Why does $2.99 feel expensive on iTunes?

Background image by artist Luke Cheuh

I’ve been wrestling with purchasing a $2.99 application from the Apple iTunes store for a few days now. And I can’t answer the question why really… I’ve certainly spent WAY more money on much more frivolous and wasteful things. Heck I’ve spent more on a single coffee at Starbucks. So why do I have such a problem dropping that $3 dollar piece of software in my shopping cart?  The developers put their time, energy and sweat into those applications and sometimes I still can’t see the value… On a $2.99 for a piece of software! I need professional help…

And here’s the thing, music, no problem… I love the way Apple has revolutionized music distribution and I rarely purchase an actual CD anymore. Allowing me to preview new music in a 30 second clip usually seals the deal for me. I’ve spent some decent money on music with Apple. In fact I just spent $150 to replace my 200GB hard drive for a new 500GB drive, because the bulk of the space on my MacBook Pro is eaten up by the contents of my iTunes library.

So why would I have a problem with such a reasonably priced application? It’s a useful business application that I would probably use frequently. It’s not as expensive as some other apps I’ve seen at the store. Pramati Technologies “KinitoPro for SugarCRM” is $49.99. Their “iSugar CRM” Lite client, which was free earlier this week, is now $10.99. Among the Top 10 Paid Business apps only 1 topped the $2.99 mark and that was a spreadsheet application priced at $5.99. So maybe I’m not the only one to feel this price sensitivity.

But I think I might have just figured it out… Browsing through the store this morning, it seems that Apple has allowed a slew of useless apps that cost good hard earned money. I’ll give you a few examples: One of the “Staff Favorites” highlighted this morning, which is $0.99, is an application called “BucksMe” which will give you the location of the closest Starbucks near you based on the GPS settings in the phone. Another Lifestyle app call “Analyze HandWriting” is also $0.99. And then there’s the “iZen Garden – Portable Zen Garden” for $2.99. The list goes on and on. I have to say I just don’t get it…

Now I’ll be the first to admit that if I see a piece of software that’s “useless” but “free”, I’ll take a chance and download it… As a matter of fact I downloaded an application called “Beer Brands” this morning simply because the name was catchy, I read the description, it was free, and I can always delete it if I don’t like it. Allowing me to preview music in a 30 second clip as mentioned above is different then a paid app that I can’t return if I don’t like it or find it useful once I try it.

So I’d love to know your thoughts on some of the applications you’ve purchased from Apple, etc. Doesn’t even have to be from iTunes, maybe something for your Blackberry device… Drop me a comment below. In the meantime thanks for taking time to read my rant…

Zach Garcia

Zach Garcia

WI boy. AZ man. Husband of Lynn. Dad to Lyza Bea and Arden Jay. Lover of gadgets and home automation. Art collector. Eater. Home cook. Diner outer. Food nerd. Once ran *from* the bulls.

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