How much will you pay for iPad apps? Steve Jobs said the iPad was a new category between the iPhone and the laptop, so will iPad software be a new category between the two as well?

PC software for Windows or Mac can range from free to well over a thousand dollars for a suite -- looking at you Adobe CS5 -- or more. iPhone apps on the other hand have raced to the bottom, with free being common and cheap being the biggest alternative. Most apps hover around $0.99. Only a few apps dare go over $5, let along $10 or more.

Apple might have given us some indication with the pricing they announced for their iWork productivity apps for iPad. On the Mac, iWork is bundled at $79 for a single license and $99 for a 5 license family pack [Apple Online Store link]. On the iPad, the apps won't be bundled. Pages (word processing), Keynote (presentation), and Numbers (spreadsheet), will each be sold separately for $9.99. There's no single or family license; just like with iPhone apps (or iTunes DRM content) you'll be able to install them on up to 5 authorized devices.

By contrast, iPhone and iPod touch productivity suites currently cost $14.99 for QuickOffice [iTunes link] or Documents to Go [iTunes link]

So, roughly, $99 gets you 5 Macs with iWork while $30 gets you 5 iPads with iWork, and puts the price scale for iPad apps significantly higher than iPhone apps (200%) but significantly cheaper than Mac apps (30%).

We'll know more when we start to see what third party developers charge for Mac/Windows apps they bring to the iPad, and for iPhone and iPad touch apps that are ported over as well.

In the meantime, let us know what you think. Edge cases aside, what would you consider a fair price for a quality app on the iPad?

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