February 5, 2023

For years, iPhone users visiting the App Store have found apps for 99 cents, $1.99 and $9.99. The pricing is part of Apple’s policy of limiting developer fees.

Apple said Tuesday that 15 years after the App Store was created, the company is ditching those restrictions, allowing apps to choose from nearly 600 pricing options, including a simple $1 fee.

Rising inflation around the world has put pressure on Apple and developers to be more flexible in how they bill customers. The company also continues to face backlash over its App Store policies from developers, regulators and lawmakers around the world. The App Store is the single gateway through which thousands of applications reach iPhone users, making Apple the arbiter of software distribution.

Last year, Apple agreed to introduce more flexible App Store pricing to resolve a class-action lawsuit from developers accusing the company of monopolizing the distribution of iPhone apps.

Apple said the new prices will range from 29 cents to $10,000, breaking the previous range of 99 cents to $999.99. Prices for subscription apps will roll out this week and will apply to other apps next year.

Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said the $10,000 cap could be a sign that Apple is anticipating higher-priced products. Apple is developing a virtual and augmented reality headset that will blend the digital world with the real world, and Ms Milanesi said video games and entertainment options on the new device could cost more.

“I don’t know if courtside seats to watch a basketball game on headphones will cost more than an actual game, but they can,” she said.

Apple says it will be easier to adjust prices and manage foreign exchange rates on a country-by-country basis. Some app developers set one subscription price for the world and focus on developed markets such as the United States, Europe and Japan. But Matt Ronge, founder of Astropad, an app that turns an iPad into a drawing tablet, said Apple’s added flexibility could allow him to expand into new markets.

“If you can charge more reasonable prices in India, it might open up some possibilities,” Mr Longo said. “I’m a fan whenever they open it up in any way.”

As Congress wraps up the year, bills under consideration include the Open Markets Act, which aims to give developers more control over their apps and allow them to circumvent the up to 30% Apple and Google charge developers. cost of.

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