Apple Now Allowing In-App Purchases for Free iPhone Apps (Link Requires iPhone Developer Account)

Just got a mass email from Apple to iPhone developers, which states:

In App Purchase is being rapidly adopted by developers in their paid apps. Now you can use In App Purchase in your free apps to sell content, subscriptions, and digital services.

You can also simplify your development by creating a single version of your app that uses In App Purchase to unlock additional functionality, eliminating the need to create Lite versions of your app. Using In App Purchase in your app can also help combat some of the problems of software piracy by allowing you to verify In App Purchases.

This is a major policy change. Prior to today, free apps were not allowed to use in-app purchasing. As of 10 minutes ago, developers can now make “lite” apps that are free which let you pay to upgrade to a full version from within the app itself.

The App Store has been hard to predict so far, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that this is going to be a very big deal. I think soon, many (most?) apps will be free in “lite” form, with an in-app upgrade option to a full version.

Thursday, 15 October 2009