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APP STORE OPTIMIZATION · HUGH KIMURA · AUGUST 2013

A Detailed Look At Top Performing iOS App Pricing By Category

How to price your paid iOS app, based on the best performing apps in each category on the Apple App Store.

In a previous post, we looked at if you should create a free or paid iOS app, by examining what the top 100 apps (according to our Leaderboard) in each App Store category are doing. Then we did a very general overview of what the paid apps in these categories are charging, by using $5 as a threshold price to determine if an app was cheap or expensive.

However, if you are thinking of charging for your app, then this information doesn't really help you figure out which pricing strategies are working best in your category. Therefore, in this post, we will dig much deeper into how much apps in each category are charging for their apps, so you can gain a better understanding of what is working and how to position your paid app.

How We Collected The Data

Again, we used our Leaderboard to determine the top apps in each category. We believe that this is much more accurate indication of the best apps because we take several different factors into account in the rankings and not just the number of downloads that an app gets.

lt="Ranking of app value

As you know, Apple only uses the number of downloads to determine ranking and that can be manipulated. However, it looks like they might be taking steps to remedy this problem.

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This time, instead of analyzing the top 100 apps in each category, we will be looking at the top 50 paid apps. We broke down app pricing into 14 categories:

  • $0.01 to $0.99

  • $1.00 to $3.99

  • $4.00 to $6.99

  • $7.00 to $9.99

  • $10.00 to $12.99

  • $13.00 to $15.99

  • $16.00 to $18.99

  • $19.00 to $21.99

  • $22.00 to $24.99

  • $25.00 to $49.99

  • $50.00 to $99.99

  • $100.00 to $149.99

  • $150.00 to $199.99

  • $200.00 or more

This is much more granular than our last price analysis and will allow us to see the pricing tendencies of each category in more detail. Keep in mind that some categories do not have 50 paid apps on our Leaderboard and that is why the bars for those categories are shorter. This is because some categories primarily have free apps and because our Leaderboard only lists the best performing app in each category, not every single app.

The Results

This is what we found for each category. After you have a chance to look at the data, we will discuss what the graph uncovers.

lt="How apps price

In terms of pricing, the Education, Business, Medical, Navigation, Productivity and Sports categories have the most diverse pricing. The Finance, Food & Drink, News, Newsstand, Social Networking and Utilities are dominated by free apps and having a paid app makes it very tough to get to the top of the list.

The most expensive apps are in the Medical, Navigation and Travel categories. If you are creating apps in these categories, it can be worthwhile to charge a hefty amount up front.

Conclusion

We hope that this data has given you more insight into how to price your app. It is generally best to create a free app, but how you price your app also depends on your business model, the type of app that you have, and the category you are in.

As we saw in our previous post about free vs paid app pricing, an effective pricing strategy can be very different between the various categories. If you are stuck as to how to price your app, give our Leaderboard a try and see what you discover. Also do not be afraid to experiment with your pricing to see what works best.

What have you noticed about the app pricing in your App Store category? Surprise us with your insights in the comments below.


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: August 2013

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