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Apple Offers App Store Developers More Price Options -- 29 Cents to $10,000

The company, which typically has told developers to keep app pricing simple, will offer 700 new price points.

Apple App Store Awards Logo
Apple's App Store is the only sanctioned way to download new programs for iPhones and iPads.
Apple

Apple will allow developers to choose from new pricing options in its App Store, giving them hundreds of new choices for subscriptions and for their apps in the US starting as low as 29 cents and going as high as $10,000.

Apple said its highest price points, including $10,000, will need pre-approval from the company to protect users from accidental over-billing. The company isn't changing its commission structure, though. It will still charge up to 30% for purchases made through the App Store. 

Under the new system, Apple said it's offering 700 new price points to developers, dramatically increasing options from the 200 it offered previously. Until now, Apple allowed developers to start charging at 99 cents and going up to $999.99. Some of the most expensive apps have often been related to professional services, like the $189.99 mobile medical information app Pharmacotherapy Principles 6/E.

"These newly announced tools, which will begin rolling out today and continue throughout 2023, will create even more flexibility for developers to price their products while staying approachable to the hundreds of millions of users," the company said in a statement.

Apple said it'll begin offering the new price points to developers with auto-renewable subscriptions on Tuesday, while offering other apps and in-app purchases access to the new price points next spring. Developers will also be able to set separate pricing based on local territories, meaning they can charge different amounts for an app in the US or in Britain, for example.

The move marks the latest effort from Apple to both improve its App Store generally, but also answer longstanding complaints from developers who've said the company is too controlling over its app marketplace. Apple also faces increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators, who are concerned that Apple's approach stifles competition and artificially inflates prices.

The App Store is the only sanctioned way people can download programs to iPhones and iPads. Apple also requires that developers who sell digital goods -- like new looks for a video game character or a subscription to a music service -- must pay up to 30% commission on those sales. Companies such as music streaming service provider Spotify and dating app maker Match have asked lawmakers and US courts to consider forcing Apple to allow them to sidestep Apple's commission structure. Fortnite maker Epic Games has gone a step further, asking a judge to force Apple to allow alternative app stores on its devices.

Apple has resisted many of those calls, though it has made some concessions along the way. In August 2021, Apple said it would expand the number of App Store price points as part of a $100 million class action settlement with some developers. Apple also promised to share more data with developers and solidify rules around communicating with customers outside of apps.

Still, Apple says its App Store system largely works and often points to the success of companies on the App Store as proof. Companies like rental service Airbnb, ride hailing service Uber and social media giant Instagram grew into industry heavyweights largely because of their apps on phones.