Apple allows in-app purchases in free apps

Apple sent emails to iPhone developers yesterday notifying them that in-app purchases are now permitted in free apps. Until now, the ability to offer in-app purchasing capabilities was limited to paid apps.

http://www.theapplelounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/in-app1.jpgApple sent emails to iPhone developers yesterday notifying them that in-app purchases are now permitted in free apps. Until now, the ability to offer in-app purchasing capabilities was limited to paid apps. This new functionality now allows developers to release free apps that include a free level (for example) with a payment required to unlock additional levels.

The move is the closest thing that we've seen to real trial software in the App Store and allows developers to ship a free app – with optional paid features – instead of having to develop and maintain a separate, "light" version in addition to the paid version of the app. The change in policy will be a boon to creative developers that can convert free users into paying users.

It's also being suggested that Apple may have opened in-app purchases in free apps to help to stave off the piracy that is gaining momentum in the iPhone universe.

ComiXology was one of the first developers to jump on the bandwagon and quickly changed the price of its Comics by comiXology app to free. The free version of Comics comes with over 60 quality free comics, with additional comics available for purchase.

Are you likely to spend more at the App Store via in-app purchases now that they've been expanded to free apps?

Photo: The Apple Lounge

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