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Death Of The Bedroom Coder Part 2 : Symbian Replies

As you probably gathered from my original posting although it was placed on this blog in April it was actually written before Christmas. In fact it was written in November last year. I was attempting to get my application ready for the Christmas market when I encountered the Symbian Signed issue. Up until that time I'd actually thought it wouldn't affect me.

The original blog entry was in fact posted up on a Symbian internal forum as I was a contractor there at the time. The original posting within Symbian generated some interest and I got back some great replies.

I got some of these replies vetted and forwarded to me recently, and now I've the opportunity to share with you some of the responses I received. I've tried to limit what I'm posting to what might be of the most use, or interest.

The responses from Symbian are in this type face.

Symbian: A couple of points from Symbian Signed-land which may help to clarify things...

My application apparently needs NetworkServices, ReadUserData and WriteUserData.

Symbian: You CAN get a developer certificate without an ACS and still use these capabilities.  The only restrictions are the 6 month expiry of the certificate and you can only use the application on one phone (IMEI locked).

Symbian signed [1] tells me I need to get a verisign publisher certificate, ohh kay. Quick check of the verisign web site [2] shows that they are having a sale.. (ahh, so I have to pay for this publisher certificate.. no problem) brilliant, $50 off so it now only costs $350. Otch. That's a lot of money for my one small application.

Symbian: Its true that this is expensive for an individual developer but over the coming months we should be able to announce some improvements in this area.

Ok so once I get a publisher certificate I need to submit my application for testing before I get it signed. The Symbian Signed website lists a number of test houses I can use [5], these are Capgemini who will charge me $560, and if I need to resubmit another $280. MphasiS who will charge me €185 for my first submission, plus another €40 to actually get it signed(?!), so that's €225, which seems a bit cheaper, assuming of course I don't need to resubmit my application for testing.. fingers crossed it passes first time. Last on the list of test houses is NSTL who will charge me €250 for any test.

Symbian: Mphasis charge €185 for testing and signing executables.  Passive content testing and signing starts at €25.  NSTLs new testing and signing price is €250 and they will soon be able to test, sign and return the signed app in 24 hours for €275. There is no additional signing fee.  

That's £335 assuming I pass my test house test first time and don't need to resubmit. Now let's say I want to put my application up on Handango, from what I've heard [6] Handango take 40% of what you charge, so out of that £2 I would probably see about £1.20. This would mean that I would need to sell about 280 copies of application just to break even. Wow I don't even know if my application would be that popular!

Symbian: Handango is a publisher certifier for Symbian Signed. What this means is that they will test, sign and release the application on their portal in return for royalties for every copy sold.  This means you don't need to pay for an ACS but viewing the certificate details for the application on the phone will display Handango as the developer and not the individual (i.e. you).

It really must be the death of the bed room coder.

Symbian: Wouldn't say that, application development on Symbian OS based phones is increasing at a significant rate SINCE the introduction of v9.  

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