Okay, I'm really curious about this. On every other mobile platform, there are dozens if not hundreds of different sites to get software for your mobile. Seeking a well-established publisher who already has links and ties to lots of sites makes sense. Developers don't have to worry about advertising, distribution, handling payments, and all sorts of other details that can be a pain in the but to handle. With a good publisher developers automatically get exposure and wide distribution, plus have all payments handled for them in exchange for a cut of the profits. It's a sensible business arrangement and it works. So now we get to the App Store. The concept is ingenious. A single, central marketplace that every iPhone user has access to both at home and on the go. One payment system. Equal billing for indies and big guns alike. Granted, there are some flaws endemic to the system with regard to app ratings, but by and large the concept is solid and, ratings aside, it works. So I feel compelled to ask, what's the incentive for an indie to seek a publisher for the iPhone? The majority of the reasons developers sought publishers in the first place are obviated by the App Store business model: - There's no need to have some capable of wide distribution because there's only one place to distribute to. - There's no need to handle payments from multiple disparate sites because payments all come from Apple in regular intervals. - The effect of a big name publisher's brand name is diminished on the App Store because the point of building a high profile brand name is to build enough muscle for effective advertising and the ability to gain more prominent billing on sites that sell the software. Advertising is certainly a concern with iPhone apps, but you can't buy prominent space on the App Store to promote your app. From what I can tell, the only real advantages to go through a publisher is advertising, and perhaps not having to create and maintain a website for your company. Brand loyalty may play into it somewhere, but I can't really see it being quite such an important thing on the App Store. With the App Store playing field being relatively level (in principle) everybody gets a certain amount of exposure. Some who game the system may get more, but that's the nature of the App Store and is irrespective of the developer or the reputation of their brand. So is that it, really? Is advertising, space on a website that they don't have to design or maintain, and possibly brand recognition enough for a developer to seek out a third party publisher? I mean, it's not like it's particularly hard to get accepted as a developer -- nor is it expensive -- and if you've got the development chops, why wouldn't you want to go make a name for yourself on your own? Besides building your own brand, you would also get to keep all of your profits, less expenses, which seems to me anyway to be a more favourable proposition. Any developers who've published through a third party want to chime in? This has been bugging me for a while now, and the developers I talk to on a fairly regular basis (all self-published) don't really see the attraction either.