More on the App Store: are web apps the solution?

The incredibly respected PPK has added his own thoughts to the debate on fixing the App Store problem (which I was talking about last week).

Initially he said that iPhone developers are idiots who should be building web apps instead, where Apple has no say over how their applications get delivered. He has subsequently recanted somewhat, given the lack of several key APIs and, even more importantly, a practical, easy mobile payments option beyond the app store.

This opens up the debate in a useful direction. I think some apps could be web apps that are currently not, but I still think native apps have the edge. However, this reiterates for me that half of the value of the App Store is that Apple have invented a simple, easy, secure mobile payment solution. They should open this up, entirely independently of the app process, and start raking in PayPal-sized dividends.