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Why is Apple jacking up iPhone and iPad app prices for some users?

Published Mar 31st, 2014 3:01PM EDT
iPhone Apps Price

If you’re a fan of downloading apps on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch handheld in several big mobile device markets around the world, buying the latest and greatest iOS apps is about to get a little bit more expensive.

In an email to developers and first spotted by by 9to5Mac, Apple announced pricing changes to apps in Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa, due to currency fluctuations. Apple notified the developers that the increases will happen in the next 24 hours, automatically.

This isn’t the first time Apple has done this — raising app prices for some users. The last time it did so was in October 2013, in Japan, due to the volatility of the yen. It has also raised prices in the U.K. in 2011, and raised prices in some European countries (Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France to name a few) in 2012.

Apps have become an important part of Apple’s business, as the company struggles to grow revenue and iPhone sales are slowing down. In Apple’s fiscal first-quarter, iTunes/Software/Services revenue accounted for $4.397 billion of Apple’s $57.59 billion in quarterly revenue. $4.4 billion in quarterly revenue is healthy growth, up 19% year-over-year and 3% sequentially.

On Apple’s fiscal first-quarter earnings call, the company announced it had surpassed 65 billion app downloads as the company races against Google, with its Google Play Store, for app supremacy.

While Apple doesn’t break down the revenue from apps, this segment does show that it’s an important part of Apple’s future, especially as the App Store gets crowded with an ever-growing number of apps.

Apple has recently begun testing a new feature in the App Store, allowing users to type in the name of the an app they’re looking for, and then showing related keywords. In 2012, Apple acquired Chomp, an app store search and discovery company that was looking to help users with searching around mobile app stores, given how crowded they were becoming at the time.