Apps: What prices will iPad users accept?

Apps: What prices will iPad users accept?

Summary: The iPad has yet to arrive but developers are already releasing tablet versions or new titles. A big question for coders is how much value iPad customers will find in the new mobile platform? Developers must wait and see whether users accept a price range more towards computer software or that of iPhone apps.


Special Report: Apple iPad

The iPad has yet to arrive but developers are already releasing tablet versions or new titles. A big question for coders is how much value iPad customers will find in the new mobile platform? Developers must wait and see whether users accept a price range more towards computer software or that of iPhone apps.

The place to look for this trend is the Top Grossing page at the iTunes Store, which ranks apps by total dollar sales rather than just by units (a.k.a. downloads). Here's the current short list:

1. Pages (Apple) $9.99 2. Numbers (Apple) $9.99 3. Keynote (Apple) $9.99 4. OmniGraffle (The Omni Group) $49.99 5. Scrabble for iPad (Electronic Arts) $9.99 6. At Bat 2010 for iPad ( $14.99 7. Things for iPad (Cultured Code) $19.99 8. The Elements: A Visual Exploration (Element Collection) $13.99 9. Plants vs Zombies (PopCap Games) $9.99 10. SketchBook Pro (AutoDesk) $7.99

Of course, one price tag sticks way out of the list: The Omni Group's OmniGraffle. This is the iPad version of the popular Mac OS X vector-based general-purpose drawing tool that makes visualization, flow charts and diagrams a snap. OmniGraffle is what Microsoft Visio wants to be.

When talking with Ken Case, Omni's chairman and CEO, I asked whether users will express a price sensitivity to iPad and computer versions. He pointed out that OmniGraffle is a professional tool.

"It really is a professional tool that people can use a lot of their productivity throughout the day. If you're using it to get your productive work done 8 hours a day, then $50 isn't at all an expensive thing," he said.

He's talking about the iPad version here; the standard Mac version is $99 and the professional edition costs $199. And in a demonstration, I could see how much could be done with the iPad software; it's very capable.

In fact, iPad Windows users may be in store for a productivity boost from this iPad version of a Mac-only product.

Case echoed that thought with a hope is that customers will consider the cost of iPad apps in a "wider context," meaning the value of desktop applications or even for comparable Windows software. For example, he said, Windows Visio is way more expensive, between $259.95 (Standard Full) and $559.95 (Professional Full) and harder to use.

In addition, the iPad version offers something special for a graphical business visualization product such as OmniGraffle: close collaboration. The iPad is capable of easy collaboration, much more so than a notebook.

Case said that the company's engineers sat down and made mockups of iPads, thought about how they would use them and brought them to meetings. He expected it to be a winner for business collaboration.

"It's a canvas that you can draw on, not a screen that separates you from the person across the table. They know what you are doing and they can draw upon it as well," he said.

Two people can hand it off, back and forth. This is an exciting prospect. An exciting business prospect.

Topics: iPad, CXO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • I wonder about programs released for HP Slate

    Will we see every product released for the
    Slate receive the same attention?

    Of course not, it would be impossible to cover,
    in detail, hundreds of programs a day, every
    day, released for the slate. There wouldn't be
    any room on ZDNet for anything [b]but[/b] HP
    Slate program announcements. I guess that is
    what happens when you build your tablet using a
    full OS instead of a crippled one. :)
    • Well, you will probably get your wish and see how a "crippled" OS runs on a

      tablet. Rumor has it that HP is actually
      considering Windows. Now that will be funny!!
      • You are indicating that the Slate will run on Linux?

        What else could "crippled OS' indicate?
      • Wow

        You know how to spell "Windows". You are right having Slate with
        Windows would be fun, but with Linux, nah a "crippled" experience just
        like you mentioned.
        Ram U
    • What Slate?

      So far all we've seen is a fat-fingered demo by Monkey Boy, three
      vague videos buried on HPs website (one of which is clearly CG), and
      some rumors from a Spanish website.

      Say what you will about the hype that has surrounded Apple releases
      of late, but you've got to admit this: they show something, they give a
      ship date, and then it's out-in this case less than 90 days from
      announcement to GA. And lets not forget that when Apple announced
      the iPad, they had demo models in attendees hands right afterwards.

      I've yet to see anyone go on the record as having seen a Slate in
      person let alone used it and been able to give an informed impression.
      HP admits that they've been working on this "for about five years", but
      we [i]still[/i] haven't seen a release.
      • The one that makes Apple it's iBitch!

