Prices for iPhone apps might be creeping back up

Sat, Nov 22, 2008


VentureBeat reports that developers are bucking the trend of engaging in price wars for iPhone apps. There’s been a lot of hoopla recently about how developers are increasingly pricing their apps at 99 cents in order to attract users, but we might soon see that trend reverse itself as $9.99 applications become more common place.

But the real reason why no drastic change is needed in the App Store is that the developers are seemingly starting to get more comfortable once again with the higher price points. While Ngmoco sells its current apps, Topple and MazeFinger for $0.99 and free respectively, its newest one, Rolando, will be $9.99. When I asked the team why they chose this price point, they said that Ngmoco wanted to differentiate its so called “micro-priced” (cheap) apps from the more premium ones, which require a lot more work. They’re confident consumers will be willing to pay for a higher-quality product.

“A lot of developers made an assumption that racing to 99 cents will lift them — that’s kind of worked, but it won’t always work,” EA Mobile’s marketing director Patrick Gunn told me. He noted that both Apple and app publishers are still finding their way in terms of how best to price applications, but that things are starting to shake out.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. As people become more familiar with the app store, it’s inevitable that they’d become more discerning in their purchasing habits. After all, paying $9.99 for an iPhone game that you love is a lot more appealing than downloading 5 crappy games for 99 cents.


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