Sparrow Mail sells out to Google, scams its loyal users

Today, Sparrow, arguably the best third party mail client on OS X and iOS (there aren’t many really) right now, sent its paid users this email;

This is great news for everyone in the company (big cash out), but for most of their loyal users, this not just a clear act of betrayal (who could blame them? Google probably threw hordes of cash at them for the sale “Not enough money? How about another million for kicks?”), but also kind of scammish.

Just less than a month ago, they heavily discounted both their iPhone app and OS X app one after the other, while around the same time promising new features such as an iPad version and push notifications in the future, on both their site and their twitter account. Both the promise of new features and the deep discounts lured lots of new users into running a third party mail client instead of the usual

It’s quite impossible this sale happened within a day or two, so Sparrow should have already known that they will be cashing out in late July, so looking back, those deep discounts were not to simply lure new users, they are really more of a “closing down sale”, an opportunity for Sparrow to maximise profits before the sale.

Which would have been fine should they have communicated this to their users, but they specifically misled their new users into parting with their cash for the apps, thinking that new features are coming in the next few months. This is the worst kind of sell-out any OS X developer could have ever done.

Seriously, Sparrow? Damn you.

P.S. Boing Boing has a video up about how to deal with this acquisition and prepare for all the upcoming innovations from the sell-out.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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