What's the real purpose of "in app" purchases?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by aneftp, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Ok, I would normally search but "the search engine is temporarily disabled for upgrades. We'll be back soon". So in a nutshell I can't use the search button.

    Anyways question involved in app purchases.

    I simply hate in app purchases. I don't understand them, they are confusing which ones can be re install for free and which ones can't be reinstalled for free.

    I've read the apple.com official Q and A.

    I simply do not understand what's replenish-able and what isn't.

    Reason for my concern is I like to restore both my iPad and iPhone quite often, tinker with it. I don't jailbreak anymore. Don't feel the need. So this isn't me trying to pirate illegal apps. I purchase my apps.

    My 21 month old loves some kiddie games but many of them require in app purchases and it's simply annoying. I'd rather just pay 99 cents-$10 for the app and be done with it. I've tried contacting some of the app developers for the games and get the standard apple.com answer without a direct answer for their actual app.

    Why even both with in app? Never has made any sense to me since Apple still takes a 30% cut of the in app revenue generated.

    I just do not want to pay for in app purchase and restore my iOS devices and have to repay for them again.
  2. SteveJobs2.0, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012

    SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Why? Because people download the game thinking that it is free and then get suckered into paying money. They give the game away for free and then hope that you end up paying money for additional items/content.

    Also, I believe that changes to the in-app purchase prices cannot be tracked for sales. This is why some games make you buy the full version as an in-app purchase. It tricks the AppShopper and the like.
  3. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    1. Using your line of thinking. Apple takes a 30% cut from regular itunes app sales as well, why bother developing at all for the iOS platform?

    2. I have used in-app purchases 2 times in games (sacred odyssey and jetpack joyride), to extend them. Both restored when I restored ipad2 to ipad3 from iCloud *shrug*.

    Suckered? Really? They spend a huge amount of time developing a game, let you play it for free. That is a huge boon. They take a gamble that you enjoy it enough and want to extend your enjoyment by buying additions, whether it's in-game currency or more content to help feed their families and support their lives.

    These are luxury items/entertainment/services, and asking compensation is far less 'evil' than those who ask you to pay for life necessities like food at your local market. Yet you probably don't balk that you get *suckered* into paying $150 for a loaf of bread when you enter...
  4. SteveJobs2.0, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012

    SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Yes, suckered. This method has been around forever and is known as the razor and blades approach. Also seen with printers, to keep up with the spirit of this site. Companies pretty much give away a free printer since they know that you will get charged a ridiculous markup on the ink. Whilethe game is still free to play, there is a strong push to hinder those individuals who play for free. More importantly, people have been shown to spend more when in a game since they are more likely to not perceive how much their spending. This is why Microsoft used MS points and not currency.

    As to your 150$ bread, not even gonna bother with that obsurdity.
  5. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    So I glossed over a period? get over it.

    In-App purchases use real money, not Apple points.

    I have played Jetpack Joyride, DrawSome, GunBros, and haven't felt the need or limited with in-app purchases disabled.
  6. falterego macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2008
    Southern California
    I've always thought of it as two reasons.

    One is the games that you can buy add-ons and other things like in game currency or expendable supplies.

    The other is (a theory to me, no idea how this works) like software licensing. I'd imagine in-app purchases can be traced back to your Apple ID, so if your phone blows up you can have the app back with full features. At the same time it prevents someone else from copying the file with a jailbreaking side loader and getting the benefits without paying for the software.
  7. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    It depends on the game.

    OP: Same answer to you. Which ones can be "restored" or reinstalled depends on the game. I suggest you contact the developer with that specific question before you purchase in-app. The KB is pretty clear on it: Buying Smurf Berries or Coin Dozer coins to get further in the game - non-restorable. A traffic subscription for your GPS app - restorable.

    With that said, a program like iExplorer (non-JB) allows you to copy files off the iOS device and put them back. I've transfered high scores and progress across devices and preserved them through restoring as new.

    iCloud backup changes the rules, but it's still up to the developer to decide what's backed up and what's not.
  8. Cell-666 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2011
    Ask my daughter, she managed to rack up £80 worth on in app purchases. She
    earnt her lesson with that one.
  9. Reticent macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2011
    Revenue generator. Plain and simple. It's how you actually get rich; by creating an idea or a product that makes you money while you sleep.
  10. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    Does apple still take the 30% cut even tho the app is free, but has in app purchases?
  11. mactmaster macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2010
    Most in-app purchases can be restored. Items like film packs/ lenses/ filters in photo apps can be easily restored. In most games things like items, weapons etc. can be restored.

    The purchases that cannot be restored are things that get used up like say you have a game that you can buy virtual coins in, if you buy the in-game virtual coins and spend them, you will not be able to restore that purchase because you've already depleted it. Or some other game might let you buy jetfuel and if you use up all the jetfuel you'll just need to buy more you cannot buy jetfuel once and keep on getting unlimited amount of it...

    It does also depend on the game so make sure you understand exactly what it is that you are buying...

    I will say that apple does not make this easier by still prompting about a "purchase" even when you are eligible to redownload for free, in these cases you can simply click purchase and it will then give you a prompt saying that you've already purchased this item and that it will not be charged but this happens after the fact. It would be great if the app could recognize that you have already purchased the item and instead let you know that it will be free from the beginning.

    Hope this helps
  12. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    FWIW I loathe in-app purchases. They first seemed to be a way of adding functionality on a user-by-user basis, which seemed legitimate. Now it seems to be a way of concealing the true costs of using an app.
  13. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011

    Contact them directly.
  14. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I won't play a game that needs in-app purchases for perks that can't be gotten via time and / or skill alone.

    I will play ones that offer new maps or extensions as long as the original game is complete and not a teaser.
  15. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    The only In App Purchases that I make are where the App offers the ability to remove the advertising.

    It's much better than having a "lite" version on the App Store.
  16. hotsauce macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
    I agree wholeheartedly. I love earning achievements. I'm competitive by nature. It is not worth my time to put any time or effort into a game when someone willing to buy their way to the end in a fraction of the time. If the game is good, I'd rather pay up to $25 and be done with it. I downloaded the Simpson's tapped out recently and was disgusted to see $99, $49, etc. options to speed up the game and buy more perks. I think it's predatory in that they are counting on the obsessive compulsive types and feeding off of the addictive nature of certain people.

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