Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

App Store Hijinks, Pricing and More

Following up on a round of App Store related reading, the story of a developer making a 'ringtone' app and making cash off it is becoming somewhat prevalent.

The App Store is something of a phenomenon, but some of this was somewhat predictable. For one thing, when the iPhone launched, even high end apps seemed to be capped at around $9.99. Now if Sega is going to spend a lot of time and money porting Super Monkey Ball for ten bucks, is something I've been working on going to go for much more than a dollar? Price pressure has been around since the beginning.

Course, that interview makes a very insightful point - there are a lot of people out there that find joke/ringtone apps hilarious and will gladly spend a dollar on them, show their friends who are probably of a similar mindset and, well, we're off to the races. You're not going to get that kind of viral marketing for a business app.

In other words, the ringtone apps are cash cows because they're crap. If they were real apps with real functionality, people would have to think twice about buying them. Even if the developer wants to maintain a "lite" or "free" version, this becomes a harder sell.

And to Sterno's point, if you are in even a moderately crowded field - pricing will be distinctive. Plus, if you charge too much and have any kind of problem with your app - be prepared for the negative responses.

Time permitting, I may release a couple of apps I've been developing outside of work. Mostly just stuff I've written to make the phone easier to use. My asking price? Certainly 99 cents. If it makes some beer money, great. If someone doesn't want to try it because it's not free? I'm not going to starve.

No comments: