There’s a lot of debate regarding App Store pricing and most of it revolves around the idea that developers should try to spread awareness about how hard it is to make an app. I think that’s wrong.
The main problem is that instead of evaluating the actual product, some users evaluate how much they think the developer is worth for his work. These users are not the majority, but they are the users that bring prices down and affect the sustainability of otherwise great apps.
Knowing how hard it is to make an app is not the issue.
Dash is an app that is targeted at developers. Developers are my customers. Despite of that, some of them complain that the app is overpriced at $20 and that I should go for $5 instead.
It’s hard to believe that even a novice developer doesn’t know how much work goes into an app, so lack of app-making knowledge should not be the reason of complaint in this case.
Later clarification: users that complain are definitely not the majority, Dash is currently doing great and is sustainable.
Where it all started
The App Store made a lot of indie devs insanely rich, and some of them didn’t deserve it (e.g. fart app devs).
These insane success stories are the ones that reached the news and some users started changing their mentality from “is this app worth it” to “is this dev guy worth being rich”. The answer is often no.
The general consensus is that if you have an app on the App Store, you’re rich.
The reality is that indie devs rarely make it big and most of the time they pour their heart and soul into an app that won’t even cover the electricity bill.
My app is fairly successful (constantly in the Top 200 Grossing of the Mac App Store). However, I’d make quite a bit more money if I’d just get employed. I don’t want to, because I enjoy what I do and I’m grateful to my users.
How do we fix it
We can’t. It will only get worse.