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How to sell an iPhone app for $9.99

Marco over on the Instapaper blog (which, of course, is the blog of the app Instapaper), posted a really interesting commentary recently on a subject we've been following since the beginning: App Store pricing. As we've said before, it's a strange thing -- developers want higher prices so that they can put more effort into making iPhone apps better. But customers have a perception already that anything above $5 in the App Store just isn't worth it.

So Marco offers his take: he's been selling an app in the store for $9.99, and it's going just fine. He has tips for how developers can sell their own apps for a higher price, and he settles on some good compromises for everybody: deliver a real value with your app (as economists know, an app is worth what people are wiling to pay for it, so if you produce an app that is worth $10, people will happily spend that much). Respect yourself as a developer, and don't cower to cheapskates (some people won't be happy with anything, even when it's free). And perhaps most importantly: offer a free version.

That last one may be the key -- our own Michael Rose was sold on Instapaper only when he tried it out. More and more, I'm thinking that it was a major mistake on Apple's part not to allow developers to easily offer demos and upgrades in the same app -- people are willing to spend money on an app that's worth it, but not if they aren't sure, and trying it goes a long way to making sure. I'm not in favor of app store developers banding together to raise prices, but Marco is right: if you make an app that's worth $10 and put it on the App Store for $9.99 (with an easy way to demo it out), people will come and buy it.

Marco over on the Instapaper blog (which, of course, is the blog of the app Instapaper), posted a really interesting commentary recently on...