Apple has tweaked the pricing of software available on the iOS App Store and, while good news for those in Australia and Japan, UK prices have risen as a result.
The move, reported by MacRumors, reflects recent changes in exchange rates relative to the US dollar and sees the lowest-priced apps on the UK App Store – previously 59p – rise to 69p. Those for sale at the second-lowest price point, £1.19, now cost £1.49.
The rise of ten pence is broadly consistent with the strength of the pound since the iOS App Store launched on July 10, 2008. At the time 99¢ was worth just over 50p; today it is worth 62p. The second tier of pricing – $1.99 in the US – equated to £1.01 at launch and is worth £1.24 now.
While UK users – along with those in Mexico and Norway – have lost out, it's a different story elsewhere. In Australia, where app pricing has been a concern for some time given the strong Australian dollar, the lowest app price has been reduced from AU $1.19 to 99¢. In Japan, too, prices have been lowered, from ¥115 to ¥85.
The changes are long overdue given the constant fluctuations in exchange rates, especially in the three years since the App Store's launch and the relative impact of the global recession on different countries and currencies. While in theory offering App Store developers greater revenue from UK consumers, a rise in the cheapest apps' price of 16.9 per cent may have the opposite effect, and make users think twice before committing to an impulse purchase.
More bad news for UK Apple users may be around the corner: MacRumours speculates that Apple is also to adjust the pricing of its next generation of hardware. A similar increase in the price of iPhones and iPads may be much harder for UK consumers to swallow.