topherchris on this, specifically about how non-free iPhone apps get so many negative reviews in the App Store simply because they’re not free:
People are essentially saying “I severely underestimate the amount of work it took to make this” or “I understand it took many, many hours to make this but I don’t think you should be compensated.”
Exactly. Instapaper is relatively simple on the surface, but it still took at least 100 solid hours of work for the iPhone app alone — and it relies on the website and its complex website-packing and text-parsing features, which took many additional hours to develop and require a $250/month server (with a few hours per month of maintenance).
Or even within iTunes, are the majority of album reviews something like “9.99 for this new Beck album? Rip off! It’s just some notes played in a certain order! $5 at most!” Crazy talk.
My last word on this is a modest proposal to Apple: Only let people who have downloaded and installed any given app write a review of it.
This would help most apps’ reviews tremendously.