Do you buy apps right away or wait for sales?

With one of the biggest sales days of the year almost upon us I began to think about the iPhone and iPad App Store and whether low price points encouraged consistent buying or frequent sales trained shoppers to always wait for sales?

Do you always buy the latest, greatest apps and games the minute they come out, eager to get right into them and seldom phased by prices that are about the same as a latte or hamburger? Or do you think pretty much every app with drop in price after a few weeks or months, or have a seasonal sale, so why bother paying more?

Does the awesomeness of the app sway your decision making at all? If it's the hottest game or latest social craze do you jump on it immediately, but if you're not sure you really want it do you wait for a sale so you can try it out for less?

Does the price cause you to either shop now or wait, with $0.99 being a no-brainer impulse buy but $9.99 lead you to consider the decision and timing more?

Or is it a mix, depending on mood and moment, how bored you are vs. how cash strapped, big brands vs. unknown indies, what your friends recommend or Apple or the blogs give a spotlight to? Does Angry Birds get your cash right away but Mildly Disgruntled Vermin have to wait for 50%?

Vote up in the poll above and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Do you buy apps right away or wait for sales?


Hot titles I'll buy then and there. But those tend to be cheap like angry birds and fruit ninja. However, I knew that PvZ would go on sale at some point in time so I waited a few months till it finally became 99 cents during Halloween.

If it's over .99, it's no longer an impulse buy for me. It will make me sit and think twice, and even three times, whether I really need it. Usually the answer is no (at least until it goes down in price on a sale).

I usually wait for sales. It's real easy to blow a bunch of money on apps and then never use them. Most developers don't try hard enough to create "lite" versions for me to try software and even then I'm very particular and want to be sure it's something I want and will benefit me or be something I enjoy. A few bad purchases are no big deal but a 99 cent app is also a song I might like and I can try those.

Websyndicate is a douche. Support development. Buy an app. If you took the money off of the table no apps or iPhones would exist.

If you can aford an iPhone (especially the $499 or $599 iPhone back in 2007) then you can afford an 99 cent app.

.99 is my pricepoint. Anything more than that and I wait for a sale. There is very little I "need" on my phone and most of that is free.

I use appshopper. It is great for waiting out for a sale for nice to haves. But must haves I buy when I want.

I see by some of the responses here why people are in debt. All those little apps you're buying eventually add up. Being discriminatory with spending isn't being cheap, it's being smart.
As for me, I usually download the free apps. I will pay for an app if it's something I will truly use and enjoy, but I'd say over 95% of the apps on my phone were downloaded when they were free.

Sorry, but I'm not in debt, and have a 793 credit rating. And am retiring in two years.
Since 2008, I've probably only bought fifteen or so apps. Many over ten dollars, but all superior.
The point is, is that if I decide that I don't want an app for $9.99, then why would I want it for $1.99? Either it's an app that I want, or it's not.
$0.99 software says "junk" to me. :roll:

Depends on the title for me.... If it's been something I've wanted for a while, but has never gone on sale, I'll plunk down the cash (which usually means it will go on sale shortly thereafter).