Apple really should only allow reviews from people who actually purchased the app.
I can’t keep repeating this enough. Nearly every paid app has an unfairly low star-rating average because they all get a bunch of low-star reviews from people who haven’t even tried them complaining about the price.
From the reviews of iTrans NYC Subway, a $9.99 app:
1 star from Ben Andrews xxx: “Lower the price… and I’ll totally buy this! $5 sounds fair.”
3 stars from Jevaun: “Uh… maybe at a lower price…”
1 star from ellerykurtz: “Let’s see…I can pull up MTA website map on the internet….or I can ask the token booth clerk for a free map…..or I can pay money for something that is already out there for free?”
3 stars by Simon Lin: “Price is too hight. lower the pirce, i will buy it immediately….”
2 stars by Rolandzj: “I would wait until the price drops”
1 star by Missing Metro: “I am not buying this one unless the price drops—-$4.99 sounds about right. In the meantime, I will wait for another devvelopr to come out with a NYC subway application that is appropriately priced.”
1 star by retarded app: “If you really would like a portable NYC subway map just find a HIGH rez picture of one online & save it to your iphone”
3 stars by kev777: “I know plenty of other people with iPhones in NYC and they’d love this app and would recommend it to their own friends too but they would never fork over $9.99 for it. Never. Make it $4.99 and myself plus the many other friends I know with iPhones will buy quicker than you can say, ‘MTA.’”
Now let me put this in perspective:
- Everyone with an iPhone has paid $200-600 for it. iPod touch owners have paid $300-500.
- Every legitimate U.S. iPhone owner pays at least $60/month for it before taxes.
- The average NYC subway fare (including unlimited passes) is about $1.50 per ride. The monthly unlimited pass costs $81.
- A decent one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan costs $2000-3000 per month.
- It’s pretty hard to get a decent take-out lunch in most parts of Manhattan for less than $6. If you want to sit down, after a drink and tip, you’ll probably spend at least $15.
- It costs a developer $100 to publish on the App Store.
- Apple takes a 30% commission.
- Software development is hard. An app that people will pay money for (at any price) will have generally taken months to develop.
It takes a special kind of asshole to complain that $10 is too much for an iPhone app, yet $5 would be perfectly justifiable.