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iPad Apps and Their Prices

360iDev: Brent Simmons on NetNewsWire for iPad and iPhone OS 4.0

“BS: Well initially, on the announcement, the iWork apps were priced at $9.99, and we thought well, that sounds like a reasonable line in the sand, so we went with $9.99 for an introductory price, and we’ll go up to $14.99. My hope is that people will, and so far my hope is born out, that people will pay the bigger price on the iPad because they’re getting a bigger, better thing than the iPhone. That said, there’s always that race to the bottom, and it can happen here, too. I hope that we, and other developers, stand our ground, and I hope that we’re successful with these prices.

JB: That’s what I hope, too. I hope other developers realize that with all the work, it’s inevitable that the iPad apps will be priced higher. But my impression was that when the iPad came out and people go to the App Store, and they go OK, I just spent hundreds of dollars on this device, I don’t want to spend money on apps now. That’s ridiculous! I think the pendulum will swing back, though, once people realize that the really high quality apps are going to cost more money, to take care of that rich environment.

BS: Yeah. And if you have an iPad, that’s a high quality device. You want the best stuff on it.”

I agree with them on this….and disagree at the same time.  Yes, development time is longer for the iPad, and there are (usually) more features that can be put in, so a higher price could be called for.

However, if you don’t provide a free “Lite” version to try, you really risk pissing people off.  Frankly, I currently use NetNewsWire on the iPad and I probably would have held off buying it if I was able to try it first.  I can’t share items via Google Reader in the app (even though that is its primary sync point).  There’s no offline viewing/reading.  I can’t even mark something as unread.  It has a pretty interface for what it can do, and what it does do it does very well.  But I am already annoyed at paying $10 for this app when using Safari and browsing to Google Reader might be more effective.

This whole article just came off sounding pompous and arrogant to me.  We made a awesome app.  We aren’t telling you how many people bought it.  We aren’t going to tell you what features are forthcoming, or when to expect them.  We think $10 is a OK price but we really want to raise it to $15, and you should be happy paying for it.  Ugh.

I just bought a iPad.  I was able to buy a full fledged word processing app and a spreadsheet app for $10 apiece.  There are amazing apps with a lot of functionality for half the price or even free.  So if you want me to pay $10 for app and like it, then you better damn well make it worth the price.  Right now I’m not that impressed with your app, and that interview definitely does not help your cause.