Why are iPad apps 3x as expensive?

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by TheBritishBloke, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Fieldrunners: £1.79 on iPhone, £4.99 on iPad.
    Paper Toss: £0.59 on iPhone, £1.79 on iPad
    Angry Birds: £0.59 on iPhone, £2.99 on iPad.

    Why the hell do they charge so much more? It can't cost them that much money to develop some higher res graphics and change a few lines of code..
  2. sportster macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Katy, TX
    My guess is they figure since the iPad cost more to buy they you are more willing to pay higher prices for an app. I've wondered the same thing, thats the best I can come up with.
  3. bluedog3401 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2008
    First, you DON'T have to buy their product if you feel its overpriced.
    Second, it does take more time. There are layout differences on interface and considerations (some apps/games would require significant updates to LOTS of assets/elements of the game, others may not need as many things updated).
    Third, often there are promotions that discount apps/games. If you watch for them you may get items back to the lower prices or even free!

    http://www.appshopper.com/ has a great way to look for new items in the app store that have discounted/cheaper prices than their previous listings. I look at that regularly and you can have it watch items for price drops.

    In my opinion as a consumer of the apps, the $0.99 app was awesome. I would buy 10 apps to try them with NO QUESTIONS. But at $2.99 I'm not going question buying it until I know it fits my needs/wants.

    As a developer I think $0.99 was really underselling their work. Even if they were making a lot of money, it takes a lot of time and the reward/cost should reflect that. I think an app that is useful (not a one trick pony or 'entertainment flatulence app') could easily be $2.99 and I'd be willing to pay for it.

    Anything over $4.99 and I'm weighing all the variants of apps to see which may be the best of the bunch or best fit my needs.
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Why are these three iPad versions more expensive than their iPhone siblings? You cannot generalize on three examples. There are many other iPad applications that are free if you purchase the iPhone version.
  5. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    When the app store first appeared for the iPhone there was a kind of race to the bottom at $0.99. There were so many apps costing a dollar or two that users came to expect that.

    My guess is that with the new iPad developers are trying harder to hold the line at a price that better reflects the value of their efforts and provides the kind of return they need to persist. If the market sustains them at current levels, they will stay there, but if sales fall off, I wouldn't be surprised to see prices fall. Some iPad apps already have.
  6. jhatz macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
  7. fizzler macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2010
    I don't know why everyone feels the need to pounce on the OP, yes he has only quoted 3 examples- but he does have a point.

    The reason that I believe the iPad apps are more expensive, is simply down to the competition in the app store. The are hardly any quality apps in the iPad app store (in comparison to the iPhone app store), therefore the lack of competition allow developers to charge more. There is undoubtably a bit of the 'new device' novelty factor that developers are trying to tap into, but I firmly believe that as more quality apps are developed, prices shall fall.

    It may take time, but it will happen.
  8. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Part of the reason might be making statements like "It can't cost them that much money to develop some higher res graphics and change a few lines of code", something which the OP is in no position to claim.
  9. Galley macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2008
  10. HairyPotter macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2007
    I think it has to do with projections of sales x cost of development.

    There are 80 million iPhones out there and about 3 million iPads.
    iPhone's market is almost 30 times larger, so the chance of selling is 30 times larger and in theory you will sell 30 times more.

    An app costs X to produce and is expected to sell Y copies during its life.

    X/Y = how much the product has to cost to match costs
    don't forget that it is

    (x/y) + profit

    So, apps have to cost more, because you expect to sell less.

    But this is not always true. All my apps have the same price in both platforms. :D:D:D
  11. anime3DSFX macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010

    Yes, it takes a little extra work to adapt to iPad, however...
    The overall trend seems to be to sell apps twice to 3x the price on iPod touch and iPhone; surely converting to iPad isn't starting over and spending 300% of the original dev time on the conversion?

    I bought my iPad with excitement because I was expecting I could stuff 3 times more (3D) graphics in my app; the bottom line being, the iPad is about 4 times faster than an iPod Touch 2nd gen (for practical purposes); however the screen is something 3x bigger, so practically it's very hard to say how much more can be added - what's all obvious is that games look better on iPad.

