Free applications are far more popular, and there is nothing remarkable about that. What is surprising is that many believe the program for $3 is expensive, and the price of $10 would be unnecessarily high from a user's point of view.

Probably all of us have friends who play every day in the free version of the arcade on any iPhone or iPad, wishing to spend the extra couple of dollars to permanently disable the built in annoying ads.

Here's some statistics - 15 out of 20 of the most popular applications for the iPhone cost only a dollar, the most expensive program in this costs $7. The average price for the program out of the top 100 App Store is less than $2. All this is so cheap, that it's not worth even one percent the iPhone price.

You get what you pay for

Common sense dictates that the paid app should be better, more comfortable and more functional than a free version. With few exceptions, it is so. For example, the official Twitter client for iPhone allows you to easily read and post new tweets, and the app for $3 like Tweetbot and Twitterrific make it a serious competitor. In this case, buyers overpay for their attention to detail, stylish design of the interface and features that Twitter never implemented in the application - the combined feed of tweets, the ability to "mute" hashtags/users, and so on.

A visual confirmation of the fact that a high price does not prevent the spread of high-quality product, and contributes to its further development is OmniFocus for iPad. The popular task-manager worth as much as $40. It is much more expensive than the typical program of this category, with more than a hundred positive reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars.

Many games, text editors, RSS-readers, schedulers and other free apps cope quite well with the stated functions. However, when you buy the app, you not only pay for some additional features and a beautiful interface, you also support the developer and increase the chance for the next update. You feel like a consumer, rather than a tool for advertisers.

When a developer sets the price for the application, he usually takes into account the return of the initial investment and the cost of work on future updates. The creation of a quality app usually requires about $50,000. In order to return the development costs and get some profit, at a price of one dollar he would need to sell at least 70,000 copies (30% of revenue is given to Apple). If the the creation of the app required, say, a company of three people, then the business needs to sell 300,000 copies to be sustainable. Despite the increase in the total number of mobile devices every year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve such sales rates. Especially if we consider the given serious level of piracy and the pursuit of smartphone owners to pay as little as possible.

It is not surprising that developers are trying to maintain the popularity of the app and the existence of companies are moving to a new business strategy. In recent years, a freemium-model was quite popular. At first glance, it would seem advantageous and convenient for both parties. The app developers do not pose a barrier to people who want to try the product, and buyers are able to take advantage of the app before having to pay for it's premium functionality.

However, a freemium-model can also be used not properly. There is plenty of examples. The recently published update of popular game Real Racing 3, is now available for free, while the previous version was worth $10 at the time of release. But the gameplay is built in such a way as to restrict the user in every way - for a comfortable game you constantly have to buy additional bonuses. According to the feedback for Real Racing 3, many have criticized EA for choosing freemium-model:

It is unlikely that the company decided to change the business model because of "the good life". Apparently, the previous version for $10 was selling at lower rates than expected by EA. An indirect role in this was played by the desire of buyers to save on third-party applications and a serious competition from the free arcade games with built-in advertising.

You do not just buy the Amazon Kindle in order to use the built-in dictionary and read the downloaded instructions for use. Similarly, you should not buy the iPhone for free apps. Do not deceive yourself by thinking about inflated prices for the mobile application. If you want to continue to have a huge selection of comfortable and unusual applications, remove the jailbreak and stop installing pirated software. There is nothing wrong with having to pay for quality products.

by Dmytro Bilkun