Developer Profile- Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData

On July 8, 2008

SplashData is one of the leading providers of productivity software for the handheld device market. Founded in 2000, their applications can be found on a vast array of devices ranging from Palm/Treo and Windows Mobile to BlackBerry and Symbian – as well as desktop versions for both the Windows and Mac platforms.

The announcement that three of their best known applications (SplashID, SplashShopper and SplashWallet) would be available for the iPhone was well received by many who have become accustomed to using them on other smartphone platforms.

Each of these apps are already top sellers in their respective categories.  Their ability to wirelessly sync with their desktop companion apps, via the company’s proprietary SplashSync tool, makes them exponentially more powerful.

Having used them on other platforms we, at What’s on iPhone, already know how well they perform and can’t wait for their release!
Earlier today, we had the opportunit to interview SplashID’s CEO, Morgan Slain, via email. We were especially pleased to learn that these three initial releases are just a sampling of what’s to come.

Read on for our interview…


WOiP: Do you view iPhone application development as an extension of the smartphone market or is it something new?
MS: From a technical and operational perspective, iPhone development is an extension of what we have been doing for other platforms, particularly our Mac desktop versions.  From a business opportunity perspective, I think iPhone is something new in that the App Store will make it much easier to choose and buy downloadable software the same way iTunes made it much easier to buy downloadable music.
WOiP: With your company’s depth of experience writing applications for other platforms, how does the iPhone development environment compare to those other platforms?
MS: Apple has made a lot of great tools available to developers, so that’s been a plus.  The only minus was that we started so early not all the tools were available, and the SDK kept changing.
WOiP: What was the learning curve in using the iPhone SDK like?
MS: Given the similarities to development for Mac, which we have supported for years, the learning curve for iPhone was relatively pain-free.
WOiP: What have you learned from developing thus far for the iPhone which will affect your direction for future iPhone development?
MS: Apple has made such great UI tools available that we can focus more on functionality and utility.  The look and feel almost takes care of itself.
WOiP: What percentage of your staff is currently allocated to iPhone development?

MS: Right now, almost half of our developers are working on iPhone-related projects, including the companion desktop applications.
WOiP: Apple has introduced an entirely new distribution model through the App Store, do you see it as a favorable situation for the future of your company?
MS: Yes, a great user experience for buying software is paramount.
WOiP: Does the distribution model warrant that kind of model?

MS: Yes, Apple definitely deserves the 30% cut they are taking.  Of course, I’d love it if Apple would choose to accelerate the market by taking the approach NTT DoCoMo did in Japan with their 10% cut on imode apps so developers would really have a lot of incentive!
WOiP: How does the current model impact future software development for you?
MS: Not specifically — we’re always going to invest in development our users request.  Right now, our customers are really pushing for iPhone versions, so that’s our focus.
WOiP: Do you envision setting aside dollars for marketing your iPhone apps or will you be relying exclusively on exposure via the App Store?

MS: We will be marketing our iPhone applications broadly, including exposure outside of the App Store.  This makes particular sense for us since we are selling companion Windows and Mac desktop applications for our iPhone titles.
WOiP: Do you see your company developing any iPhone specific applications in the future?

MS: Yes, definitely — we have some iPhone-specific projects outlined already.
WOiP: With the release of iPhone 2.0 looming what else would you like readers to know?
MS: Just to look for SplashID, SplashShopper, and SplashMoney on the App Store, and go to for companion Mac and Windows desktop apps to sync your data.

We thank Morgan Slain for taking the time to answer our questions and look forward to seeing what SplashData has in store for the iPhone.