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    Are people spending $1000 for an iPad really going to shy away from spending a few bucks on the app they bought the device for? I figure the math for some people would really be $1100 for a “SketchPad Pro”. And if it can also do other things besides sketch, that’s a bonus. The problem thought would be that Apple is eating up a rather large portion of the total profits.

    Some time ago I really wanted to play Mass Effect. So I bought an Xbox with it. That was like a $300 video game. For a pro tool, I could see people spending considerably more.

    The Penny Arcade guy uses a Surface as a kind of single purpose device, despite the fact that it’s supposedly general purpose. I see iPad Pro sales being driven by people with particular needs, and they’re going to be willing to spend money on the app for that need as well.

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      I mean, even Photoshop used to offer a free trial (on the desktop), before it went subscription. The developer here may or may not be correctly analyzing the policies causing the situation, but they have a point that Apple restricts their pricing model in such a way that I’m not aware of any software sold via either of Apple’s app stores that is a large-scale productivity program and is getting long-term updates.

      In addition to the no-trials policy, there’s also a policy that developers can’t offer upgrade pricing. In practice this means a new full-price release every year, which loses a lot of existing customers. Actually, Sketch is an example of this. I bought a version some years ago for something like $50, discovered it crashed constantly, and was somehow not enthused when reviews claimed the next year’s $50 release was much more stable.

      I suppose I always felt this was much more the developer’s fault than Apple’s, but I see their point. Apple’s position is that upgrades should be free, forever, but in practice everyone de-lists their old app and releases a new one with the same name, because that’s simply not a viable way to fund ongoing development.

      If the trial policy is making it difficult for Sketch to acquire new customers, and they need entirely new customers constantly because their upgrades can’t be priced affordably… Then, yes, I see their point.

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      Might also have something to do with the cut which Apple takes … is it still 30%? Seems reasonable as a transaction fee for a $5 game, on a $100 piece of software not so much. Assuming they want to keep the price the same between OSX and IOS, so that neither product undercuts the other, they’re stuck with a much lower profit margin on IOS …

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        I have never understood the logic of the 30% take. It has always struck me as as perfect an example of the strategy tax as can be found. It’s not like any of the stores make enough money to budge the bottom line, and taking that sort of cut has had all kinds of deleterious knock-on effects for actual humans who want to use the Apple ecosystem.

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          The cut is public, but is it any different than historic cuts? Back when you bought Office for $300 at Staples, what was the split?

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            Well, right, except that Apple was in a position (as a massively profitable hardware company) to offer much friendlier terms to developers and content owners. I have strong opinions about why this is but they are not to be publicly shared. Suffice to say that it is not immediately obvious, even to those of us who were on the inside.

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              No argument that Apple was in a position to offer the store as a value add service. Question to ponder: would taking a 0% cut be more or less monopolistic? (I could go either way.)

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                Probably theoretically “more”, to be fair.

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              Not sure what retail markups are in software but yes I wouldn’t be surprised if they were > 30%.

              But when I buy most software these days it is just a credit card transaction online, so 95-99% of the money goes to the actual software developer.

              Now Apple is doing something completely different, with their screening process etc. But I’m not objecting to the idea that Apple should be able to make money out of the app store, just that a flat 30% seems like it doesn’t suit high-price applications so well.

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                Anywhere from three to five percent goes to the credit card transaction fee, so it’s certainly not possible that 99% goes to the developer. The rest of what you say stands.

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                  For big customers, surcharge rates for debit cards can be negotiated to around 1%.

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                    Fair, then!

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                Right, for what it’s worth, when they introduced the app store Apple specifically talked about how they considered this a comparable percentage to what retail had been taking. Of course, there’s almost no software sold in a physical retail store anymore…