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  #1  
Old 03-30-2012, 02:53 PM
sakinnuso sakinnuso is offline
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Default Question about Appstore Pricing Policies

Got a question for devs who have actually launched games on the Apple Store. Does Apple allow you to have a specialized tier of pricing? For example, you have your FREE version which is selectable on the appstore. You have your priced version of 2.99, also available on the appstore. Are you allowed to have a .99 cent version that is NOT available on the iOS store? For example, it's there in their database but not visible until you give the go for a sale? However, when the sale is over, you STILL have access to it to whoever you choose to give the direct code to?
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:18 PM
TouchDeveloper TouchDeveloper is offline
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In theory, you are not allowed to have two apps that are identical in the AppStore. They even object to apps that are substantially similar. In practice, this may not be enforced depending on who reviews it and how you name it and describe it. So having multiple versions for pricing reasons is not something you can bank on.

You also cannot have a hidden app available for sale to whoever you "give the direct code to" so they can continue to buy it at sale price. Everybody sees it or nobody do.

You can give out free promo codes to approved but not yet released apps, but once it is active, I am not sure you can give promo codes if you withdraw it but I think you want to continue to sell that app at the sale price but hidden.

It may be better for what you want to do by incorporating the sale logic into the free app if you design it to be upgradable to full app and using IAP.

You can decide whether you want to offer the $2.99 upgrade from the free app as an IAP in non-sale times. This is independent decision for the below scheme.

For the free-app, create a $0.99 IAP to to unlock it to full version. Have it approved. Design the app so that it will show a for sale upgrade option during the sale period (hardwired into the app or better, it checks a server to get the sale periods). SO anyone will be able to upgrade at $0.99. After the sale, that display disappears or reverts to $2.99 (a different IAP item than the $0.99). Build in an option for people to enter a promo code that will display a $0.99 option (this may be visible or hidden). You can then send promo codes to people that you want to purchase at $0.99, so they can enter it in the free app, get the $0.99 option and purchase it to upgrade. Others will have to purchase it at $2.99 or buy the full version.

This way you can have any number of tiered pricing simultaneously based on how many tiered IAPs you can have and sell each tier in a non-public manner.

You may have to describe your IAPs smartly so that it passes the approval process where they don't think it is all the same IAP priced differently.

I am not recommending you do it. Seems like an awful lot of complication for the benefits but only you can judge whether it is worth it for your business model.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:01 PM
sakinnuso sakinnuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchDeveloper View Post
In theory, you are not allowed to have two apps that are identical in the AppStore. They even object to apps that are substantially similar. In practice, this may not be enforced depending on who reviews it and how you name it and describe it. So having multiple versions for pricing reasons is not something you can bank on.

You also cannot have a hidden app available for sale to whoever you "give the direct code to" so they can continue to buy it at sale price. Everybody sees it or nobody do.

You can give out free promo codes to approved but not yet released apps, but once it is active, I am not sure you can give promo codes if you withdraw it but I think you want to continue to sell that app at the sale price but hidden.

It may be better for what you want to do by incorporating the sale logic into the free app if you design it to be upgradable to full app and using IAP.

You can decide whether you want to offer the $2.99 upgrade from the free app as an IAP in non-sale times. This is independent decision for the below scheme.

For the free-app, create a $0.99 IAP to to unlock it to full version. Have it approved. Design the app so that it will show a for sale upgrade option during the sale period (hardwired into the app or better, it checks a server to get the sale periods). SO anyone will be able to upgrade at $0.99. After the sale, that display disappears or reverts to $2.99 (a different IAP item than the $0.99). Build in an option for people to enter a promo code that will display a $0.99 option (this may be visible or hidden). You can then send promo codes to people that you want to purchase at $0.99, so they can enter it in the free app, get the $0.99 option and purchase it to upgrade. Others will have to purchase it at $2.99 or buy the full version.

This way you can have any number of tiered pricing simultaneously based on how many tiered IAPs you can have and sell each tier in a non-public manner.

You may have to describe your IAPs smartly so that it passes the approval process where they don't think it is all the same IAP priced differently.

