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Apple raises in-app purchase prices 40% in a year as experts blame privacy push for the rise

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You can’t be Siri-like! Apple’s in-app purchase prices skyrocket 40 PERCENT in a year ‘due to app tracking privacy feature’… as Google Play costs rise only 9%

  • Apple’s in-app purchase prices are up 40 percent in a year, new data shows
  • App intelligence firm Apptopia believes the rise is due to the tech giant’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature
  • The privacy protocol introduced in February 2021 includes pop-ups on apps that ask users if they want to be tracked
  • Apple’s ATT has put a dent in the sales of some companies, including Meta, which reported its first sales drop earlier this year

The average price of in-app purchases on Apple’s App Store is up 40 percent since last year, new data shows.

The analysis by app intelligence company Apptopia also found that Google Play’s in-app purchases rose just 9 percent over the same period.

While inflation has hit Americans hard across the board in the past year, Apptopia notes that the price increases largely occurred before inflation started.

The company instead believes the higher costs have more to do with Apple’s commitment to App Tracking Transparency (ATT) — which was introduced in February 2021.

The average price of in-app purchases on Apple’s App Store is up 40 percent since last year, new data from Apptopia shows

The company instead believes the higher costs have more to do with Apple's commitment to App Tracking Transparency (ATT) - which was introduced in February 2021 and can be seen above.

The company instead believes the higher costs have more to do with Apple’s commitment to App Tracking Transparency (ATT) – which was introduced in February 2021 and can be seen above.

In-app purchases with a single purchase, such as a new skin in Tennis Clash, increased much more than in-app purchases for monthly or annual purchases, such as access to Headspace for the entire year (above) - Apptopia found

In-app purchases with a single purchase, such as a new skin in Tennis Clash, increased much more than in-app purchases for monthly or annual purchases, such as access to Headspace for the entire year (above) – Apptopia found

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said 'too many people are just following' [without our consent]and people are not aware of it, or they are not aware of its magnitude'

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said ‘too many people are just following’ [without our consent]and people are not aware of it, or they are not aware of its magnitude’

“You’ll find that the rise of iOS comes much earlier than inflation hit hard in 2022, indicating that publishers may actually be responding to higher effective cost per install (eCPI) as a result of Apple’s (ATT) policy making it more expensive to recruit users,” Apptopia explained in a blog post about the new data.

The privacy protocols for in-app purchases (IAPs) – introduced by Apple CEO Tim Cook as part of the iOS14 operating system – ask users to approve “tracking” for every app they download.

Since that tracking is a big part of how apps like Facebook take advantage of targeted ads, Meta’s revenue reported an initial decline in July.

When asked about the new position in an interview early last year, Cook said: GQ that as the app ecosystem has evolved, “what happened is the kind of tracking without our permission.”

He said he ‘don’t mind’ following with permission but says ‘too many people just follow’ [without our consent]and people are not aware of it, or they are not aware of its magnitude.”

At the time, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new update would drive people away from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which it also owns, and to Apple’s iMessage, which is built into all of its products. He called the move “self-service” and said it will hurt not only Facebook, but also small businesses.

Apptopia noted that prices in the App Store have risen significantly more than in Google Play, so the data company wanted to determine whether all IAPs were affected equally.

Single-purchase IAPs, such as a new skin in Tennis Clash, rose much more than in-app purchases for monthly or annual purchases, such as year-round access to Headspace – Apptopia found.

“The average price of IAPs for one-time purchases of iOS rose 36% year-over-year in July, while annual + monthly IAPs rose just 19%,” the company wrote.

App publishers are trying to present value and long-term customer loyalty to lower acquisition costs, Apptopia said.

When Apple released its third-quarter results in late July, it reported $19.6 billion in services revenue, a 12% year-over-year increase for the tech giant. That number was also lower than the 27% growth it reported in the same period last year.

The Cupertino, California-based company’s services category — which includes the App Store, Apple TV+, Apple Music, cloud services and more — reached 860 million paid subscribers on the Apple platform.

“The record level of our services portfolio in the June quarter reflects the strength of our ecosystem on many fronts,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri during the company’s earnings call.

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