Xamarin Product Tiers Analysis

It’s June 29, 2015 and I am looking at possibly purchasing a Xamarin subscription to get You Doodle on Android. I love C# and want a C# code base that I can share on other platforms, like Windows, MAC and Unity.

In looking over Xamarin product tiers I see a free, indie, professional and enterprise tier. Free and indie are right out and utterly useless to me because the free tier restricts build size and the indie tier does not support Visual Studio.

So that leaves me looking at the professional tier which is 83 USD a month – per platform. If I want to go to MAC, then its 166 USD a month. If I want it on iOS apps, now it’s 249 USD a month. As an indie developer supporting my family, this is a huge cost, rivaling the cost of my monthly utility bills.

It seems like Xamarin is catering to big businesses, and that is likely a big revenue stream for them. With millions of indie developers out there who use and love Visual Studio, it is frustrating that the indie tier would not support Visual Studio. My guess is that Xamarin is afraid business subscriptions would drop. If so, why not put a simple revenue or company size limit on the indie tier (or free tier for that matter) and add Visual Studio support? Instant user base explosion and more revenue generated, without losing those big business subscribers.

Even better, why not get rid of the build size restriction for starter edition and add a “made with Xamarin” splash screen for the starter edition. More users, happy users and free marketing are always a good thing.

I’m impressed with what Xamarin has done, and have high hopes for their future.

Here are some ideas for Xamarin:

– Get rid of the indie tier. It’s frustrating not to get Visual Studio and another branch / variation of the software to deal with. No Visual Studio support is a deal breaker for many.
– Eliminate the build size restriction for the free tier and add Visual Studio support. Add revenue and company size limits to the free tier. Add a splash screen that says “Made with Xamarin” or something like that to all free tier apps. Maybe there is an upgrade of some sensible cost that removes the splash screen.
– Looks like Xamarin already has a component / asset store. The offerings and number of assets are pretty slim, either the component store is very new or is not gaining traction. I believe an asset store needs a fully functional free edition of the product (like Unity) to really be successful.

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