Apple has introduced new pricing tiers for India that will let developers charge as low as Rs 10 for their apps, reports NDTV. The company has been using two low-price tiers – Alternate Tier A and Alternate Tier B, to let developers offer different prices in various markets for a while now, however, this update will enable alternate pricing in India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Russia and Turkey as well.
Prior to this release, developers could price their apps only in USD in markets without tiered pricing, with users charged the local currency equivalent of the amount. This price was periodically revised based on exchange rates, which could be viewed by developers in iTunes Connect. However, with this move developers can charge users in India as low as Rs 10 for their app in case of Tier A, or Rs 30 in case of Tier B. These pricing plans also apply to in-app purchases. Note that developers wanting to charge more are free to do so as before.
Apple’s alternate pricing tiers were already available for the Chinese App Store. Developers already using the feature will see prices for their apps in the newly listed countries updated to reflect this pricing structure. Developers that have not availed this feature before will need to first opt-in to use it.
Play store pricing tiers: Play store offers support for different currencies, but does not seem to offer much flexibility in terms of alternate pricing in various locations. The minimum price for an app in India is Rs 50, HKD 7 in Hong Kong, NOK 6 in Norway, THB 32 in Thailand, GBP 0.50 in UK and USD 0.99 in the US etc., which basically amounts to around the same price (~Rs 45 – Rs 60) after conversions.
Our take: Apple’s pricing policy is neat, as developers can now price apps appropriately for each of their markets. Users in countries like India could find the price of Rs 60 expensive, and a pricing tier of Rs 10 and Rs 30 will encourage more users to make app purchases. This will likely more than offset the margins for the developer, while they can still continue to charge higher rates in countries with more affordability.
It’s not clear as to why Google Play still does not have such a feature. With a far greater adoption rate for Android phones, app store purchases can really take off if pricing tiers of Rs 5, Rs 10 etc are introduced. Both Google and Apple verify the user’s location through their payment method, so for example using a US credit card to make a purchase marks a user as ‘US-based’ even if living in India. This makes it close to impossible to fake a user’s country when making purchases either using fake-gps or setting the wrong location.