Apple is set to increase the pricing of apps and in-app purchases in the UK, to compensate for the fluctuating exchange rates that have come about since last year’s Brexit vote.
The pound has significantly dropped in value since Britain narrowly voted to leave the EU last summer, and is currently the weakest it’s been for three decades. The poor exchange rate means that Apple has been making less money than usual on App Store purchases. Its solution? Bloat the pricing to even things out.
Every price tier is increasing by around 25%, meaning low-tier apps that were once £0.79 will now cost £0.99, matching the $0.99 low-tier price in the US App Store. In fact, more or less across the board the prices will be equivalent. A $4.99 app will now also cost £4.99, rather than the £3.99 rate seen previously. The IAP to unlock the entirety of Super Mario Run will increase from £7.99 to £9.99.
Brits may see this as an unfair move by Apple – indeed, it’s hard to swallow such a big jump – but remember that in the UK, a 20% sales tax is included in these purchases, whereas no tax is included in US App Store purchases. In fairness, at today’s exchange rates it works out to almost the same figure both sides of the pond.
For the moment, the price changes will only affect the App Store, but it’s likely that iTunes Store pricing will soon be adjusted as well. Apple Music may be able to maintain its current rates, though, due to a combination of existing licensing deals and the fact that Apple won’t want to charge more than direct rivals like Spotify.
Apple fans in the UK have already seen hardware prices rise with the launch of the new MacBook Pro late last year, which was also blamed on Brexit-related currency fluctuations. It’s no real surprise that Apple is starting to adjust its software pricing to follow suit. Whether Apple would be as keen to lower prices again if the pound regains its former value is another question, though.
These changes are due to roll out in the coming week – so if you’re in the UK and there’s an app or game you’ve been holding off buying, now might be the time to pounce before the price goes up! Oh, and it’s not just the UK that will be affected – prices are also set to increase in India and Turkey for similar currency and taxation reasons.