Apple has taken a new stance on pricing of applications in its iTunes and Mac app stores, with prices for apps in Australia now closer to their US counterparts.
Yesterday the company announced they’d be performing a maintenance update overnight, giving developers just nine hours prior warning of the impending downtime. While developers could log in and change settings and details about their app, changes would not be reflected in the iTunes store until the downtime ended, Apple said. And this morning Apple has confirmed that prices in their iTunes App Store are now identical below the fourth tier of prices to pricing in the United States.
For example, previously in Australia the cheapest an app developer could set a paid application was AU$1.19. In the US, that would have sold for just US$0.99, but after today’s pricing scheme updates Australians can now buy the same app for 99c as well.
However it’s not all good news for Aussies, with prices above tier 3 — Apple’s third level of prices — becoming more expensive than in America once more, with apps priced at least 50c more after jumping from a tier 3 price of AU$2.99 to AU$4.49.
It means the pricing matrix for apps in both the company’s iTunes App Store which sells apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as well as the recently launched Mac App Store priced below $10 in Australia are now $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.49, $5.49, $6.49, $7.49, $8.49, $9.49 and $10.49 compared to the older prices of $1.19, $2.49, $3.99, $4.99, $5.99, $6.99, $7.99, $8.99, $9.99 and $11.99 respectively (all of these prices are in Australian dollars).
At this stage the pricing cuts don’t appear to have impacted books, movie or music purchases in the Australian iTunes store, all of which require much more complex licensing deals.
It’s also unclear what developers think of the changes at this stage — as far as we can tell, Apple didn’t tell anyone of the impending price changes which will result in a cut to their profit.
Prior to the changes this morning, Apple’s pricing scheme saw apps sold with an 81 percent surcharge in Australia, with the so-called “Apple Tax” the subject of a discussion by Labor MP Ed Husic who wrote to Apple Australia seeking a response to the exorbitant pricing despite a high Australian dollar. Husic finally heard back from Apple this week, who told him they’d have a response to his office “mid July”.
It’s also understood that the company may also cut prices to their hardware range including MacBooks, iMacs and Macbook Air devices available in Australia later this week with the release of the next major upgrade to their Mac operating system due sometime this month.