How iOS 4.3 and Application Subscription will change the app world

Days pass by and most of us are used to get scared when a new iPhone operating system comes out. Afraid that we are going to lose our jailbreaking capabilities and thus, that beautiful unlock feature. Well, there is more to this. As you probably know, iOS 4.2 was designed especially for the iPad and brought tons of new features.

Wonderful features that each and every one of us expected like little kids. iOS 4.3 is going to take Apple to a further step.

Little is known yet about iOS 4.3. With a 13th December 2010 due release date, a delaying announcement is expected. As for the new features, apart from fixing some bugs and security issues, just two of them were officially announced: app subscription and Murdoch’s “My Daily”. I assume all of you have knowledge about the last one, the famous paper that will be delivered edition by edition to your iDevice. How will Apple do that? Not free of course. That leads us to the point of this post:

App Subscription is the best idea I have seen from Apple in months. All applications until now were divided into two categories: paid and free. Application Subscription divides the first one into two more: one time payable and frequently. Think of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty Black Ops. World of Warcraft requires a monthly fee of $14.99 (last time I checked) while Black Ops can be bought for just $59.99. This is the same concept Apple tries to implement in the mobile world.

With App Subscription, Apple will now force you to pay frequently for your long lasting wishes. Designed first for newspapers, e-magazines and other media extensions (music, videos etc.), the concept will surely move to other applications. I am talking about nice tethering apps, games and god I hope no: Angry Birds. Now try to imagine this. Everybody loves Angry Birds (latest numbers show that over 50 million people downloaded the game). It’s ok to pay £0.59 (that approximately $1) for the game, because it’s stored there. You can play it 24/7 or just two times a month. It doesn’t matter.

Now think about paying $0.5 monthly for Angry Birds. And let’s say that you have over 20 games that you enjoy as much as Angry Birds. And let us not stop here. We need apps. You can’t live without them. There are tethering apps that cost $20, while the full AT&T service is $20/month. Imagine if the prices would change to $5/month, for the app. Stacking them all together, you would end up paying even 10 times more for all of your applications. If I would be a publisher, I would surely change my paying method to monthly. I have a little hunch that all of them will.

Please do post all your comments in the area provided below, we would love to hear what you think about Application Subscription.


21 thoughts on “How iOS 4.3 and Application Subscription will change the app world”

  1. Randy says:

    If all App Publishers do this, my iPhone is gone. Its bad enough having to pay ATT's high rate plans for their crappy service, could you imagine paying monthly for all your apps too?

  2. BH2o says:

    You point out issues I've been pondering, as well. In the States, Net-Neutrality is supposed to provide some protection against ISP's and potential abuse (yet there are loopholes; ie, a clause that allows ISP's to place restrictions on the final mile of transmission-line; go try to figure that one out), but the wireless side of the agreement is seriously fraught with seemingly endless loopholes.

    Net-Neutrality, although not perfect, is a starting point for the US.

    Be grateful, Europe has rate plans and tariffs in price increments that dwarf what we pay here (ie, roaming, in-country/abroad, etc).

    Ofcom appears to have a handle on things. I'd be interested in hearing the UK's version of Net-Neutrality.

  3. David says:

    No one will pay monthly for apps, at least not for lots of the apps we have on our iPhones. If we have to pay monthly, we'll only keep a tiny number of the apps we truly need, and the iPhone will become much less useful. It may become so much less useful that people will move over to android – I know I would.

  4. Sam says:

    Its a good idea for some apps, for example magazine apps. You could pay every month to download the new issue.

    This could also work with multiplayer games.

    However, if they expect us to pay every month to keep an app that I barely use, they can forget ever getting my money again.

  5. rzmn says:

    well, jailbreak those ios 4.3 or boicot ios 4.3; do not upgrade to ios 4.3. thats the only power we have as a customer. do not let them dictate us as customer what to buy n what to pay.

  6. Erica VanLaan says:

    Keep in mind there will still be free apps tho and I doubt it will go over with people. May end up you have to pay so much at first (down payment), followed by x per month for x months until you pay off the cost.

  7. Brian says:

    What a terrible idea! If it is not bad enough that we get locked into contracts, pay ridiculous amounts of money for the phone itself and don't get me started on the data plans… Seriously, if I had to pay monthly for the apps, I would either jailbreak the device or move over to android…. Apple's got a good thing going, don't mess it up!

  8. Nate says:

    will the 3gs be getting the new alerts in this update? It makes no sense that one phone gets 17 and mine gets 5 that pierce my brain via my ear hole.

  9. Pauk says:

    They predicted that the Internet would be dead by 2010 but in fact all this was planed.There is no freedom anymore in north America We think we are better than

    Russia or Iran ,but we are now more containing .

    Now they want to get as well that little space of freedom

    On our iPhone . I rather jailbreak my iPhone and keep it to iOS 4.2 than upgrade .

  10. Justin says:

    Oh my goodness guys. The point of this OS update is for digital magazine subscriptions. Nothing more. Up until now you had to either sign up externally for a subscription or pay buy the issue. This upadte will allow you to a subscription in app and have it auto update on the device.

  11. Jon says:

    Subscriptions have been available for a while (started in iOS 4.0 I think), I know this because an app I developed is using the feature. The only difference in iOS 4.3 is that the App Store will manage the subscription expiration/renewal etc. Believe me, it has been a royal pain having to have a back end server just for subscription management when the app itself is completely stand alone.

  12. Gecko says:

    Crazy I think apple should know well enough how not to loose all its icustomers now I would say I am quite a lot a fanboy of apple but if this is allowed I will seriously look at what others companies have to offer (I am a real fanboy)

  13. Okay first things first. There will be q new jailbreakme when ever 4.3 comes out so don’t upgrade. Second apple is out of it’s mind and it is not a wise choice to upgrade unless you will downgrade. That is all and let’s wait for the jailbreak

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