Music-making app switching from a paid product with plans to sell additional instruments and sounds via in-app purchase
Apple’s GarageBand has been one of the best-selling paid apps for iOS since its launch in March 2011 as a £2.99 download. Now it’s set to follow the dominant App Store trend by switching to freemium.
Apple let the news slip on its own website, after updating the text and icons on its Built-in Apps page for the iPhone 5s smartphone, where GarageBand sat alongside other “iLife” apps iPhoto and iMovie.
“GarageBand is free on the App Store for all iOS 7 compatible devices; additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available with an in-app purchase,” explained the text, which has since been removed, but was spotted by Mac Rumors.
Apple had already announced at its 18 September press event that iPhoto and iMovie will be switching from paid apps to free downloads for anyone buying a new iOS device, alongside its “iWork” apps Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
GarageBand hadn’t been mentioned during that launch, calling into question future support for the iOS version of Apple’s music creation software. Now those questions have been answered: it’s making a similar shift from paid to free, but Apple is hoping to capitalise on the booming freemium market on iOS.
In October, research firm IHS estimated that people will spend $15.5bn on smartphone and tablet apps in 2013, with more than 80% of those revenues coming from in-app purchases.
Meanwhile, in July mobile analytics company Flurry claimed that 90% of iOS apps are now free to download. Influential iOS developer Marco Arment also addressed the trend publicly in a blog post in September:
“The market for paid-up-front apps appealing to mass consumers is gone. If you have paid apps in the store, you’ve probably seen the writing on the wall for a while,” he wrote. “Paid-up-front iOS apps had a great run, but it’s over. Time to make other plans.”
A strategy that seemingly applies to Apple as much as it does to its community of developers.
Link to article: feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663889/s/32b44d6c/sc/5/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Ctechnology0C20A130Coct0C210Capple0Egarageband0Eiphone0Eipad0Efreemium/story01.htm