Wolfram Alpha

WolframAlpha has finally come to the realization that $49.99 is an unreasonable price for their app and have reduced the price to... wait for it... $1.99! On top of that, if you purchased WolframAlpha on an earlier date, you're eligible for a refund.

In October, 2009, WolframAlpha was released at $49.99 which was difficult to understand since their iPhone-optimized website was available for free through Safari. Two months later, the iPhone optimized version was removed and if you visited wolframalpha.com, a pop-up informed you that you could buy the app for "fully optimized mobile computable knowledge". Now, Wolfram Alpha has completely reversed their strategy and not only substantially cut the price, but have also brought back the iPhone optimized site and are giving money back!

To be eligible for the refund, you must have purchased WolframAlpha on or before April 1, 2010 for $49.99 or the holiday price of $19.99. To make your claim, visit this site and provide screenshots of your UDID, purchase history, and account info. After verifying your info, Wolfram Alpha will issue you a gift card for $50 or $20 depending on how much you purchased the app for. I expected refunds would be for $48 and $18 to bring the price down to $1.99, but what Wolfram Alpha is really doing is giving early adopters $0.01 for having the app! The deadline to request a refund is May 3, 2010.

Now we must wonder if this new business model is going to work for them. Given estimates that they sold 10,000 copies prior to the price reduction, it will take a long time to break even much less earn a profit at the new price point. Could it be they're now willing to give up money in exchange for market share? Is this a smart move?

Now that Wolfram Alpha is at a reasonable price, are you planning to pick up a copy? If so, let us know what you think!