I am not recommending you do it. Seems like an awful lot of complication for the benefits but only you can judge whether it is worth it for your business model.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Your IAP suggestion might be the way that I need to go with. I'm working on something that benefits devs, but only works if there is a discounted pricing structure for selected people that I bring to them. It's good to know that there's SOME kind of way that this can work!
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:12 PM
sakinnuso sakinnuso is offline
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One more question:

Is there a limit to the number of FREE codes that a developer gets or can give?

Lastly, does apple charge (and how much) if you go over that number of promo codes? Let's say that apple has given me 100 promo codes, and I need 10,000k (hypothetically - I know that doesn't make any sense yet)...would apple charge me some kind of fee to have access to all of those promo codes or something?
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:54 PM
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mr.Ugly mr.Ugly is offline
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you get 50 per version, nothing more.

why would you need 2 iaps if you just want to make a sale? just change the iap price? whats the point about thoose secondary sale codes? i dont get it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:56 PM
TouchDeveloper TouchDeveloper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.Ugly View Post
you get 50 per version, nothing more.

why would you need 2 iaps if you just want to make a sale? just change the iap price? whats the point about thoose secondary sale codes? i dont get it.
He/She wants to sell the same app at two different price points simultaneously. One is a public price for anybody that visits the store and the other a (presumably discounted) price for some people they want to provide the discounts to by invitation only (after the general sale period). They can even get around the limited free promo codes by giving different external codes of their own to unlock the limited free to full version at no charge in addition to multiple price points.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:26 PM
sakinnuso sakinnuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchDeveloper View Post
He/She wants to sell the same app at two different price points simultaneously. One is a public price for anybody that visits the store and the other a (presumably discounted) price for some people they want to provide the discounts to by invitation only (after the general sale period). They can even get around the limited free promo codes by giving different external codes of their own to unlock the limited free to full version at no charge in addition to multiple price points.
Thanks again Touch Developer. You've been INCREDIBLY helpful. My other option - which I'm still researching - is how to get more FREE PROMOS from apple. I know that none of this makes any immediate sense, but trust me, you're helping immeasurably with a business model that I'm working on. Your idea sounds like it definitely works for apps in development, but for older apps that aren't set up for IAP, there are problems. This is why I'm curious about how to get even 500 to 1000 more free promos from Apple, even if I have to pay a developer out of pocket to get them at the discount that they would pay apple, should they charge them...
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:56 PM
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mr.Ugly mr.Ugly is offline
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different prices for the same app at the same time sounds very consumer unfriendly.

giving rebate to some and some not, like a raffle etc. sounds odd at the appstore.

you might check the guidelines if such price masquerading is even allowed.

not sure if it is.. *shrug*


as for promo codes 50 is the limit. gifting an app is a possibility, but this does not work with iaps to my knowledge.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:45 PM
TouchDeveloper TouchDeveloper is offline
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Not sure why it is customer unfriendly or confusing. It is not any more different than people buying at the current listed price in the App Store, the only option for them while some people get private promo codes to redeem free. The customers who don't get promo codes don't see that option in the app to get confused.

Similar system here. Anybody visiting the app store will only see one price that they can upgrade to full for $2.99. There may be sale periods in which that price may go down to $0.99 and then come back to $2.99. But there is a private promo code that the developers may send certain customers at any time which they can enter in the app (touching enter promo code option like in any online retail checkout or even with a hidden command they are told to do) and have the option to upgrade for $0.99 come up when a valid promo code is entered.

Note that any INDIVIDUAL potential customer will only see one price for them in the AppStore or in the App to upgrade (with perhaps a visible enter promo code option n the IAP upgrade that they will ignore if they do not have a promo code just as you don in online retail checkout). This addresses your concern.

The multiple IAP mechanism is just an implementation of the above requirement.

I don't expect this to be against any guidelines. They are still using the AppStore purchasing for all transactions and not bypassing it.

There isn't any guidelines I can see for two identical IAPs with different prices. But even if there were, that is easy to comply with, with suitable wording in the IAP description provided to Apple - say for example, upgrade and special upgrade or deluxe upgrade and premium upgrade with some superficial differences.

Since the developer is in charge of what is displayed for IAP in the app itself, they don't have to display both IAPs at the same time (which I agree would be confusing and not the requirement) but use the purchase and enter promo code model to choose which IAP is offered.
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