Regarding the Pricing of the Wolfram Alpha iPhone App

Wolfram has released a native iPhone app for their Wolfram Alpha “computational knowledge engine”. It looks good, but what’s getting the most attention is the price: $50. MG Siegler says it should be $5 or $10. Rafe Needleman says it’s overpriced.

I haven’t bought it, but I’m glad they’ve set the price high. There’s widespread consensus that the current race-to-the-bottom in App Store pricing discourages the development of deep, significant applications. If all anyone is buying are quick-hit apps, then all anyone will make are quick-hit apps. We can’t have it both ways, folks. By pricing the app at $50, Wolfram is clearly saying, “This app is significant.”

It’ll be interesting to see how they do on the top-grossing list. Maybe it won’t work, but I’m glad to see someone try.

Monday, 19 October 2009