More than half of Vision Pro-only apps are paid downloads, far more than the broader App Store.


Apple’s Vision Pro gives consumers a new way to interact with apps through spatial computing, but it also gives app developers a way to generate revenue without a subscription. According to a recently released report by an app intelligence company Application figuresmore than half of Vision Pro-only apps (52%) are paid downloads – a surprising percentage given that in the App Store overall, only 5% of apps monetize this way.

In addition to the large group of paid downloads, 35% of Vision-only apps were not monetized through the App Store and 13% offered subscriptions.

The analysis examined all apps optimized for Vision Pro, including more than 700 apps optimized for the new device, that is, apps only for Vision Pro and others for which the developer optimized a existing application to work on Apple’s VR/AR headset. specifically. However, it did not include the approximately 1.2 million iOS apps that work on Vision Pro, but have not been modified by their developers.

Including iOS apps modified to include a native Vision experience, only 17% were paid downloads and 58% were monetized with subscriptions.

Appfigures tells TechCrunch that a deeper analysis of all apps built for Vison Pro indicates that apps have an average price of $5.67, with highest price at $98 (for an interactive periodic table of elements). Most apps cost $9.99 or less. And if you bought all the paid apps, it would cost you $1,089.07, which is still less than the cost of the device itself, which starts at $3,499.

The takeaway here is that app developers who adopt Vision Pro with unique native experiences designed solely for Apple’s AR/VR platform are reverting to the monetization model of paid downloads. This could have also provided more discovery opportunities, but unfortunately Apple just removed all Vision Pro apps from the App Store’s top charts. This will make it harder to track developer success and discover new apps for consumers, since Vision Pro’s App Store doesn’t have categories. or the best rankingslike on other platforms.

Noted a Vision Pro developer, Michel Treasurerits News Ticker app for the new device quickly became the #3 app among all paid news apps for iPhone and Vision Pro within days, and then became #1 in the News category.

“The window of opportunity here is crazy,” he told TechCrunch shortly after the app launched, adding that the app has since seen thousands of downloads. But with Apple’s removal of Vision Pro applications from the Top Charts, Sayman says he will only return to Vision Pro development after Apple fixed search and added more discovery options.

Meanwhile, Juno, a YouTube Vision client only for Vision Pro from Apollo developer Christian Selig also entered the top 10 in the Photo and Video category shortly after the device’s launch.

Noticed Selig on

A return to paid apps could appeal to developers who want a new way to monetize without gouging customers with expensive subscriptions.

Over the years, Apple pushed application developers to adopt monetization models involving free apps with in-app purchases and subscriptions, as these models directly benefited Apple, due to the 15-30% commission it takes on in-app sales. The move was part of Apple’s broader strategy to become a services-focused company. That is, instead of just encouraging consumers to buy new iPhones, Macs and other Apple devices, the company also wanted to generate ongoing revenue from these devices through services like AppleCare, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+, Apple. Fitness+, advertising and, of course, App Store purchases, among others.

These ongoing revenue streams help Apple deal with changing market conditions around iPhone sales, such as the 13% drop in sales in China reported by the company in the report. first quarter, For example. As iPhone sales in this key market fell, Apple’s services division grew 11% from the previous quarter to $23.11 billion.

However, for consumers, subscription growth has been mixed.

This means that even simpler apps now require ongoing payments and previously free, ad-supported apps are now paid. Additionally, the subscription market opened the door to scammers who take advantage of the ease of in-app purchases to trick users into purchasing subscriptions by using confusing user interface designs and promises of free trials that turn into paid trials after just a few days, among other deceptive tactics. The App Store soon to be filled with complaints about sneaky and overpriced subscriptions.

Given that there appears to be an opportunity for developers to generate revenue through one-time purchases on Vision Pro, it’s odd that Apple removed these apps from its Top Charts, where they could have found new customers. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on developer interest in the revenue model and the device itself.


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