'Paid Apps Aren't Dead --- But They Are on Life Support'

Christina Warren, writing for Mashable:

Mashable has spoken with half a dozen high-profile iOS developers who have all reported seeing lower sales from their paid applications — regardless of how well the app ranks on the charts.


Are users spending less money on applications? According to the latest statistics from analytics companies such as App Annie and Distimo, app revenues for Apple’s App Store and Google Play continue to be on the rise.

So what’s going on? Chalk it up to a shift in consumer behavior, thanks in part to the rise of in-app purchases in games and other applications.

While I’m clearly among the “upscale geek” crowd that Marco Arment mentions, in looking at the apps on my iPhone’s Home screen, most of them are paid. I have no qualms paying for apps, even for updates to existing apps, because I like the feeling I get from knowing I’m supporting indie developers. Conversely, the majority of my family and friends fill their devices with free apps because, well, they’re free. I like free stuff too — who doesn’t?! — but I’m willing to pay for good stuff. (In fact, I’ve replaced several of iOS’s system apps with App Store alternatives.) I just wish more people I knew spent more money supporting these guys than mindlessly dumping cash into Candy Crush in-app purchases, or simply settle for a “good enough” free version of something.