Why are people so reluctant to spend for apps?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by yalag, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. yalag macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    I don't get it. People would whine and whine and make forum posts asking if an app is worth its 0.99c. Why? When in the real world people would throw away $5 for the most stupid, useless and ridiculous thing in a second. What is going on?
  2. Malfoy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    What is this $5 stupid thing you are referring to?
  3. yalag thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    Well I don't mean $5 exactly, but a few dollars is definitely not something people would care about when purchasing items. People buy drinks, snacks, coffee, candies, whatever. I mean just what can you get for 0.99? Nothing really. And compare to how much research they would go into before purchasing an app, it's just not proportional.
  4. jmccullough108 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    It's the economy. I wouldn't take offense to it.
  5. SwingOnThis macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2008
    1. Lots of teens that probably don't have a whole lot of money and want to ration their iTunes dollars.

    2. People that have spent a bunch on apps because they were 'only' $1 or $2 and have gotten burned.
  6. skyfreedom macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2008
    its all about priorities, some spend $1.60 pack of gum that may last a day or just sits in the car while others dont have a problem spending 0.99 cents on an app that will last longer, hopefully :p
  7. Shadow%20Mac macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    Stupid Buyers

    I'm sorry, but if you can spend $230 - $600 on your apple mobile device, plus $70 a month for your bill, plus $9.95 for software updates, and you can't spend $0.99 on an app?
  8. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    Well this is kind of like a 'free market' (or better yet Perfect competition) in action.

    You put out an app, with a limited functionality or purpose that can be readily duplicated by other developers, and you have a group of consumer that are aware of (or can easily check) the prices of similar applications the deciding factor is price.

    Even if you're the only one on the block with the app to date (say like the ifart app or whichever the first one was called), people might still not accept the price. Consumers may expect someone else will produce a similar application that is cheaper and in a small enough time frame to make deferring the purchasing decision worthwhile.

    Now developers can counteract this immediately in a few ways, like collusion or differentiating themselves on quality. The former is hard to maintain and there's an incentive for developers to 'cheat', and quality isn't really where the market is right now.

    Give the app store and the application market time to mature and I'm sure we'll see some better apps and better prices.
  9. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    this is the answer. i've gotten burned with some lame $5 apps before. completely waste of money. and it wasn't even worth $0.99...
  10. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    What device is it that you have that gives you a monthly bill AND a fee for software updates?
  11. MEJHarrison macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    I can easily spend $.99 on an app. But I'm not spending $.99 on 50 apps. I've actually purchased quite a few for $.99 or more. But I'm not wasting money on every app that catches my eye.

    Perhaps some other questions that need to be asked along with this is are the apps worth the price being asked? Is there demand for the app? And are people aware of it? I constantly run across apps that have been around forever that I would have purchase had I known they existed.

    Give me something I can't live without and I'll pay your price.
  12. icedmocha macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    Introduce a lite version. If I like it, I buy it. I have a few games I have bought and have not yet opened because they seem good, some five clams.
  13. JackSYi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    It's because iPhone/iPod Touch Apps don't feel like real apps (in a psychological sense).
  14. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Because those people are noisy cheapskates. Best to ignore them.

    I'm an iPhone app developer. After experimenting with low prices, I raised the price of my apps well above 99c (even the trivial ones), and am now making more money by ignoring the whining idiots, and pricing my apps for just those customers willing to pay more.

    If the whiners think an app should be 99c or free, let them write that app themselves.

  15. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Some people don't mind spending a few dollars on apps, other people don't mind spending $4 for a cup of coffee from Starbucks. People don't mind spending money on the things they like. I personally don't mind spending a few dollars here and there for a nice app. The only time people not buying apps bothers me is when they complain about free apps not being high quality. If you aren't willing to put any money towards the product, don't complain when it sucks.
  16. SwingOnThis macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2008
    What are your apps?
  17. rburly macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2009
    Why do people ask if an "app is worth it"?

    It depends on the app. There are many POS apps that aren't worth $.01 and some for $.99 that are worth 100 times that.

