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Old 01-04-2009, 01:24 PM
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Whatley Wednesday - Should Gravity come down?

In this comment piece, 'Should Gravity come down?', James Whatley shares his thoughts on mobile application prices. Have on-device stores, such as iPhone's App Store and Android's Marketplace, changed consumer's perception of the pricing of mobile applications? What constitutes reasonable value? Read our first Whatley Wednesday, then share your thoughts in the comments thread.

Read on in the full article.

Old 01-04-2009, 01:34 PM
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Personally, I disagree, and think the price is a fair price for Gravity. Its not your run of the mill applications knocked up over a weekend, it has had extensive work put into it, and Beta testers, myself included have worked very hard in getting Gravity ready for the release date. Jan Ole Suhr, the sole developer of Gravity is a genius, and what he has created, is much more that a single application for Twitter. It has mutiple purposes, which integrate several accounts, from Twitter, Laconica, and more recently the ability to add Facebook status updates. On top of this, there is an extensive search function where you can have several open searches, saved to your preferences. The list goes on, and best of it all, is Gravity is still improving, with new additional tweeks, and features being added following requests, and suggestions etc.

As said, this is my own personal opinion, and James is entitled to his.

Old 01-04-2009, 01:43 PM
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An equivalent iPhone application, Twitterific Premium, sells for $9.99 US. With that in mind, Gravity's price doesn't seem out of line.

Old 01-04-2009, 01:46 PM
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Agreed, Micky, as a one-time developer myself, I think Gravity's price is very fair. It's the silly prices in the out-of-control iPhone App Store which are out of whack, IMHO.
Steve Litchfield, Admin, AAS

Old 01-04-2009, 01:48 PM
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On phones, pricing is often a question of hiding costs instead of lowering them. For example, someone who pays 10p for a text message will happily send 70 messages for a total cost of 7, but they would probably refuse if they had to pay up front for a 7 licence to send 70 messages: same price for the same product, but somehow phone bill micropayments are more psychologically acceptable.

The biggest hidden cost of all is in the contract phone, where the hardware is bought on credit and paid for in installments. There are serious journalists who use the first installment as if it was the cost of the phone, such as the supposed "$199" iPhone 3G which actually cost closer to $600, or even "free" phones which common sense should say aren't free at all (I'm sure we'll see the Nokia 5800 touted as "free" sooner or later).

Maybe applications should take a leaf out of the network operators' book: have a tiny micropayment charge for each use after the trial period, possibly with the charging dropped after a limit is reached (when the app has been fully paid for). That would not only allow you to try out full versions of apps very easily, it would also mean that you would by definition only pay for apps that you actually use in the long term. If you use a particular app twice as much as another, you would pay twice as much for it.

Payment for use would therefore encourage developers to make apps people want to use as much as possible, and simultaneously punish developers who con people into buying apps they don't use.

Under such a system, game developers for example would HAVE to create long-term gameplay, because otherwise they won't get their money from the consumer

Old 01-04-2009, 02:03 PM
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"An equivalent iPhone application, Twitterific Premium, sells for $9.99 US. With that in mind,
Gravity's price doesn't seem out of line."

The best iphone twitter app is tweetie, that costs much less

Old 01-04-2009, 02:25 PM
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Let Gravity prevail

and make the price come down!

I'm with James here. Comparable apps for other platforms are much more competitively priced. Gravity is a great app and definitely the best dedicated twitter client for s60 but it's not *that* much better than Dabr which is absolutely free. Personally i prefer Dabr's powerful simplicity too.

Old 01-04-2009, 02:44 PM
bheetebrij bheetebrij is offline
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I thought it was worth it, but asked myself the same question

I had 8 spare euros and have wanted to have an app like this for quite some time, so I was willing to pay it without even trying it (a video was enough to convince me). It is the slickest S60 app I have seen so far. Quite frankly, it is a beautiful piece of programming. Congrats, Jan Ole and Mobileways.

That is not the issue, though, of course. Mobileways invests x amount of hours/euros into building this app and needs to recoup that money. The fact of the matter is that in the end is down to the elasticity of price. If at 8 euros they can sell 10.000 copies, they have a turnover of 80.000 euros. If, in turn, at 2,50 euros they sell 100.000 copies they obtain a revenue of 250.000 euros.

