Today Apple made an important adjustment to the price of iOS apps in the App Store. The cheapest apps that typically go for US$0.99 have translated to A$1.19 since the App Store launched three years ago. The new price lowest price for apps is $0.99, equalling that of the United States.
With the strength of the Aussie dollar this price adjustment have been called for by many. Some explaining the price differential away with the 10% GST in Australia. If the GST was indeed contributing, then today’s price adjustment become all the more intriguing.
The Australian dollar today closed at 1.0757 vs the greenback. Given this difference is less than 10%, does this mean Apple are taking the hit of a few cents per transaction to deliver iOS apps at that golden sub-dollar price ? It is important to note that the prices of iOS Apps in Australia aren’t at a 1-1 parity with the US across the price spectrum. Lifehacker has a great table on the price changes.
Could it be that this price adjustment is the beginning of an Apple-wide eradication of the Australian tech tax ? First Apps, then music, even hardware could potentially be realigned to current price indexes. While gadget lovers would love to have the exchange rate price conversion be live, the reality is that Apple, and others, lock in a conversion rate at a specific point in time.
As far as Apple price adjustments go, they are quite rare. In the three years since the App Store launched iOS applications into the world, this is the first price change. Music prices were altered last year, however that change was related to record label deals rather than exchange rates.
The timing of the change is interesting, close to the launch of OSX Lion (before the end of the month) and the rumoured Macbook Air refresh. A narrowing or eradication of the hardware price differences between Australia and the US would put an end to enthusiasts importing their Apple products for cheaper than buying locally.
The response on twitter drew comparisons between the new low price A$0.99 for Angry Birds on iOS and A$4.00 for the same game on Windows Phone 7.
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