Dominique Leca, the co-founder of the much-loved Sparrow mail client, tells Business Insider that his team is working on an iPhone version of Sparrow.
BI: Isn't one of Apple's rules for the mobile App Store that you can't "duplicate functionality"?Leca also notes that Sparrow has generated more than $500,000 in revenue in the six months it's been available on the Mac App Store. Sparrow was originally going to be priced for $24.99, but they decided on $9.99 as a price point in order to reach more users. "People don't wake up in the morning thinking they want to change their mail client."
DL: Yes, but on the Mac, they can't really apply it, so you've got a way out. You can license your software without being considered a rogue developer, like you might on Cydia [the jailbreak app store for iPhone].
Developers have been selling Mac apps long before the MAS was introduced, whereas for most people, the only want to get content on an iPhone is through the App Store. It was a walled garden from the very beginning.
We'll see what happens with Sparrow for iPhone. We're just starting on this, but it's still far far away. But we'll give it a try, Apple be with us.
BI: So do you think they'll approve it?
DL: I think they will. They're accepting third party browsers, so why not mail? This would be really inconsistent. Opera has a browser out there, and I think Mozilla has one coming too.
Sparrow for Mac is available for $9.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]
There is a free "Sparrow Lite" version as well, that restricts users to one email account. [Direct link]