I wrote about the BlackBerry App World minimum pricing plan back in March as RIM stated the minimum cost for a priced, not free, application would be $2.99. As I said then and still say today, 99 cent apps don't give most developers what they deserve for creating the application and is a bit ridiculous for consumers to use as a standard for mobile application pricing. Microsoft is holding some developer events this week in Redmond and has encourage developers to follow a strategy similar to RIM where apps are priced more reasonably in line with what is fair to both the developer and the consumer. It doesn't look like Microsoft will dictate this minimum price level and will let the market decide, but I sure hope we don't end up with thousands of 99 cent apps.
As Loke Uei, Microsoft Mobile Developer Experience team member, stated:
It's up to you play your pricing, but we would definitely want to promote that you make more money selling applications than selling your application in a dollar store.
In the past it was typical to pay $10 to $20 for a Windows Mobile application and in all honesty I always felt that I easily received that value back out of the game or application and never questioned those prices. Apple lowered the bar for mobile application pricing and IMHO went way too far with low pricing. If you look at the 65,000+ applications in the App Store you will find thousands and thousands of pieces of crap and now the store is extremely tiresome to browse through to try to find good apps. It isn't always great to have 500 tip calculators and hopefully the upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile can stay a bit cleaner and leaner with high quality applications priced fairly for both the consumer and the developer.