    I use AppSniper and there are hundreds of new apps everyday. I want an app that I'll be able to use, is well-developed or has the potential, and won't want to delete as soon as I buy it. What people are really asking is "Is this a good app?". They aren't reluctant if others have bought it and use it.
  18. gary001 macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    the reason for not spending .99 on an app and spending 600 on the phone is because you can actually use the phone before you buy it. you have to buy the app based on the description, screenshots, and reviews; which are never that reliable. once you have bought the app, if it sucks, you cant return it because its software and easily duplicated. this is why people ask if its worth it, because if they buy it and its not, they are SOL. ALL software purchases, no matter how inexpensive, are based on what others say. this is why cracked software is available, so people can try before they buy without having a crippled app (lite versions). Apple needs to figure out a way to allow trial periods. they are missing out on a lot of revenue because of this. so to everyone who hates the people who are asking if a .99 app is worth it, shut up! not everyone is willing to throw money at something they aren't able to try out
  19. tonez macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    eventually the app store will be littered with so much garbage that the developers putting out quick fire apps won't make enough money to warrant spending their time and the nicer looking and more useful apps will rule.... Or at least one can hope :)
  20. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    Like others have said, the biggest problem is that there are no demos or return policies. I was impressed by Apple's vow to test and validate all app submissions to ensure the quality of the closed "ecosystem", but Apple never delivered on that promise. Most apps are a crap shoot and some developers quickly discovered that they can make some money off the early adopters with shoddy apps before the word gets out.

    The other problem is the trend of app prices bouncing around. I bought an early app at $4.99 and a month later it was $2.99. Now it is 99 cents and at one point it was free. When i see an app I like now, I just wait. Either it, or a similar app is likely to be free at some point. I am much more willing to experiment with a free app than with a pay app at any price.
  21. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    It's not that the app is 99 cents or $1.99 or whatever. It's the fact that you can't try a full-featured app before you buy it. I probably have 10 or so apps that I don't use at all that I paid for. Luckily, most were no more than $2. But after getting burned that much, you really want to wait to see if stuff is worth it.

    What a lot of us have also noticed is some apps will start out at $10 then drop to 99 cents in about 2 months. I know it's just capitalism, but why pay $10 for some game when the trend has been it will drop that much in price in a short time period?

    I think Apple is going to have to keep loosening the strings on the SDK to encourage more expensive apps. They should allow trials (24-hour trials would be great), background processes (at least on a limited basis) and access to video.
  22. MacToddB macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I posted about this 'schizophrenic pricing' on the AppCubby developer's blog. They went from $10 to $5 to $1 to $10. It got them some publicity, but total revenue wasn't much changed. Reviewers are going to publicly complain about these price drops, and feedback will suffer.

    Exactly. Buyers' behavior is going to demand lower pricing. It's like buying a car at retail... we're trained to expect Employee Pricing, plus Rebates, plus 0.0% financing, etc.

    Personally, I priced my app where nobody can say they didn't get a good value ($0.99). I even named it 100sounds but you get several hundred. UNDERcommit and OVERdeliver. I say price an app at what it's worth and keep any price fluctuations down to $1 either way in one month time period.

    Also, I wonder if Apple might be forced to honor the lower price. Imagine a class action suit if an app goes from $10 to $1, like the AppCubby apps, and thousands of users demand $9 back. Apple already gave in when they dropped the iPhone pricing. This could really backfire.
  23. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    There is no way to preview an application or make a return if something is bad enough to need it.

    I don't buy applications without seeing them on a friend's phone or reading extremely detailed reviews on major trustworthy websites. I'll download a free application without a second thought, but anything requiring even $0.99 needs to be well reviewed first. A "Lite" version isn't good enough for me as it doesn't let me see what an application really is.

    Why do I have this attitude? $1 is still $1 and it has value. A $0.99 application has no value if it is a bad application.
  24. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I've done that. I didn't have enough market research information to guess at what price one of my apps at would sell the best, so I tested selling it at different price points. It didn't bring in more money per week at $1, so I took the price back up to where it did the best.

    Furthermore it got better reviews at the higher price points. This suggests that at the higher price, a higher percentage of my customers think that the app is worth the price. Win win.

    So, in summary, people are not reluctant to spend more for apps. There are just less of those types of people.

  25. Gokunama macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    I've spent a load on apps, and my main reason for not buying many apps these days is the lack of time to get into games (and that through a lot of trial and error I've found the apps that best suit my needs). The other reason is I don't have much space left on my 16G iPhone for more apps, so I've got to be choosy in what I put on there.

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