multiple people with an app-store proxying service at a fee level more comparable with Indy; I’d actually pay more than that for MacOS app store rights too).

Leandro says:

My thoughts about Qt indie license to get successful:

1. Continue boosting Qt for Mobile (Android, iOS). Qt needs to be simply the best cross-platform framework at mobile and IoT sectors.

2. Indie License: 10 $/Euro per month or 120 $/Euro per year, with 5 extra bucks/month to get QML Compiler. No support, no more extras.

Is all we need, IMHO.

Adrian Gabureanu says:

Truth be told, the Indie Mobile license was a complete failure from day 1. Few people will actually buy something that has legal stuff as its strongest selling point. Nor it would be commercially viable at 25$. If you would have added extra content to play with like ad network support, notification support, analytics etc. and price it at ~79$ it might have been much better. At that price, from time to time, you could have ran discounts to raise awareness about the product.

Secondly, 350$ is ok IF you target ALL platforms. However, as a mobile-only developer, I wouldn’t want to be forced to pay for desktop platforms, which I do not need for deployment. I’m quite happy with my current professional license, I’m happy I could renew and I do hope that the professional license for mobile platforms will make its way back in Qt’s subscription plans soon.

Gyll says:

Here’s my two cents:
1) stop releasing Qt libraries as LGPL, this will kill your business, there’s no way you’ll make any real bucks with LGPL. Release the Qt libraries *EXCLUSIVELY* under GPL
2) make a Qt Market, and allow anyone who wants to build commercial software to publish and sell through the Qt Market. Then tax each sale. You can define the taxation formula based on the price of the app, you can add volume discounts, etc

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