iPad Apps Hit iTunes in Storm, More Expensive Than iPhone Apps
Apple launched the iPad section of the App Store a while back and developers the world over have been submitting their iPad apps for weeks now. Nearly all iPhone apps will run on the iPad but with the higher resolution of the iPad’s screen the apps are either small res centered in the middle of the screen or are displayed ‘double-pixel’ which is also not ideal. So, developers have been adapting their apps to take advantage of the larger screen real estate and the new interface controls made available for iPad apps by Apple’s SDK. With these SDK improvements, apps and games are improving and getting better as developers make these necessary adjustments. So, while the iPad capable apps are growing every day there is one key difference between iPad apps and their iPhone counterparts that is becoming more and more apparent – iPad apps are setting a new price precedent.
Today, the top 20 apps for the iPhone average $2.54 while the top 20 apps for iPad average $7.14. In part, this average difference is due to the many higher featured iPad apps that are in the top 5, such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote (all $9.99 each) which are well worth their higher price tag. However, many apps that were very cheap on the iPhone have new, higher pricing on the iPad. While some of these apps have been improved with new features and functions and added value, hence making their higher price worth it, some of these iPad or “HD” apps are nothing but clones of their iPhone counterparts with little or few changes and adjusted only for the higher resolution screen. For example, Angry Birds, a 99 cent iPhone game is $4.99 for the iPad version. When we read the reviews on Angry Birds we see a lot of comments similar to this one: “This is the same app as the iPhone version, offering only native resolution at 5X the price.” by NSApplicationMain, and this comment: “Looked like a new version, just the same. Loved the original. Don’t buy if you own the original. Not Happy.” by Attyjones. Clear indications that some developers are taking advantage of the new gold rush that is now the iPad App Store.
However, not all apps are the same as their iPhone counterparts. For example, the very popular Plants vs. Zombies is $9.99 on the iPad which is more that 3X the iPhone version, but the game has a few more features and resolution making the game better all around. Some reviewers have stated: “This game is amazing, if you have an iPad you owe it to yourself to get this game…” by BigMandrew47, and: “The wonderful game for the iPhone is available for the iPad and works wonderfully. I love the addition of new features and the graphics are beautiful on the iPad screen…” by belmontatl. Yet, while PvZ is getting great reviews for their iPad version, there are some that are still not happy with the 3X price tag over the iPhone version: “I’m also not happy they felt the need to charge 3 times the price of the iPhone version and you don’t even get everything from the desktop version like zen garden etc…” wrote bugger2.
It’s not just these few games above but nearly all iPad specific games and apps are more expensive than their iPhone counterparts, regardless of added features or not. A few more examples: Minigore, a popular iPhone game which sells for 5 times the iPhone version price at $4.99 for the iPad version. Flight Control, another $0.99 app for iPhone is also $4.99 for iPad. Real Racing, probably the most popular iPhone racing game is $4.99 while the iPad version is $9.99. Lastly, Fieldrunners for iPhone is currently $2.99 while the iPad version is $7.99.
If you’re an avid iPhone app consumer (as we are here on AppChatter.com), one thing you may have noticed is the drive for app prices towards the $0.99 price point (or something close to it). Since the iPad App Store is new, and so is the device, it’s actually no wonder that there is a huge gold rush occurring for iPad apps. However, over time I’d expect iPad apps to drop in price as the novelty wears off and as more iPad apps hit the app store. As for now, if you’re the owner of a shiny new iPad, then you’re only options are to pay the higher app prices or wait for them to come down.