What is an App Worth?

by A.P.P.L.E. Staff

This past week, the controversy over the price of an iPhone App has once again raised its ugly head.   Many people seem to think these days that all apps should be free or as close to free as they can be.  Apple did not help this thought this month when they introduced their iWorks application for a mere 9.95 for the iPad.

The 1000 dollar BarMax seems to set the standard for apps when it comes to what qualifies to be a $1000 app.  Of course, there are other apps such as the Wolfram Alpha that is mentioned over and over as not being worth the $50 that the company wants to charge for the application.

There is also all the trivial programs like the supposed NASA pic viewer from a guy in India that is infringing on NASA’s copyrights, even using the  meatball logo to sell his app that costs $5.  This is not the first time Apple has let this kind of garbage slip through the process.

But these days there are many freee apps and people just cant get enough of them. However, it does not mean that every programmer wants to produce an application and sell it for nothing or next to nothing when they have put in hundreds of man hours programming the app.  But then the world these days demand cheap software due to the fact that many people have been following the open source method, including this programmer.  While it may be fine for apps that were developed in a mere amount of time or that were just school projects.

When it comes to apps that will be used in the professional environment or ones that are commercial apps, then the programmer should be allowed to set a fair price for his or her app.  It seems however, Apple is not willing to help that process and actually only cares about the number of apps in their  online store.   While they do make money on the App store, they make a lot more on selling the hardware.  What sells the hardware?  The apps, clearly and concisely.

When I sell my apps, I charge what I feel is fair and what the market will bear.  Does this make me a mercenary?  No!  It just means that I would like to be paid for my work like the rest of the population of programmers.  So all those nay-Sayers out there can just fork over the money for the app or do without.   That is the market.

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