Worth Reading: John Gruber On iOS App Pricing

Last Friday, Q Branch released an update to its notebook app Vesper that added landscape orientation, iPad support, and a few dollars to its price—a rare occurrence on the App Store. Jason Snell, my former IDG colleague, asked Q Branch’s John Gruber a couple questions about Q Branch’s decision to raise prices and the App Store ecosystem as a whole.

An excerpt:

“The basic problem is that casual App Store users go for free apps first, and go for chart-toppers after that. And the only way to top the best-selling charts is with super-low prices. And the super-low prices don’t generate enough revenue to cover the cost of developing the app.


“Instead, we want to embrace the users who are looking for the best app, and who are willing to pay a fair price for it if they think Vesper might be it. Going low didn’t work; we lose nothing by trying to go high.”

Vesper’s price increase from $2.99 to $9.99 (but on sale for $7.99 as of this writing) may seem jarring, and it may make Vesper less of an impulse buy, but if going low on price doesn’t work, you may as well try to aim for the higher end of the market. It seems to work for Apple, after all…

Nick spends way too much time in front of a computer, so he figures he may as well write about it. He's previously written for IDG's PCWorld and TechHive.