Thursday, 20 August 2009

Trouble in (app) store

In addition to the limited number of categories in the Appstore making it very bothersome to find the music apps you are looking for amongst a thousand "official band" and radio station apps, the biggest thorn in the side seems to be pricing. Not just as in, "that app is too expensive," but also in terms of the volatility of app pricing. I've sometimes benefitted quite nicely from waiting a bit until an app dropped in price (Rectools 08 for example) but also been stung heavily by jumping in straight away.

Anyway, whilst perusing my favourite app-list website I came across this beauty. I mean, when do you jump in and buy this thing?


  1. I'm finding it hard to understand this obsession over the price of non-trivial apps that cost $5 to $10.

    I'm seeing rave reviews followed by a lament that the app costs $10 -- roughly the cost of a burito and a coke.

    Here you are talking about a tool that helps people wait for price drops of $1-$2. These are one-time purchases. How much is your time worth?

    Many iPhone music apps are catering to a specialized audience of computer music enthusiasts. Their market is a fraction the size of the general game and novelty iPhone app markets. So these music apps can not expect the kind of volume that the novelty and game apps can get.

    The reality is that the prices developers can charge are dropping. That boils down to a situations where it becomes more and more difficult to make a go of creating non-trivial iPhone music apps.

    If we want to see the current stream of innovation continue we have to be willing to pay prices that can support the development costs.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I wholly agree that quality apps deserve a premium price (hence I've spent well over $200 on music apps alone) . Perhaps my point wasn't clear. I wasn't refering to the website per se ( that is merely a list of price activity tagged onto the side of the app description and not a tool to wait for price drops) rather the volatility of the pricing. I would be happier to see apps stay at a fixed price so I didn't feel ripped off as an early adopter. The rapid price changes now mean a lot of people will wait a few days to see if the price drops. As for the "low cost" of the apps, that clearly depends on your circumstances.

  3. and what app-list favourite site is that?