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Trusted Contributor
taylor-tomt
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎11-19-2010
My Device: Z10, Playbook

Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

My Opinion:

 

I don't think there should be any free apps, except limited time or function trials. Why?

 

No matter how small or trivial the author thinks the app is, maybe you're a coding god and it took only a few hours to code, it took specific skills and effort to create. The development environment had to be setup. The code had to be written. The app had to be tested. Etc, etc.

 

Giving the app away for free, devalues all apps.The expectation of the consumer becomes that all apps should be free.

Look at most apps for a certain function, i.e clocks. There are many free versions and a few paid ones. They probably took about the same effort to create, but when a user searches for a clock and finds 10, or 20, or 50 free ones, why would they ever select the paid one, even if it is only $0.99?

 

Even complex gaming apps that have teams of people coding them can only be sold for a few dollars because the consumer is unwilling to pay more.

 

When the going rate is 'free', what motivates developers to create new apps? (fame and bragging rights?)

 

As a developer, ask yourself this question: Are you willing to work for free? If you answer 'yes', why?

 

I'd be interested to hear others views on this.

 

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JSanders
Posts: 85,166
Likes: 23,028
Solutions: 5,925
Registered: ‎04-01-2008
My Device: Passport • Z30 • Z10 • Torch9850 • Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

Many developers will offer a free app in order to develop or create a reputation in the marketplace, with many downloads and/or positive feedback.

 

 




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Developer
ignites
Posts: 466
Registered: ‎04-11-2012
My Device: Bold 9900
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

What you are talking about is called collusion. Yes it sometimes devalues apps but not always. OpenOffice is a free software to run office applications but it doesnt stop people from paying millions of dollars each year to buy MS Office. The point is, you need to differentiate to fight for market share and get paid for what you do. If a lot of apps were free (like in Andriod) then yes it would be hard to make money but fact is, this isnt happening in BlackBerry, most good apps are paid. Collusion is no good as it eventually hurts the ecosystem (making people pay for **bleep** apps = less users = less chance of getting paid anyways). Some users I know will never pay for an app ever, since they dont receive economic enjoyment from buying an app or see value in software (which is not 'tangible' in a way since they cant physically hold it). However, we allow these users to download apps as they're positive experince with the platform and free apps (like getting them hooked on bbm) will get other users onto the platform who WILL buy apps. Its a bit more complicated than this ofcourse but in general there shouldnt be collusion, it just gets messy and dishonest. I have had apps in the past that was competiting with free apps and still had quite a few purchases. You just have to learn to market yourself in the right position...

the TLDNR version - is 'no not really, free alls dont devalue all apps'

PS Theres free twitter apps on PlayBook and JCarty has sold his twitter app for atleast 200k+ times at an average of $2. So there you go!

Developer for easyDial for BlackBerry Bold & inLink for BlackBerry PlayBook
Find me online via twitter, or on the techfruits.com webpage. Please hit the like button below if what I said helped!
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Developer
Ebscer
Posts: 865
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
My Device: 9530, 9630, 9800, 8530, 9900, 9810, 9930, PlayBook, Dev Alpha
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

[ Edited ]

Agreed, free apps do devalue all apps. However  all you can really control is what is best for you and your own apps. Occationally the best thing is to release a free app (either to promote your other apps or because competative presasure has forced down the price of that style of apps to $0).

 

As was pointed out, the solution to this problem would be collusion. However with tens of thousands of developers, and both RIM and consumers benifiting from lower priced apps, I see no way in order to pull something like that off.

 

On a related note, I think the best approach to this issue for now is to make use of in-app purchases. This allows that app to carry a price tag of "Free", while still providing developers the ability to generate revenue from those customers that see value in the apps.


Read my thoughts on BlackBerry Development at news.ebscer.com
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New Developer
shlomiag
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎11-23-2010
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: none

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

I feel that overall, free apps are better for the consumer, but it's not certain they're bad for the developers.

And I'll explain.

Say we have an OS that doesn't allow free apps. Who will buy it? few people will.

Say another OS allows free apps. Who will buy it? Many will.

On the first OS, everyone that needs a clock will buy a clock app.

On the first OS, only a small percent will buy a clock app, but in many cases, more will buy it than on the first OS.

 

As an example, look at Zynga's games - you can play their games for months without paying a dime, only a small percent pays for them. But it's enough for them to become a billion dollar company.

 

 

approved apps:
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Developer
ignites
Posts: 466
Registered: ‎04-11-2012
My Device: Bold 9900
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.


shlomiag wrote:

As an example, look at Zynga's games - you can play their games for months without paying a dime, only a small percent pays for them. But it's enough for them to become a billion dollar company.

 

 


 

zynga makes most of their money on facebook games which are free and run ads and recently havent been doing too well either, so I would kindly challenge their business model.


Developer for easyDial for BlackBerry Bold & inLink for BlackBerry PlayBook
Find me online via twitter, or on the techfruits.com webpage. Please hit the like button below if what I said helped!
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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

A lot of this will come to the value the app brings to the consumer and how well it does with competition. If better apps are free, charging a customer for an app that has less value, will probably not sale well on its own. In marketing, a developer should do a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis before proceeding in developing an app that may already exist in a category. However, a paid app with equal or better competition, marketed well can still sale, especially if the free ones do not perform any marketing.

It is not that free apps devalue other apps, its that the devalue apps probably dont market well.
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Contributor
willy1967
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎03-13-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: telus

Re: Free Apps devalue all apps. Discuss.

The problem is that it is still possible tomake money by making the app free by adding ads. This allows the developer to make money, get a ton of downloads, while also undercutting everyone else. From a developer standpoint, Iwould love if it was mandatory to pay fro apps, as  a phone user though, free apps are the only way to go :smileyhappy:

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