Palm now waiving the $99 annual fee for webOS development

It’s no secret: Palm’s webOS needs apps. The iPhone has over 180,000. Android has over 68,000. webOS has, as of right this second, 1,812. Quantity by no means equals quality — but when the difference we’re talking about is that huge, it gets harder and harder to pitch that angle with a straight face.

Looking to capture the hearts and minds of developers everywhere who might not otherwise give webOS a chance, Palm is now waiving the $99 dollar fee associated with publishing apps on the platform.

The catch: Palm says it’s only for a limited time. In other words, its almost certainly a test run. If their development numbers spike, they’ll probably keep it free; if there’s not much of a change, it’s not worth giving away something they could be selling.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out for Palm. The SDK itself — the bit needed to actually start developing — has always been free. Only once a developer wanted to push their app to the App Catalog were they required to cough up the $99 bucks.

Was that entry fee holding back a massive crowd of dirt-broke developers? Probably not. But each new developer that comes on board could potentially build something amazing — and if all a great, platform-defining App costs Palm is a Franklin, it’s probably worth it.

Ready to get your fee-less development on? Check out their registration page here while the gettin’ is good.