The app stores created an opportunity for any developer to build their own products and reach a global audience with them. For some developers this offered the promise of an independent app business, giving them creative control of their work and hopefully a comfortable income. Recently there have been lots of posts (great summary list inside) from current and former independent app developers about the state of the market and how much harder it is to earn a living from your own apps.
The number of app developers using business models that don’t rely on app store payments is increasing. In some cases this is sophisticated app developers adapting to the market.