This week our Talk Mobile discussion is all about mobile apps. One thing in particular is the long-running debate of just how much is too much to pay for an app. As mobile users, we want apps that are inexpensive or better yet, free. This is another opinion that varies by user however. While some are willing to dish out whatever they have to for an app, others don't want to cough up more than $0.99 for an app or game.
We can see both sides of the argument, but what it really comes down to is what you are willing to pay for the service or entertainment you'll get from the app or game.
When we talk paid apps, we have to go back to the beginning. Thinking way back to BlackBerry 4.XX apps like BBSmart Email Viewer or Alarms Pro come to mind. These apps were expensive even by today's standards at over $5 each, but they both solved a major problem for BlackBerry users at the time, so many people had no problem paying for them. They were both huge sellers despite the high price tag. This pricing wasn't uncommon for developers as they wasn't such a big selection of apps like we see today and most filled a void or solved a problem for BlackBerry users.
We can even think back to themes for devices on BlackBerry OS 4 or 5. It wasn't unheard of for new themes to sell for $7 or more. Themes "on sale" would sell for $4 or $5 and people thought that was a bargain. If we look at themes today, seeing any sell for more than $2 or $3 is almost crazy.
Today, most mobile users want something less expensive or free if it's just for casual use. Obviously most paid games come to mind, retailing for $0.99 or $1.99. I think that in most cases users don't have a problem paying a dollar or two for something they know they'll get a decent amount of use out of. The problem arises when apps cost more than the average, making people question whether or not they really need it or can just find an alternative.
Look at some of the top paid apps in BlackBerry World right now:
While all of these apps are priced over $2.99, they also all have a niche market or solve a bigger problem for BlackBerry users, thus users are willing to pay a higher price. Personally, if there is an app that does what it does well, has great support and works for what I need it to, I have no problem paying a higher price. Conversely - I know there are users who won't ever pay more than $1.99 or even $0.99 for an app no matter what it does.
I always like to think about what goes into an app or game I'm buying and know that when I purchase it, I'm helping support future updates and new releases from the developer. For some devs making apps is their full time job so buying up their stuff never phases me. Doing what I do obviously gives me some liberty to need to buy apps I come across, but even if I were just an average Joe with a regular job, I'd still feel the same way. Either way, I'm certainly not going crazy buying apps.
That being said, while some apps are expensive to some and not so much to others, some are just way overpriced no matter how you look at it.
So what about you? How much is too much for an app or game? $0.99? $9.99?
Hit up the poll below with the choice that best fits you, then drop a comment here with your thoughts on paid apps and how much you think is too much.