As was reported earlier, Apple has begun updating App Store pricing in a number of territories. Prices are being increased in all EU nations as well as Norway and Canada, with Iceland set to see decreases in price. But it’s not going that smoothly for the Cupertino company…
Discrepancies between IAPs at tiers 1, 2, and 5 in Unread and Pedometer++ (not sure what’s going on @AppStore) pic.twitter.com/tAChaUaqM2
— Oisín Prendiville (@prendio2) January 9, 2015
First, app pricing in the Store is looking a little funky — inconsistencies are rife. Take the UK, where I am, for example. Previously apps started at £0.69. While perusing the App Store I saw a few apps priced at £0.79 — a logical jump up in price and one that fits Apple’s new pricing matrix. But then I delved a little deeper.
App pricing is all over the place — I’m seeing prices at £0.91, £1.14, £1.71, £2.63, £2.86, £3.44, £4.59, £9.19 and these are just pulled out when scrolling down the Top Paid list. Some apps are even correctly showing £0.79 while others remain at £0.69 which seems odder.
These prices are not consistent with Apple’s new pricing matrix for the UK, as James Thomson (of PCalc) explains on Twitter as well as theorizing about cause:
The new pricing matrix for the UK which is up on iTunesConnect – a $9.99 app was £6.99, now £7.99. But is £9.19. pic.twitter.com/XHTVhb06AN — James Thomson (@jamesthomson) January 8, 2015
I think there’s a bug where the old 15% Luxembourg VAT is being added on top of the new prices (which have VAT already included in them).
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) January 8, 2015
Even weirder, many apps are displaying correct new prices like £1.49, £2.29, £2.99 and so on. It seems to be a similar story in other EU locations too. Further, there seem to be some issues in updating and downloading apps as well as making purchases in-app.
Not great for app developers who are losing potential sales if their apps appear unavailable, as the below tweets from Thomson and Oisín Prendiville (of Castro and Unread) illustrate.
Quality times on the App Store tonight! If your app has screwed up pricing it’s unavailable to buy in EU currently: pic.twitter.com/xkHSxL6gq3
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) January 9, 2015
App Store prices change. Oisin smashes his face into his desk. pic.twitter.com/DBr0qUzJvC
— Oisín Prendiville (@prendio2) January 8, 2015
If Apple has to refund app purchases made at suspect prices, it’s only going to be worse for developers as they end up footing the bill.
Luckily, it’s the middle of the night right now for Europe. Whatever the cause, I hope Apple can get its prices straight before people realize in the morning.