Apple Revises App Store Pricing Policy, Adding 700 Options

Apple has updated its App Store pricing in what some have interpreted as a preemptive move against regulatory and legal pressure over store policies. Apple is offering developers “700 additional price points and new pricing tools” to make it easier to set prices per App Store country or region and manage foreign exchange rate changes, among other things. The move brings the total number of available App Store price points to 900 and allows developers in the U.S. to set prices ranging from $0.29 to $10,000. The new policy is expected to roll out soon in global markets.

Apple App Stores exist in about 175 global markets. “Apple has historically been heavy-handed when it comes to App Store pricing — a decision it believed allowed for a consistent consumer experience,” writes TechCrunch, explaining that “as the app ecosystem shifted away from paid app downloads to instead monetize via subscriptions, developers began demanding more pricing flexibility.”

Apple critics including Spotify and Epic Games have claimed their businesses have been negatively impacted by the lack of pricing and billing options. While the current move, detailed by Apple in a news announcement, applies to the former, it does not address billing, now the subject of what The New York Times calls a high-stakes legal battle “for Apple and the entire tech sector” involving a lawsuit now under review at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

As regards to the pricing changes, developers who want to charge between $1,000-$10,000 — “will have to justify their request in an online form that will be reviewed by Apple,” TechCrunch writes, emphasizing the higher-priced options will be possible in all app categories.

Another change is Apple allowing developers “to set prices that end in $.00 instead of those that only end in $.99 or €X.99,” TechCrunch says, explaining that “in other markets, they’ll be able to set prices that begin with two repeating digits, like ₩110,000,” options that “can be useful for managing things like bundles or annual plans.”

The New York Times says “rising inflation around the world has put pressure on Apple and developers to be more flexible in what they charge customers,” noting that “the company also continues to face a backlash from developers, regulators and lawmakers around the world over its App Store policies.”

NYT describes the recent pricing changes as a response to a 2021 class action lawsuit “brought by developers, who accused the company of having a monopoly on the distribution of iPhone apps.”

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