99.83% of all new iPhone apps will suck [UPDATED] - Macenstein

99.83% of all new iPhone apps will suck [UPDATED]

Remember that mysterious iFund setup by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to support worthwhile iPhone app development? Well, according to 9 to 5 Mac, a whopping 3 apps out of over 1700 submissions have thus far been deemed support-worthy by the fund, with a possible 10 more “being considered”. We’re no mathemagicians, but that more or less means the iFund trustees only deem 0.17% of all apps being submitted as showing any promise, or, to the glass half-empty crowd, 99.83% of all new iPhone apps will suck.

And actually, from what I am seeing, I’m not sure the 3 apps the iFund has chosen to support are all that great either. Only 2 of the 3 have thus far been named. The first is Whrrl, which seems like a Twitter wannabe for people who think they are so important that their whereabouts must be constantly known, and the other is iControl, which promises to turn your iPhone into a universal remote control for pretty much your whole house (presumably after you spend a ton of extra money automating everything first). Wow. Given all the patents we’ve seen for a genuine touchscreen remote coming from Apple over the years, and their history for giving themselves more access to their own hardware than developers, odds are they already have a similar (and better functioning) app in mind, so the iFund throwing money behind this one seems a little short-sighted IMO, but what do I know?

Out of the two apps the iFund has blessed, I guess iControl seems like the more potentially useful one to me. I’ll admit at first I wasn’t all that excited about the idea of an iPhone being used as a remote, no matter WHO makes the software. But then I realized an iPhone remote would solve the number one problem will ALL remotes – namely, now at least when you lose your remote, you can can call it.

[UPDATE:] It looks like this may be the reason for the fund’s seemingly selective choosing.

9 Responses to “99.83% of all new iPhone apps will suck [UPDATED]”
  1. Jonro says:

    If the iPhone had an IR emitter, it could make a dynamite universal remote. Unfortunately, using the iPhone as a remote would probably entail, at the minimum, IP-enabled IR blasters in each room with devices to be controlled. Or maybe it could work with the ZigBee for total home automation. At any rate, the iPhone would just be a small part of that (most likely expensive) solution.

  2. Thing is, location-based services are becoming huge even as we type. I can forsee the twitter client thing being pretty well received.

    Check out the growth on sites like BrightKite and others to see what I mean.

  3. Jerald,
    Perhaps, but I have a feeling Twitter will have their own, more successful app at launch.

    -The Doc

  4. zato says:


  5. Nairb says:

    You are assuming there is a correlation between the quality of the project and the need for funding.

    Why exactly does a programmer even need funds to develop for iPhone? The SDK is free, and so is distribution…

  6. srdupe says:

    Methinks you misunderstand the nature of venture capital funding. VC’s have no interest is what “sucks” and what “doesn’t suck”. They are only interested in products that have the potential to generate very substantial revenue. Nothing else matters.

    I suspect most iPhone software will be good. However, most applications will have a very limited market and will have to be sold at a very low price. These applications will provide small developers a modest revenue stream, but are simply not mainstream enough to generate major revenue.

    So, you should change your headline to “iFund VC’s see large potential ROI on only a few iPhone apps”.

  7. dv essel says:

    Methinks srdupe is closer to right than Mister Macenstein. Utterly weak argument and I’m not surprised looking at your site.

    First time visitor, last time visiting. Not enough ads to grab my attention.

  8. Ethan says:


    IR is the way of the past (though it’s still around for the sake of legacy support). OK, maybe not quite yet, but we’re getting there.

    Half of the devices you would want to control with your iPhone currently can be plugged into your home network, including tvs/projectors, video game consoles, bluray players, etc. Further than that, some people have extensive home automation systems which are network-based. IP based networking and Bluetooth will replace cable TV and IR. Playstation 3 doesn’t even have an IR sensor, yet has a full-featured remote.

  9. Tedious says:

    Wow. That was the most inaccurate description of Whrrl that I’ve ever read! No wonder you think it’s crap.

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