iOS7 Is The Right Time To Raise Prices
🕓 Jul 3rd 2013
This coming fall when Apple releases iOS7 to the general public, it will be a good time for us all to raise our app prices. I read countless articles, forum discussions and tweets on the subject of how we are all selling our goods too cheaply (especially apps at $0.99) and should strive to raise the bar. Well a great opportunity is upon us all and here's why:
The big interface change requires some relearning
iOS7 is about to bring one of the most colossal changes to iOS we have ever seen. The complete switch to a flat design of every single interface element not to mention functionality changes is sure to take users back a moment. Their understanding of the new functionality and what devices are now capable of will be accomplished over time as they use their existing apps and also purchase new ones.
The great quality divide
Given the massive changes to look and feel that are imminent, we can expect to see a gap between the old apps which have not updated themselves for iOS7 and ones that have gone all in on preparing. When I say 'we', I don't just mean the tech savvy either; this is something everyone will identify much more easily than previous iOS upgrades. There lies an opportunity to make a statement with price.
Creating a "$0.99 is old market" perception
In particular, I think a statement can be made about the $0.99 price tag. If developers who are striving for iOS7 raised their prices by even $1, it would create a message about the types of apps that are still $0.99 - they are the old ones; the dinosaurs. They no longer represent the quality and cutting edge nature of apps today. Their screenshots will look instantly dated the moment iOS7 releases. Given that our users will be in a learning state as they shift between the iOS6 and iOS7 paradigms, reception to a price change is less likely to be a problem with how much is already going on.
A marketing and product opportunity combined
In an article written a while ago during the launch of iOS5, I pointed out that marketing opportunities and product opportunities rarely come at the same time. Marketing opportunities come as a result of new software/hardware releases, holidays and pop-culture bombshells. Personally, marketing opportunities aren't the ones I typically strive for. Product opportunities come when the product is really ready, not just because it's a good time to make money.
However, I believe that iOS7 is one of those rare situations when both opportunities will come at the same time. It is a good time raise prices because users are adjusting to a lot of change and developing new perceptions. It is a good time for your product to have a new release because of the sheer amount of change that is coming at minimal cost if you are using UIKit. Developers have been granted at least a 3 month period to get iOS7 ready and beyond. It's probably worth it.
Who should participate and how?
Depending on any individual developer's repertoire of products, this may or may not apply to any/all of them. Some of your apps might be best to keep unchanged. I think that if you can say YES to a few or more of the following though, it's worth considering a price increase:
- You are in the process of preparing to update for iOS7
- You plan on maintaining this app into the future
- You've got new features coming out
- You've wanted to change your app's price before but never known when is right
- You're currently on sale and are deciding when/what price to return to.
- Your app is free but you want to increase the price of a one-time purchase such as a full version unlock
On the other hand, if you have an old app that's past it's prime, not selling much or you don't plan on updating, keep it like it is. You are a part of the statement by just updating the version and price of only the apps you care about maintaining most while leaving the rest behind.
To be discussed...
This is a decision for us all to consider and we've got a little time to think and talk about it. All industries deal with having to raise their prices at some point or another and now seems like a good time to talk about if this is the right time for our apps. Please feel to write in the comments below, share, or find me directly on twitter. I'd love to hear what you think.