This conversation has come back around again, so maybe I can save everyone a little time. Apple already gave us an answer not through words, but through action.
If you’ve been waiting for Apple to answer the “what about upgrade pricing?” App Store question, today you got it.
This morning Apple released Logic Pro X—a $200 professional audio suite—as a new, separate app from the previous version. As of yesterday, said previous version was sold for the same $200 price. I’m sure recent customers can get refunds so they can instead purchase today’s massive new version.
But there was no upgrade pricing, no sale, no free upgrades for existing owners. Logic Pro X is a new, separate app for $200, same price as the old one.
Now we all can move on to solving other challenges.
He’s talking about Napkin, a new Mac utility for image annotation that you can think of as a paid, more feature-full competitor to Skitch.
Or, one could argue, what Skitch should’ve been. If one were inclined to argue as such.
Which I’m not saying I am, I’m just pointing out one could.
Federico Viticci, My Must-Have Mac Apps, 2012 Edition
Bam. And don’t forget: if you buy 1Password 3 in the Mac App Store now, you’ll get a free upgrade to 4 when it comes out. Cross my heart, hope to die.
We haven’t announced the free upgrade window for the website version yet. But considering that most shops do around 30-45 days, and our 1Password 2-to-3 upgrade window was a whopping 8 months (seriously, a surprising number of people yelled at us for being too generous with that), I’ll just stick with “go get it in the Mac App Store.”
Right now developers selling through the Mac App Store face a lose/lose choice: either provide all major upgrades to existing customers for free (thus losing a quarter of our revenue), or create a “new” product for each major version (creating customer confusion) and charge existing customers full price again (creating customer anger).
The Mac App Store is awesome. As a user, it’s my preferred place to buy new apps because it’s so convenient. But in my time speaking to developers as a writer and working for AgileBits, the upgrade issue is a significant problem for developers and sustainability. Maybe it’s something Apple has been working on, since the store is just over one year old, but time is getting short.
The Mac App Store can’t exist without developers stocking its shelves. But developers can’t continue to stock those shelves if they can’t find a way to justify doing so in the long term.
Wil Shipley explains in thorough but digestible detail the problem developers face with no upgrade pricing in the Mac App Store. I would argue this same problem exists for the App Store as well.