After 3 weeks of being on sale (80%) off, iThoughts for iOS7 is now back to full price (around $10 USD)
The initial sale was intended to enable existing users to migrate over to the new app without being stung for the full price a second time. Unfortunately there will be some people who missed the opportunity - and for that, I am very sorry. I am trying to 'do the right thing' within the tight constraints of Apple's AppStore model.
What follows is a bit of a Q&A intended to better describe the situation:
Why not just make it a free update to the existing apps?
I wanted to 'spring clean' the app - and that meant removing certain features. It's not really fair to remove features from an app that people have already paid for. Hence the new app.
Why not charge a nominal upgrade fee to existing customers?
There is no way to do this - Apple's AppStore does not support 'upgrade pricing'.
Why didn't you just email me to tell me about the sale?
There's no way to do this - Apple do not tell me who has purchased the app.
[Update] I could have gone through my support inbox and harvested some email addresses that way - but that didn't occur to me at the time - sorry.
Why didn't you issue an update to the old app telling us about the sale?
This was my original plan - but Apple stopped developers from issuing updates to apps that were not 'iOS7 enabled' back in February.
I did popup a message in the old app - but you needed to launch the app at least twice in the last 3 weeks (whilst on WiFi) to see it. Even this is not technically allowed by Apple.
Why not issue 'promo codes'?
Apple limit the number of promo codes I can issue to 100. This is nothing like enough to upgrade everyone. There is also 'small print' which dictates how promo codes can be used.
Why not issue some kind of cash back coupon?
Apple do not have a 'coupon' scheme (that can be used by 3rd party developers.) My only option would be to issue 'hard cash' - and that's not viable on such a low cost product.
Can't you do something with 'in-app purchase'?
No. There are many technical and bureaucratic issues - not to mention that people hate IAP in paid apps.
Are you going to place it on sale again?
I'm not planning to. At 80% off, I needed to sell 5x as many just to make the same amount of money - which is not financially viable for extended periods.
Are you planning on 'pulling a stunt like this' again?
I'm not planning to - although in a few years time if we experience another iOS7 like event then I may use the opportunity to have another 'spring clean'. That said, this is the first 'paid upgrade' since I launched the app back in 2008 (nearly 6 years ago.)
Will there be any updates to the original app?
No. Apple now require all new apps (or app updates) to link in the iOS7 technology - so I'd need to port the original to iOS7 before I could issue any updates.
The new app looks no different to the original (other than the iOS7 look) how can you be serious?
The new app has many significant new features - see here - but I also tried to make it 'familiar' for existing users.
Sorry if the above sounds like a bunch of excuses - but it's the environment in which all app developers must operate. Not complaining - just trying to explain why I've done what I've done. Bottom line is that Apple have decided that 'upgrade pricing' is not a thing anymore - it's free or it's full price (and clearly free is not a long term option.)
Apologies again to those people who recently purchased the original app and missed the sale period.
[Update] Some people have been so incensed by this whole thing that they've actually paid $10 just so they can leave a 1 star review on the AppStore ! I guess they rationalise this by believing that they're providing a 'public service' and 'warning others' about my 'questionable business practices'. 1 star reviews do 'hurt me' (in the pocket) so I guess that's mission accomplished. However, they also ruin it for everyone else - fewer sales means fewer improvements and updates in future. If you're tempted down this route, please do us all a favour and give the $10 to charity instead...