ThePhoneLounge has an article iPhone 3.0 isn’t all good… which focuses on in-app sales, which is a new feature in iPhone OS 3.0, expected to be released early this summer.
This is more than just allowing purchases to be made through a back-end system such as Amazon for example, this allows developers to provide upgrade functionality in their apps. This could be all kinds of things from upgrading from a lite version to a full version, buying additional maps for GPS apps for the iPhone, buying avatars or next levels for games, or subscription based services.
The fear here is that developers will nickel-and-dime users in an effort to constantly extract as much cash as possible instead of providing an upfront known price associated with the app.
And this is what I think:
1) Most developers have been really good about providing value for their apps. There are a lot of $1 apps. Even more so, there are apps which are very useful that are free because there’s a business model that doesn’t involve charging for the app. There have been many exceptions where people overcharge, but people usually price compare and competition is pretty high.
2) The ratings and rankings system will filter out abuse. People charging too much for their apps are given really bad reviews in the iTunes App Store. People can be brutal with their iTunes reviews. It’s almost as bad as Yelp.
In the end, most developers will be conscientious enough to be responsible to begin with, or will learn quickly that they must be reasonable with the in-app sales.
I guess we’ll find out soon.