It appears one of the many things the iPad will bring on April 3rd is higher app prices. Both appannie and Macrumors have gained access to images of the forthcoming Apple’s iPad App Store and the results are interesting. If the pages in question are real, they illustrate the move to the larger screen will bring a proportional rise in pricing.
Two popular Firemint games, Flight Control and Real Racing, are featured in the Macrumors article. Flight Control and Real Racing for the iPhone are currently $0.99 USD and $4.99 USD respectively. Both are well liked and respected games; garnering many accolades and almost universal praise. The iPad versions of these games, Flight Control HD and Real Racing HD, will be $4.99 USD and $9.99 USD. Further comparisons between iPhone and iPad pricing presents similar results.
It will be interesting to see how iPad app pricing plays out over the coming year. While there is no denying iPad apps are more involved creations that require more time and effort than their iPhone cousins, I think a lot of these price increases are a premium for early adoption. Any good business person can recognize the stampede Apple has created to its new product and how they can cash in on it. While I’m sure Flight Control HD will have many unique features that play to the strengths of the iPad, the unified iPhone platform ensures Firemint doesn’t have to start from scratch with the new effort. The foundation, and probably the first floor, of the game are already built. So while it’s true this game will play to the strengths of the new device, a lot of the rationale behind quadrupling the price of the original game (which would presumably work on the iPad as well) is Firemint seeing a pricing opportunity when they see it. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the coming year these initially high prices fall as device and app demand level off. The iPad is a whole new economy and it, as the iPhone marketplace did, needs to normalize itself before a consistent price structure emerges.
Some might point to these initially high prices and say it’s another reason not to run out and buy this device when it first comes out. I might be personally inclined to agree. I would of course not deter you from doing so but only provide this as a warning: don’t be upset a year from now when the game you bought at $6.99 is suddenly $0.99. The premium you paid was the price of being the first in line.
Would you pay a premium for an “HD” version of a game you already own? Will you play your existing iPhone games on your new iPad or totally reinvest in new games? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.
iPad App Store Top Grossingappannie.com] [macrumors.com]