Without the Ovi Store, I think there is currently no appropriate infrastructure to sell high volumes (such as 100.000) - think for a moment how easy it is to buy an app on the iPhone and how relatively difficult it is to purchase Gravity. For that reason, I think the price is probably most appropriate for Mobileways to recoup an investment.

Old 01-04-2009, 02:52 PM
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Bheetebrij, yes, volume is key to prices.

If an app can sell 100,000 copies then they could sell it for 1 euro a copy and it would still probably be making its money back several times over. The only realistic way to reach those sales figures is an on-phone app store, which is hopefully what Ovi Store will provide for Symbian very soon.

Old 01-04-2009, 02:56 PM
kevinwashere kevinwashere is offline
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Gravity is a great value and a good example app..

Gravity is worth the money.. and so is supporting a great programmer who will inevitably come out with more apps of the same caliber in the future. It's also a great example of what "to do" (fluid kinetic scrolling, easy access urls, pleasant looks, auto updates, gallery integration, etc.) Lets hope other programmers follow his example.

On the other hand, "WorldMate".. @ $30 for a license.. is insane. What could be easily a free widget, grabbing info from all flight sources.

Let's hope OVI will include more apps such as gravity... unlike other stores filled with many useless apps.

Old 01-04-2009, 02:57 PM
chlettn chlettn is offline
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I don't think ~10 is all that expensive for a piece of software that's gorgeous & as well supported as Gravity.

Also, another native S60 client called Twittix is going to launch soon - and it's 4.99 afaik...let the feature/price wars begin

Old 01-04-2009, 02:58 PM
davidmaxwaterma davidmaxwaterma is offline
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Originally Posted by Tzer2 View Post
Bheetebrij..which is hopefully what Ovi Store will provide for Symbian very soon.
Yes, I had a quick look at this app, and it is something I would consider paying that amount of money for. I will wait for it to appear on the Ovi Store before buying.

However, even that amount is quite high for a Chinese (for example) income. They will have to judge how much they can charge in order to make the profit they want. If they lower it, they will make it more affordable to many more people - I'd guess it's almost exponential. On the other hand, some people perceive value in terms of price, so you'll lose some...'well rid', if you ask me, though I guess they could get around that problem by having a 'premium edition' which something extra (a rarely used feature, or support, for example).

Old 01-04-2009, 03:01 PM
gerrymoth gerrymoth is offline
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Okay I'll get this out of the way first.

HE MENTIONED MY NAME, Its me, yes me @gerrymoth

Okay, back to normality, I'll start my saying Gravity is a breath of fresh air for the S60 platform, its user interface is the best I've seen in any application, its smooth and really COOL looking, its still got its little bugs here and there which Jan is fixing in quick time as soon as they are found. Its even been remarked NOKIA should be looking at his work with scrolling on the Nokia 5800XM! So as someone already mentioned this isn't your Apple App Store 0.99 iFart application.

Now to your main concern, THE PRICE. Is the price to high? Personally I don't think so looking at all the other S60 applications on the market and their pricing, hey even games on N-Gage cost 6-9, so is 7.20 too much or are you just looking at a 4.99 price as a marketing tool to sell the product? Does Gravity need the 4.99 marketing ploy, I don't think so as I have seen loads of people try the demo application for a few hours and reply quickly saying they have paid for the license. If the products good and people want it, they will pay for it. If its too expensive then they wont sell much. But according to Jan yesterday I think his expected first days sales have exceeded his expectations.

Old 01-04-2009, 03:25 PM
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That's a little over USD$10 right now, which is very reasonable. It's the best Twitter app I've used on any device, in many ways even compared to desktop apps, so no, I don't think that's overpriced. It's worth it.

Don't like it, don't buy it. Why waste time complaining? Oh right... it's the Internet.

Market forces -- i.e., low sales -- will make him lower his price, if indeed it is overpriced. On the other hand, I saw on Twitter that it was his most successful product launch ever, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

Old 01-04-2009, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shbib View Post
...but it's not *that* much better than Dabr which is absolutely free. Personally i prefer Dabr's powerful simplicity too.
"I think you're too expensive compared to a free product that I actually prefer over yours. Lower your price." Yeah, that's a winning argument.


gravity, wednesday, whatley

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