The Australasian Apple Programmers and Developers Association is likely to dissolve in the near future as its management graciously accepts the changes of the last few years in the developer industry.
The role of the association has steadily diminished as Apple CEO Steve Jobs has placed greater emphasis on the vendor communicating directly with developers through Internet portals. Within the next few months, the AAPDA expects to dissolve.
The Apple Developer Tools that AAPDA once distributed to its members are now distributed by the vendor itself, offering developers access to its tools at a lower cost. This affected AAPDA's financial position considerably, and in response, the association moved onto distributing Apple hardware to its members. Unfortunately, the lower margins the association had to offer for hardware sales did not generate enough cashflow to develop differentiated services - services the vendor doesn't supply - to keep the association relevant to its members.
"The information role we used to serve is now more effectively and efficiently served by the Internet," said AAPDA chairman Glen Trestrail. "We don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. If developers can get tools and information more cost effectively through other [means], then we applaud that. It always was, after all, our objective to ensure developers got the best services possible."
Trestrail believes it is time to accept that their role is no longer required, and act accordingly.
"We are after all, a not-for-profit association of members and only exist to serve developer members, not to make money," he said.
While he admits the move may result in a loss of voice for the local developer community, he is confident developers will continue to add value to Apple's software in Australia. He is confident Apple is more focused on developers under Steve Jobs and that they can still maintain an efficient communication channel via the Internet.
"It is in Apple's interests to serve developers effectively," Trestrail said. "To encourage software development on their platform is important, as software helps sell hardware."