BeejiveIM Live in the App Store -- Is $15.99 the Right Price?
If you're an IM-hound, it's time for you to head over to iTunes and lay down $15.99 for BeejiveIM. The multi-client software can handle AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, MySpace, ICQ, and Jabber all in one little app. The whole services works via Beejive's own servers which allows them to include a couple of neat features. The first -- they'll cache your messages so if you go out of service or quit the app your messages will be waiting when you return. The second -- if you have an Exchange or MobileMe account, you can punch in your email address in the preferences and Beejive will shoot you a quick email letting you know that you've just received a message. Nice. Hopefully that feature will be unnecessary once Apple offers push notifications, but in the meantime it's a clever stopgap solution.
The only real downside is that the price, $15.99, doesn't really seem in line with the current $9.99 default price on a lot of apps. I'm of two minds on this issue. Come read the pros and cons with us after the break!
On the one hand, $15.99 really is a fair price to pay for an application of this quality, especially since Beejive is incurring costs on their end by maintaining a server. Server-proxy-type IM apps in the past have often been based on a subscription model, so at least we're not looking at that. The price is also more in line with what apps tend to cost on other mobile platforms. Given all that, $15.99 seems more than fair.
On the other hand, it's not like App developers who manage to crack the top tiers of apps (which I expect BeejiveIM to do) are exactly hurting for cash when they sell apps at the $9.99 level. Not to mention that, as I said above, $9.99 is the 'default price' right now in the App Store, so going above it will ruffle some feathers -- just take a look at what Ruben had to say in our forums to see what I mean.
If nothing else, it will be interesting to see whether or not the mindshare effect of all those other apps clocking in at $9.99 will eventually drive BeejiveIM's price downward, or if Beejive is a harbinger of $10+ prices to come.
How about you? $15.99 seem fair?