UPDATED: Upgrade Pricing Finally Coming to App Store?

UPDATE: Or not, as this dialog's been around for a while as per 9to5Mac's @llsethj.

Developer Frasier Spears posted the above "curious" iTunes dialog to Twitter. It appeared when he hit "Update All". We have no way of knowing exactly it means, but we're hoping it means upgrade pricing is finally coming to the app store.

As background, one of the problems still facing developers has been the inability to offer paid upgrades. Either they had to give away new versions for free, or they had to create new apps with no way to discount the price to existing users.

That's led some developers to slow down or stop making major improvements to their apps (since they can't count on upgrade revenue), and it's led to backlashes when releasing new versions as new apps.

In an ideal App Store, developers could choose to give existing users a discount when they upgraded.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • This would also solve the problem that developers have of converting a paid app into a free upgradable app which is not currently possible. If you have a paid app that people have paid for and you want to create a free version upgradable to the paid app, you have to develop a new free app and then maintain both apps INDEFINITELY. Both your original paid users as well as users of the new app must be able to get new features.
    Using this method with a price of zero would allow people who paid for your original app to "upgrade" to the new app and then the developer could maintain that app going forward.
  • This isn't new...here's a forum thread from October 2008 about this dialog:
  • If this is true, i think we will see a lot of developers charging for upgrades for iPad support in their existing apps.
  • This isn't a positive change for end users. And is it going to nag you for available paid updates that you don't want?
  • Just means he tried to update an app that was paid for, on another iTunes account. I get this all the time when I forget to logout and login as the correct user for that app ( in iTunes I mean, I have several user id's)
  • it could really mean b.s. for app purchaser, and it is not new, it's been reported for a while, see above comment.
  • Yeah, NOT. Updated. Sorry. Sad.
  • i have two accounts and apps purchased in different stores (russian and usa) in itunes. this dialog started popping up recently.
    i guess server now returns this error, if i try to download update for the app from not current (logged in) account. pretty annoying.
    before it just was quiet and i just re-login download the update from different account.
  • it looks like exactly what Mrburns said it was. This clearly said you dont qualify for that price because you dont own it yet. It clearly states that it is only for customers who have already purchased the app not necessarily saying you have to pay for an upgrade.
  • I believe this is a situation where you have received an app from a family member using ‘Sharing’ in iTunes. You can share apps just as you can music. Since your family member purchased the app using their iTunes account and you didn’t purchase the original app with your account you can’t get the update without purchasing the app through your iTunes account.
  • This will make it inconvenient to hit UPDATE ALL since I'll be wondering, "do I really want to pay another dollar or two to update this?"
  • Not lookling forward to paying for upgrades - especially when the majority of upgrades are 'bug fixes'! Surely in-app purchases are the solution to 'proper' upgrades? I've been waiting months and months now to upgrade my basic version of Documents to Go to the Pro version.
  • It is as MrBurns says. You get this error when you try to update an application that you downloaded on a different itunes account.
    In v8 of itunes, this never happened as I would never see those apps as needing an update until I logged into that account.
    Now itunes will show you all the apps that have an update regardless of what account you downloaded them from, hence we are seeing the error more often.