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Apple App Store price rises get mixed reaction

Apple raised prices in its UK App Store last night, prompting a mixed reaction from developers.

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Apple adjusted prices for its App Stores across the world last night to take into account changes in exchange rates. In some countries, such as Switzerland and Australia, prices went down but in Britain they went up for the first time since the App Store opened.

However, although Apple told developers that the App Store would be offline for a while, it did not say that prices would be changing.

Max Whitby, of Touch Press, whose work includes the highly rated Solar System and The Waste Land apps, said: “I think Apple provides a very good service but obviously an unannounced change like this is very big for our customers and we would prefer to have had a bit of notice.”

Fiona Barclay, of BirdGuides.com, spent the morning dropping the prices of her apps back to where they were yesterday. She had prepared marketing materials for her apps which were now out of date because of the surprise price change. “It has actually been quite disruptive,” she said.

App Store apps are sold at ‘tiers’ and different tiers have been increased by different amounts. Apps that were 59p yesterday will now be 69p, while apps that were £9.99 yesterday will be £11.99 today. Some tiers remain the same, such as the £2.99 price point.

The price increases also affect the Mac App Store, which sells software for Apple’s desktop and laptop computers. The overnight rises, even caught out Apple. At the time of writing, its website for Final Cut Pro X, the new version of its video editing software, still says that the app costs £179.99. In fact, the price of the app increased to £199.99 last night.

Zolmo’s Michael Maher said that many of his customers in other countries would be pleased. “We have a lot of customers in Australia and they now have [our apps] cheaper.” However, he added: “It would be good if Apple would allow us to differentiate our prices by territory, like you can on Android.”

Matt Miller, of design studio ustwo, welcomed the change. He said his reaction was “nothing but positive”. He added: “I don’t see users not buying apps. I would have been happy if they had gone up more.”

He sad that ustwo sells a lot of apps for 59p and “it’s really difficult to make money from a 59p game”.

“We’re going to get a few more pence for our apps,” he said.

In a statement, Apple said: “We made some minor pricing adjustments due to changes in foreign exchange rates and local tax laws.”

Filed in: Technology News

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