Apple’s delay to international iPad shipping and how it harms developers

Apple has today announced that they are delaying international shipping of the iPad until the end of May.

As a user, and future owner of one of these devices I’m disappointed.

As a developer, I’m angry and let me explain why.  International developers are now at a severe disadvantage to US based developers without great expense to themselves, of finding a way to import the iPad from the USA.

US based developers have been able to see how their app looks, feels and works on a physical iPad whilst those of us not in the US have only had the simulator which is simply not good enough.  Anyone who has developed anything more than a one screen app for the iPhone will know that the simulator often behaves differently to the ARM architecture of the iPhone itself.

I’m not asking for Apple to give developers discounts, special advance access, free shipping, etc.  All I am asking is for Apple to allow a level playing field for developers and so that international developers that have PAID to register in the iPhone Developer Program should have a way of gaining access to the devices to be able to develop and test on.

At the moment there is no fair playing field between developers in the US and those of us who are not, of which I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more outside the US than in it.

Robert Scoble has written a great blog post on why Apple’s prediction was so wrong.

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