Apple has hiked up prices for apps in Australia across the board for both iOS and Mac users. Here's what you'll pay now. (Goodbye, 99 cent app. We'll miss you.)
Apple last changed app pricing in Australia in 2011. At that time, the price of some apps actually came down, and the cheapest apps ($2.99 and under) were identically priced for US and Australian buyers. There was a 50 cent surcharge for apps priced between $US3.99 and $9.99, and a $1 surcharge above that.
That reflected the relatively strong Australian currency at the time — prior to the 2011 change, a common complaint was that we were forced to pay $1.19 for something that was worth 99 cents US.
This time around, the currency gods aren't favouring us and prices are going up. Here's how the new prices will work, according to Apple developer documentation which Luke at Gizmodo reported on:
|$US price||Old $AU price||New $AU price|
In theory, you could work around these price differences by using a US iTunes store account, but that will undoubtedly prove too much hassle for the majority of buyers (and conversion charges if you buy the cards online might eliminate the value on cheaper apps). Your best long-term savings strategy remains buying iTunes gift cards whenever they're on special — that cuts 25 per cent off the price if you time it well. That won't quite make up for this difference, but every little helps.
One point: while a 30 cent price rise is annoying, software is cheaper now than it has ever been. $1.29 for a decent app is not a rip-off, not matter who charges it.
Admittedly, we'd feel better about it if Apple didn't employ every strategy going to minimise its tax contribution to Australia, and if the gouging wasn't more evident the higher the prices became.