iPhone App Marketing – Pricing Strategies

by Brook Lenox on October 13, 2009

iphone-app-priceHow do you decide what you charge for your iPhone app?

If you charge to little, you lose valuable revenue. If you charge too much, you might never gain the necessary momentum to move up the ranks in the app store.



Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • How to Set Your App Price
  • Free and Paid Strategy
  • Free to Paid Strategy

How to Set Your App Price

Here is what I encourage you to do (at a minimum) when determining the price for your app. 

  1. Evaluate your app. Step back and be honest. What would you pay for this app?
  2. Ask for input. Find iPhone enthusiasts ask them what they’d pay.
  3. Research the competition.  How are similar apps priced?  Does your app offer more/better features? Is it more compelling in some way?
  4. Run the numbers. How many downloads would you need at $.99 to generate more revenue than if you charged $2.99?
  5. Don’t under price your app. It’s much easier to lower the price of an app than increase it.

Free and Paid Strategy

I’m a firm believer in having a free and a paid version when possible.

Here’s why:

  • You get double the exposure (in paid & free categories).
  • People like free stuff, especially in the app store.
  • A free version helps you build a user base.
  • It allows the user to see your app in action without paying.

Create the free version to be valuable in and of itself, but to entice users to upgrade.

NOTE: There may not be a simple way to create a lite version. If that’s the case, go paid only. I’ve yet to see a free only app that I think is making more money than a paid app would.

Free to Paid Strategy

If you either don’t have the resources to build a lite and paid version or there just isn’t a compelling reason to have both, think about a free to paid strategy. 

A new app called Ping! by Gary Fung did just that. He launched the app as free for a limited time in September. I’m guessing he promoted the free version with mobile ads (although I don’t know for sure) and it soared up the charts to the #2 free app overall in the United States.

Then over a weekend, he made it $.99.  After over a week now, he’s still 28th paid overall (as of today).

I’d say this strategy has worked quite well for him.

Good luck in pricing your iPhone app!


photo credit: ell brown

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bees4honey January 21, 2010 at 4:52 am

nice post, thanks! here is iPhone pricing strategy which may be useful for developers.

Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }