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Monday, 12 February 2024, Bengaluru, India
Apple’s Vision Pro gives users a new way to engage with apps through spatial computing, but it also provides app developers a method to make money without charging for subscriptions. Recent research from app intelligence company Appfigures shows that more than half (52%) of Vision Pro–only apps are paid downloads. This is a startling statistic, considering that just 5% of apps in the entire ios App Store monetize this way.
(Image Source: https://www.theverge.com/)
Aside from the substantial number of paid downloads, 35% of exclusive apps to Vision did not make money through the App Store, and 13% provided subscription services.
All 700+ apps—designed exclusively for the Vision Pro and those whose developers expressly tailored an existing app to function with Apple’s VR/AR headset—were included in analyzing all the apps optimized for the Vision Pro. The 1.2 million or so iOS apps that function on the Vision Pro but whose developers haven’t made any changes to them aren’t included.
Just 17% of iOS apps with native Vision experiences were paid downloads, and 58% were paid through subscriptions. This includes apps that were customized for the platform.
The lesson is that software developers are returning to the paid download monetization model, embracing the Vision Pro and creating distinctive, native experiences specifically for Apple’s AR/VR platform. That might have also encouraged more chances for discovery, but regrettably, Apple recently took all Vision Pro apps out of the App Store’s top ranks. As a result, it will be more challenging to monitor developers’ progress and help users find new programs because, unlike other platforms, the Vision Pro App Store needs more top charts and categories.
Renowned Vision Pro developer Michael Sayman’s News Ticker app for the new device shot to the top of the News category in a matter of days, ranking No. 3 out of all paid news apps for iPhone and Vision Pro.
Shortly after the device’s release, Juno, a YouTube client designed just for Vision users developed by Christian Selig of Apollo, also made it into the top 10 in the Photo & Video category.
Developers seeking a fresh approach to revenue generation without charging exorbitant subscription fees may find a return to paid applications appealing.
Because Apple receives a 15% to 30% commission on in-app transactions, it has encouraged app developers to use monetization models that combine free apps with in-app purchases and subscriptions over the years. This change was a component of Apple’s larger plan to transform into a services-driven company. That is to say, the company’s goal was not just to get customers to buy new iPhones, Macs, and other Apple products; it also aimed to make money off of those devices in the long run by offering services like AppleCare, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, advertising, and, of course, App Store purchases.
These recurring revenue streams assist Apple in adjusting to shifting market conditions surrounding iPhone sales, such as the 13% drop in sales the company announced in China during the first quarter. The critical market saw a decline in iPhone sales while Apple’s services division increased 11% from the previous quarter to reach $23.11 billion.
However, the rise of subscriptions has been uneventful for customers.
This means that previously free, ad-supported apps charge; even the simplest apps now require regular payments. Furthermore, the subscription industry gave rise to con artists who, among other deceptive methods, employ confusing UI designs and the promise of free trials that turn into paid accounts within days to fool people into purchasing subscriptions. Soon after, the App Store was inundated with complaints about shady and expensive subscription services.
Given that Vision Pro allows developers to make money from one-time purchases, it seems strange that Apple would have removed these apps from its Top Charts, where they attracted new users. How that will affect developers’ interest in the gadget and the revenue model still needs to be determined.
(Information Source: Techcrunch.com)
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