App Store Paid Upgrades

Wil Shipley from Delicious Monster wrote a great blog post on the need for paid upgrades. To compensate for this missing feature app developers tend to do one of three things:

  • Make it free – I presume this is what Apple is going for. Make it feel like a bargain.
  • New App, Pay again – The most notable example of this was Tweetie (now Twitter for iPhone) upgrading to 2.0 was a new App. Lots of users didn’t like this. I suspect paying the same money for an “upgrade” would have hurt less psychologically.
  • Temporary free/discounted new app – I’ve seen this a few times. The new app is priced low or free for a weekend so users can upgrade. Then the price goes up. Not a terrible strategy, but hardly great for any party.

I’m surprised Apple still hasn’t caved on this. It must be the #1 requested feature by developers. It would also be a huge revenue generator for Apple since they take a cut of every sale. I’m guessing Mac OS X 10.8 will be a new app and not an upgrade to 10.7 in the App Store.

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