Deciding an Application's Price Point

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by darwen, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. darwen macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2005
    California, US
    Hey Guys,

    First, a bit of background. I quit my job in January to focus on school, but picked up a developer account for a hobby. I started looking for work in June and have not been able to find anything since then. The app store is beginning to look less like a hobby, and more like a potential source of revenue.

    I'm about to launch a game I have been working of for quite some time. Compared to a lot of the popular games on the app store it might not seem like it "does" much; but when I watch people playing it, they always seem to really be enjoying themselves. A lot of effort went into it, and it certainly looks snazzy, but I also want to make sure the price is at it's actual value.

    I didn't think this was an issue until I begun to read some of the controversy going down over Tweetie 2. I haven't purchased it. I want it, but I am out of work and have a perfectly good twitter app already. Why pay for something if I already get the job done with something else? Then I realized I was about to charge $2.99 for my game. Now I feel really conflicted (and maybe a bit guilty).

    How much does the difference between $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99 affect your purchase decisions? If you want an app and are willing to pay $1.99 but it is $2.99, does that change your mind? It changes my mind as a purchaser, but as a developer it seems irrational.

    Sorry this is so long winded. However, if you read all of it, I'd appreciate your opinion.
  2. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    Well, $2.99 means I hem-haw for days on it. Wait for reviews, and then ponder it more. Because my kids play most of the games, there aren't many that I will pay that much. Take Peggle for example. It is their favorite on the Nano, but I just can't bring myself to buy it for my Touch since I bought it foe the iPod you know?

    Now, I do still ponder 99 cent games for awhile, but that is because like you, there isn't a lot of funds to go around.

    It seems like $1.99 might be a good price point for you, or you could launch it at 99 to get reviews and such, then after the first few days put it at the real price. I see a lot of developers doing that, and don't think less of them.

    Right now, I think the pricing has got to be one of the hardest things for a developer. Most people won't pay what your time is worth and would rather say screw you and steal it. Which sucks.

    Best of luck with your new venture!
  3. wowipod macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    With me if I get it in my head I want an app I get it, except where the price is too much or I think it won't be worth it. The most I have ever paid for a game was $13AU for Real Racing and nowadays I stick to 99 cent games and the $1.99 games, so yes it does affect my purchase decision.

    I'd take the advice of TraceyS/FL and start at 99cents and then move the price up to $1.99.
  4. mgamber macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    I really couldn't care less about the price. What most sways my decision is whether or not an application meets my needs and, if there are several such applications, which seems most in tune to how I do things. When I find such an application, and if the price isn't blatantly outrageous, I don't care what it costs. Number 2 on the list is support. Even if the application is exactly what I need and is very reasonably priced, if there's no support, I probably won't bother. That's why I only have a couple of free programs and those are throw-away games.

    As a developer, it is irrational. I always have a good laugh when people complain about having to pay for some program or another when A) they couldn't do it themselves if their lives depended on it and B) their phone cost them how much and AT&T bends them over every month for how much? I usually take the opposite approach by setting a price based on an idea and MY needs and writing an app to meet that price.

    All that having been said, sometimes it's difficult to figure out what an app is really worth. All you can really do is take a reasonable guess and see what happens. If little happens, then you have to guess why little is happening. Is it overpriced? Is there too much competition? Is it only a good idea to you? It's tough getting it all right and sometimes it takes a long time and several ideas before you hit the right combination. Sometimes you NEVER hit the right combination.

    Edit: One other thing you can do to increase your chances of getting somewhere with software is to learn as many platforms as you can. Right now I'm porting an iPhone app to Blackberry and when that's done, Windows Mobile. They're all pretty much the same as far as structure and the underlying system. RIM and Microsoft have set up "app stores", also, so there's really no reason to limit yourself to a single system .

    Good luck!
  5. icedmocha macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    looking at an app I consider a few things. I do a short series of steps, and take into account basic considerations. I do this for each app under consideration.

    first thing I do is check app shopper. If the price of the app has been higher anytime recently, I wait. My thought here is, that the app may go lower. I may buy if the dev. notes that it is a special sale. If the app has been up and down in price, but is currently higher than any previous low, I wait. If the app is newer and of mediocre interest, I wait.

    second step I do is check to see if the dev has other apps. If these apps started high and went lower, I usually wait. Gameloft does this.Examples I purchased band of brothers or whatever the WWII app is at 9.99 and it went down to 4.99. I have yet to play it, but thats because I have quite a few games. I waited to buy Heroes of Sparta at 4.99. EA's Need For Speed same thing. I recently purchased sandstorm or whatever they call it. I purchased EA's Madden at 7.99 because I think it may not go down till the end of the season.

    These are the basic considerations. Of course, if I like an app a lot, I buy it. If the dev. notes that they are independent, putting time in, y'know, just a guy making a living, I will buy it (depending [ex:zombie pinball]). These steps are quick and effective. When a developer like Gameloft ups and downs prices it annoys me. One last example: Lux Delux. I've wanted the full app, but its 7.99, and a few months ago for one day it was 2.99. Until it hits that point, I'm not buying.
  6. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    I think it all depends on the application and the competition involved. I know that when I'm looking for an app or a game that I also look to see what might also exist that is similar and / or cheaper. I don't often buy anything right away because I want reviews in first.

    Example, just the other day I was looking for a new GPS tracking application for when I do my bike riding. There are about 10 to 20 out there, some better then others. But overall, I found that Bike Computer and Every Trail had about the same ratings as almost every other app out there (3 out of 5) and many of them at $9.99. So I picked up these two, which happened to be FREE, and they suit my needs. I can't see the $10 app having $10 more value; especially since the reviews and descriptions indicated they have little difference. So I saved myself $10. Could that app have something I really would like? Sure, but it isn't coming across in the description.

    I think that is part of the problem; is that there is no "trial" period. Many apps don't have lite versions, or the lite versions are a little too lite. If developers had a way of releasing ONE app that people could download with a 15 day free trail, I think people would be more likely to purchase something they like. I know I have balked at many purchases because I wasn't sure about the app. I really don't want a gimped version, I want the full version for two weeks; get me to like and and then I'll buy it. Apple also needs to have a way for developers to charge for upgrades (major upgrades) without the developer having to post a whole new application.

    Without ways of trying something, trying the full version, for a limited time, it is really hard to justify. As for games, I'm a bad example, I don't play many games and when I do, the lite version is typically enough for me to get bored with it.
  7. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    At this point i have so many games that i only really want top quality ones. I usually wait a week or 2 to see how they are doing and how the review are before purchasing. If they are doing well and the reviews are good then i pay the current price regardless.

    For apps, if there is an app that i need and it does what i want i also am willing to pay the price. But i will look for other similar apps that are cheaper before making the purchase.

Share This Page