        Really, all of you early adopters of the iPad are going to be embarrased to sit next to someone with an iSlate, which will have a real OS.
        • Could you explain to the class...

          why the iPhone OS isn't 'real?' It is, of course, based on OS X - a certified
          UNIX, by the way - with unnecessary code deleted. Are you suggesting
          that bloated code is necessary to make an OS 'real?'
        • They won't be early adopters by the time Slate is released.

          In fact, I say that by the time the Slate is released a minor iPad OS rev is
          a given and a major rev is likely. I'll go so far as to predict that before the
          Slate is available the iPad/iPhone OS 4.0 will be announced, a SDK will be
          released and [b]a ship date will be given[/b].
    • Hey NZ Developers are afraid being screwed like WinMo 6.5

      Developers have already been screwed after being urged to develop
      for Win Mo 6.5. Now none of their apps will work with Win Ph 7.

      Slate will supposedly run Win 7.

      But Msft's own tablet device won't run Win 7.
      Courier was supposed to run Win 7 was changed to Win CE 6, but
      then people are wondering whether it's going to be ditched for Win
      Phone 7.

      Even ZDnet seems confused "So, which is it? Is Courier a Windows-
      based tablet? Or is it a Windows CE-centric/Windows Phone OS-based

      What are developers going to think?
      Develop for a HP slate device running Windows 7? or focus on Win
      Phone 7? Or something else? Some say Courier will run Windows 8.
      Win 7 and Win Phone 7 are of course completely different beasts.

      If you say there are plenty of Win 7 programs already, those are
      optimized for mouse keyboard input. On a multi-touch device they'll

      Win 7 managers are very powerful in Msft as desktop Windows makes
      a big chunk of money and to protect their turf as they've done before
      they might torpedo projects that jeopardize their positions.

      I don't envy being a Windows mobile devices (phone, slate) developer.
      Win Ce, Win Ph 7, Win 7 or something completely new for courier and
      future slate tablets?

      And what is or happened to Project Pink?

      if Msft own tablets won't run win 7 but Slate will what are tablet app
      developers supposed to think? If " I write multi touch apps for Win 7
      they might be redundant like Win Mo 6.5" Probably they'll say "Screw
      this" and write for Android and iPhone OS.

      Hey NZ, I might have made big mistakes in this post as researching it
      has made my head spin. Win CE, Win Mo 6.5, Win Ph 7, Win 7, Zune
      OS, Danger Sidekick OS, Pink...

    • Hundred of programs a day?

      So what's different than the AppStore for the iPhone/touch? A sure sign
      of a Johnny Come Lately if there ever was one.

      And what is HP going to do that is so different than Apple?
    • Can't someone just ban this troll?

      Anyone else bored of this fool? iPhone OS [b]is[/b] a full OS numb-nuts.
      You are confusing a UI that is designed for touch with Windows 7. Still,
      seeing that you are clearly rationally and thought challenged, I wouldn't
      expect you to be able to work out that a desktop WIMP paradigm doesn't
      translate to touch. And no, the stylus input method [i]is[/i] dead.
      • Never worry about NZ

        I think she is paid to add to the eye-balls count, which is why she seems
        to always appear as one of the first posts.

        Sometimes she is interesting, but (sadly) not that ofter, Typical woman.
        • oh? you find men more interesting?

        • NZ is female?

          I'm astonished. I give women more credit. I always figured NZ to be a 14
          y;r old boy.
      • yes, iPhone OS is full OS, but not full like Mac OSX or

        Windows. But Windows 7 supports "Capacitive Touch Screens" in addition
        to resistive, which are good without stylus too. I think you should
        research a bit before claiming something. Heck WinMo 6.5 also supports
        capacitive (look at HTC HD2/Leo) touch. With Windows all you have to do
        is write a proper driver and your device would start working.
        Ram U
      • DOS was a full OS too...

        Good ol' MS-DOS was a full OS too. But that doesn't make it a proper OS for today's World, does it?
    • Archos 9, it's been around a while..

      ...cheggidout. The iPud is perfectly craptastic, by comparison....
      Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • The competition should keep the apps about what you pay for iPhone apps.

    But, of course with the larger screen, there are
    a lot more possibilities. iFart will still be
    popular though!!
  • OmniGraffle is the killer app for me...

    it's one of the four apps I use most often, and it's a natural
    for a touch-based interface. I paid $199 for the pro version,
    and will gladly pay $50 for the iPad version.
  • RE: Apps: What prices will iPad users accept?

    I would pay the iWorks prices, but not the Omni. Don't get
    me wrong, I think OmniGraffle is great, and I have the Pro
    version on my Mac. I just can't see me using it on the iPad.