How many take away coffees do you buy a day? Even if it’s only one, that’s probably $3.50 out of your pocket that you spend without a second thought.
So what about spending $2.99 on an iPhone app – maybe a game to use in your spare time, or a utility designed to save you time. Or how does $1.19 sound, because that seems to be a common price point? Why you could even get three apps for little more than a latte.
You wouldn’t think that it would be an agonising decision, but we were surprised to find that price is a sensitive issue when it comes to buying apps. And iPhone users themselves don’t understand why they waver over spending less than $3 on something that lasts so much longer than a hot drink. Here’s a taste of some of the comments from our iPhone Online Research Community:
“I am dancing around the idea of a $6 app at the moment that I really want (but not rushing in). Weird psychology really since I have no problem throwing far more than that away on far more frivolous things”
“I only pay for stuff with a lot of good reviews and things I know I’ll like. Otherwise it’s free. Even if it’s an app I’m not sure about and it only costs $1.19 I’ll think twice, three times.. sometimes four times”
“I don’t feel like I should be paying any more than I already am/have for the iPhone considering I use it mostly for communication purposes. I don’t think I will ever pay for an app, but I’m waiting for something to prove me wrong!”
Our frugal friends were a bit bemused at their own behaviour, and put it down to both the intangible nature of apps, and the predominance of free apps which create a mindset that all apps should be free or so cheap that purchasing doesn’t require a second thought.
There are people who are willing to spend ‘big’ money on apps, whether it’s a $9.99 Jamie Oliver recipe collection or a $69 navigation system. But the apps they pay more money for have to do something - they’re rarely games or time wasters. Even so, our ‘spenders’ were more likely to trial a ‘lite’ version before downloading the full paid-for version. Try before you buy matters even more in appland, where the refund policy is non-existent.