This is a big nothingburger. If you work your way through all the constraints of the new model (and still find it worthwhile somehow), it still requires a centralized review for notarization and does not address (or improve) the case of people wanting to run their own code on their own devices at all – you still need to pay the $99 fee and go through all the existing hoops.
Most press coverage I’ve seen focuses on reduced fees but ignores all the rest. In short, this will only work out for the folk with a spare US $1M to create a store–even indies with less than a million installs will have to jump through various hoops, and effectively pray their app doesn’t become too popular.
But, most importantly for me personally, this kills any notions one might have of hobbyist developers creating and testing small apps for friends and family–especially if you’re a kid (and I have two budding developers in the house who could have done that by now).
You would think it would be a trivial matter for Apple to check if a given self-signed app is running on a device owned by the same Apple ID (or, even better, a designated, very small set of Apple IDs, like a “family” TestFlight).
So yes, I’m getting my kids a couple of cheap Android tablets for prototyping. Kinda sad we gave away their Nexus 7s, really.