Java Reference
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subscribers to download. The subscribers usually have some deal where
they can download a certain number of applications per month and it
simply gets added to their bill.
This is a really difficult path to tread. To start with, you need to be a
tough negotiator with a strong sales pitch and a business plan. Secondly,
operators tend to look for applications that are unique in some way so that
they will sell well, and there are already thousands of titles out there so a
mobile version of Frogger probably isn't going to cut it. Thirdly, operators
tend to avoid making deals with small-timer 'unknown' developers - not
only because of quality concerns but also because when something does
go wrong, it is the operator that must deal with the irate customer not the
developer. Lastly, in order to mitigate some of this risk, operators often
insist that MIDlets be Java Verified, which can introduce some additional
overhead that needs to be taken into consideration.
However, let's say you ignore all of this and go ahead anyway. The
chances are pretty good that the last hurdle will tell you if your application
is truly ready. The Java Verified program 24 is a quality assurance program
run by third-party testing houses that ensure MIDlets meet well-defined
and accepted sets of guidelines. MIDlets that are Java Verified can use
the Java Powered logo on their splash or 'about' screens which marks the
software as having passed a rigorous testing process. This conveys a level
of trust in the quality of the software that is widely regarded in industry.
A better way for small developers is to work with content aggregators,
companies such as, and with online portals hosting thousands of mobile applica-
tions available for sale straight to the public. The details of the process
varies, but generally speaking, they host your software for free (or a very
small fee) and then take a cut of each sale.
There are distinct advantages to this. The content aggregators handle
marketing, billing, payments and invoicing; they are already well known,
have disaster recovery plans for their server farms and are likely to have
large volumes of Internet traffic which translates directly into increased
sales. They also tend to be far more interested in the application than in
the fact that you're a small business.
Other areas that need thinking about include a support framework
for your application. This can involve taking support calls, responding
to FAQs or emails, forum administration, distributing patches, releasing
upgrades and, worst of all, processing refunds. We hope this won't happen
too often and the best way to prevent it is to get hold of hardware and
test it thoroughly. For further information about taking your application
to market, we recommend 'Getting to Market', a booklet published by
Symbian Press, which can be downloaded from
booklets .
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