Apple’s iPad App Store To Adopt Premium Price Model?

ipad app store leaks

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 Grossing

ipad app store leaked top grossing

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20 Comments on “Apple’s iPad App Store To Adopt Premium Price Model?”

  1. Ben

    For games… no. This family won't pay a premium. But games isn't why the family is buying iPads. There are lots of applications we use that aren't games, and those, yes, we' probably pay a premium for. Also, after all this time with iPods, we know which apps we actually use, and which were purchases that didn't really justify themselves. In general, though, I think the move to premium pricing is a bad mistake. The app store is a success because it is economically viable to collect apps… even on a whim. At $5 a shot, that's not really true, or at least, not nearly as true. That'll put a serious dent in the game market. Plus, a lot of these people will still have iPods and iPhones… and those games, even if they won't transfer over. I just don't think they're thinking clearly when they imagine that more pixels equate to the ability to ask more money. We'll see, though. I do know they're not going to get anything out of me for a $5 game, that's for certain.

  2. Vishal

    I thought all games for iphone would be compatible with ipad. If you loaded your iphone apps from itunes directly into the ipad, wouldnt they still work? These might have less detail than games made specificially for the ipad, but the iphone versions should still work i think.

  3. zillman

    Fine by me. The $0.99 model is not sustainable. It requires a continuous and *very* high volume to make it a viable price point. I would rather pay a bit more to support continued development by a developer of quality products. Maybe this is the start of an AppStore shakeout that has been needed for a while now.

  4. Pete

    Will I pay ten dollars instead of five for Real Racing on my iPad? Yes. This is not a problem and seems complete reasonable to me. The little iPod app will look all rastery. I would buy it twice to have the graphics re-rendered for the bigger screen, alone. But they will add more features, too, I bet.

  5. Myk Martinez

    I still say with the quality of product Apple continues to put out, $10 per game is cheap, compared to $50 or $60 from Xbox or Playstation. I'll just be more selective in the the Apps I choose.

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