    Apart from hard-core pixel masters, I also wonder where we can find artists that don't have 'HD' (sigh) versions of their artwork to begin with.

    What it boils down to is that there aren't so many apps out there for iPad (compared to iPhone/iPod Touch). The overhead for studios isn't that big, but the profit they can make on iPad is, I suspect, marginal.

    So finally, I hope lots of devs are as excited as I am to develop on iPad, but many companies may decide it's not worth it, and there isn't all the competition that causes iPhone apps to be, imho, under-priced.

    I don't mind paying more for iPad apps - but my iPad is craving for apps that justify the price, and I still download 3 to 4 times more apps for my iPod touch.
  12. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Yeah but at the same time does it really take them 3x as much effort to make the iPad version? At the absolute worst the iPad version should be the SAME price as it's iPhone equivalent. But I bet in most cases it's less work to port an iPhone program to the iPad than it is to write an iPad program from scratch.
  13. Dooger macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2009
    Like the look of your tactics board app dude. Great idea!
  14. Squadleader macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Avalon Hill
  15. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    At first it was because they had bumped up the resolution and could charge X3 for the HD moniker that they tack on to the app.

    Now with iPhone 4 'retina display' updates to the same App on the iphone - it strikes as even more of a rip-off that the same app on the iPad albeit with HD tacked on is still x3 the cost.
  16. brendenmartin05 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Supply and Demand

    It is simple really as to why ipad apps are more expensive. There are far more apps for iphones than ipads, so to get your app downloaded in the iphone market you have to compete with far more apps. However, in the app store, we can see that the market is not as large and not as many apps (only about 300,000). So when supply is lower, demand increases meaning price increases. If you have spare time grab a economics 101 book and it will explain this concept.

    I do see other influences in the market though as well. With the ipad mini coming out and more and more people getting ipads, I predict the market to become more competitive and developers will begin to lower prices. But, until then, if you can afford an ipad, you can probably afford $3 for an app.
  17. dancj macrumors 6502


    Mar 15, 2012
    I don't know about America (or wherever you live) but here in Britain, iPads are cheaper than iPhones.

    I think the main reason is the lower number of iPads - and therefore the need to charge more to make the same money.

    It's not something I go along with though. I'm reluctant to pay any money for a game that isn't universal - unless it's an app like Magic 2013 that really is only suited to one form. This is the reason I still haven't got Angry Birds Star Wars or Bad Piggies. (What's even more irritating for those two games is that their free on my wife's Nexus 7).

    I second the AppShopper recommendation. With patience, practically every game comes down to 69p or free in the end.


    Oops - I just noticed this is a 2 year old thread.
  18. Lukkee24 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2011
    Here in the UK; for 16GB an iPhone is £130 more expensive than an iPad (latest models). I also hate how games like Angry Birds sell the iPhone and iPad versions separately, and not as a universal app.

    Oh yeah lol. Didn't notice.
  19. BRyken macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think since iPad is bigger, apps demand more quality. I can't say all iPad apps have higher quality than there iPhone counterparts, but I'd imagine a bit more time was spent in making sure they look good on the iPad as it would be easier to find the flaws...:rolleyes:
  20. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    It costs more to make the extra pixels...

    But really, there are a couple reasons that they are more expensive. I think one of them is the type of use that the iPad gets. We use ours for work apps, and many people use it to game. These people will be using the app more then someone who uses their iPhone just for internet when not at home, and so these people might be able to justify the extra expense.
  21. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Well, I think you sorta have the right idea but your numbers are grossly incorrect. To date, Apple sold over 100 million iPads (in over 2.5 years), compared to over 300 million for iPhones and iPod touch (in less than 5.5 years).

    So I think there are 3 main reasons. (1) The market for iPhone apps is roughly 3 times bigger, so developers can charge 3 times more to offset development effort. (2) iPad apps generally have a bit more features and/or higher resolution artwork, both of which requires additional development efforts. (3) iPad users are more accustomed to paying more.
  22. dancj macrumors 6502


    Mar 15, 2012
    The figures might have been accurate when that post was made in 2010
  23. fortheus macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    and seeing apps price at mac store will kill you

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