App pricing is all over the place, especially when mobile apps are compared to higher-end alternatives. Will the iPad Pro see even more confusion and issues?
The newest iPad has “pro” in the title, which means that Apple sees it as a cut above the rest of the iPad family. And for good reason. While the iPad mini 4 might have a “better” display when put head-to-head, the iPad Pro’s gigantic screen, ridiculously fast processor, plenty of RAM, and stereo speakers make it a device that is, for all intents and purposes, a cut above the rest of the iPad family.
Technically speaking, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 are leagues behind the pro unit. The iPad Pro is a beast of a tablet, while the other two fit their own niche markets perfectly fine. Of course, it’s hard to reason that, when you’re entirely focused on running applications built specifically for a mobile operating system, the discernible differences might be hard to detect.
And no one would be in the wrong if, when opening up Paper by Fifty Three, they didn’t see a *massive* difference between doing so on an iPad Air 2 or an iPad Pro, despite the technical prowess in the latter.
Earlier today, The Verge posted an article about the iPad Pro having an “app problem,” and it focuses on the fact that with its Pro disposition and title, and the power under the hood, or even the accessories built for the iPad Pro (the Apple Pencil especially), developers are trying to figure out whether or not they can, or even should, charge a premium for apps built specifically, or even optimized, for the larger tablet.
Pricing in the world of software isn’t easy, especially when it comes to apps. Apple, up until now, has paid developers upwards of $33 billion in profits over the years, so obviously there is money to be had in the industry. However, as many developers will express, apps are sold for “unsustainably low prices,” a trend that has only gotten worse.
There is obviously a sound argument here. Paying more for more content, features, or whatever else there might be is just par for the course. That goes for hardware and software. Apps that are available in the iOS App Store, but also share a brethren in the Mac App Store, are usually priced quite a bit differently.
For instance, Capo, a music instruction and production app for iOS and Mac, sells for $9.99 in the mobile app store, while it goes for $29.99 in the Mac App Store.
The co-founder and CEO of Paper by Fifty Three, Georg Petschnigg, sees this as just part of the nature of the business, saying it is just the “reality of software.” He goes further, though:
”Maintaining software is more expensive than building it in the first place,” FiftyThree co-founder and CEO Georg Petschnigg says. “The first version of Paper, we had three people working on it. Now we have 25 people working on it, testing on eight or nine different platforms, in 13 different languages.”
Developers have content coming specifically built for the power of the iPad Pro, its big screen and the Apple Pencil. That could mean that these “pro apps” have more features than what’s available to the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4, so the reasoning could be whittled down to should iOS users pay more for those pro apps?
Or, moreover, would they even be willing to? What do you think? Should developers charge more for apps that offer more features in the iPad Pro app? And if they do, do you think people will pay it?