Ten dollars and the App Store

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Rant mode on:

Manton Reece recently released an excellent iPad application called Tweet Library (go ahead, read my post about it on TUAW. You know you want to). He priced it at $9.99, and I have no doubt it’s worth that. I plunked it down about 30 minutes after I started reading about the application. However, I’m apparently one of the weird ones.

I’ve heard multiple complaints about the price point, and it’s only been a few hours. It actually annoys me quite a bit, especially when it comes to iOS apps. What did $10 get you 15 years ago? All the games that would fit on a disk. A 5-inch floppy disk. Considering the massive improvements to the user experience, and the amount of utility that an app like Tweet Library offers, that copy of Duke Nukem 3D isn’t looking as expensive anymore. Toss in inflation, and your getting a Rolls Royce for the price of a VW Bug. Or, in more reasonable terms, two of those caramel soy moccachino things you drink every day.

Every time I hear someone state so firmly that “ten dollars is too much,” I really want to take a look at their personal finances and see exactly what they do think is worth ten bucks. They could be justified, but I’m always curious. $250 for ProPrompter is too much. Photoshop is overpriced. $10 for a quality iPhone app is not.

Price points are a huge concern for developers. I hear it all the time. They want to find a spot where they can attract as many customers as possible while still making a profit, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. It just gets really hard to do that when a good portion of potential users don’t think any app is worth more than 99 cents.

I think what really bugs me is that so many people undervalue the developers who make their lives easier every single day, taking for granted the amazing user experiences they get with so little investment. They’re the same people who pirate $2 games. Seriously, how did you pay for that iPhone to begin with?

By the way, Manton has thought his price point through quite well…