If you live in Canada, the UK, the EU, Norway, Iceland, or Russia, you’re about to see things change in Apple’s App Store. The company announced today that it will be raising minimum app prices in various countries to account for currency exchange rates and value added tax.
For obvious reasons, iOS users living in these countries aren’t thrilled about the rate hike, but developers have been told of the new rates already, which means that minimums are already set to rise.
The Increase Amounts
In Canada, the minimum app price is rising to $1.19; .99 in the EU; and .79 in the UK. Apple originally decided to raise the rates in Europe because the Value Added Tax (VAT) increased pertaining to digital goods. Why Apple decide to raise rates in other countries is unclear, though exchange rates has something to do with it, so the company says.
This is not the first time that Apple has raised its App Store rates. The company has been shifting rates in various countries for some time now, though this might be the biggest rate hike across numerous countries that has been seen so far. It’s hard to say whether or not Apple will benefit from these rates, though it’s rather likely that most iOS users will refrain from making a lot of App Store purchases due to the rate hikes.
iOS users in the countries impacted were unhappy today across the board at the news of the rate hikes. Even though most apps are more than affordable, a raise in rates means spending more money on apps, and that’s something that most people simply aren’t willing to do. This could also have an impact on developers that make apps for iOS. If users cut back on purchases, developers will earn less from the creation of apps.
No other company has changed app pricing as much as Apple has, which is another reason why users are not thrilled with the news this morning. But, the new changes (at least in Europe) are bound to impact other retailers as well, so you can expect prices to change when it comes to buying things on sites like Amazon. Whether or not other app store prices will change remains to be seen, but it does seem likely.
What You Can Do
If you live in any of the countries mentioned, there’s not a heck of a lot that you can do about the rise in iOS app prices. You can get rid of your phone, though, and switch to a flip phone (increasingly popular and possibly reasonably so), or purchase a phone made by a manufacturer other than Apple. Be warned, though, that Apple is just the first company to make this price change, and many other companies are likely to follow suit.
In addition, small businesses in Europe may also be impacted by the new VAT hike on digital goods. While this means more money for governments, it certainly means less for people that want to buy digital items in the form of app or other goods.