Rumors has it that Apple will soon allow iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners to rent a full version of an iOS app. According to a report by Carson of Tech Erra, a code snipper in the beta 9 version of iTunes 10.5 reveals that such feature will be available in the near future.
The code works as a notification, that will inform users that the purchase is actually a rent and it will be deleted from your computer after the rental period. The term “Rental” suggests that Apple will be using “App Rental” model instead of “Trial Period”.
Benefits to users
With the App Rental scheme, buyer can rent a full app use it for a specific period of time, then choose to keep or let it expire, which is far better than using a “Lite” version, then figuring out that neither the full version is good enough. I remember upgrading to a full version of an app, and wasting money realizing that the full version doesn’t meet my needs.
If I only need an application for a certain purpose, in a specific time,
I would love to rent it instead of buying the app that would useless when I don’t need it. Let’s say I’m a lawyer preparing for a bar exam, Instead of buying BarMax CA for $1000, perhaps I can rent it for less. Not sure if Apple will allow you to specify a rent period, the longer the rent period the expensive the rent is.
Benefits to Developers
I think the App Rental model is a win-win scenario. For example, I may choose to rent Street Fighter 4 volt and play the game for a week. Renting the App means money for the developer, and if i like to keep the app, then I would pay more which means more bucks to the creators too. Let’s say I finished the game within the trial period. The developer can create updates to the app, that will entice me to rent it again. This time depending on how well the creators update the app, I’d rather pay premium to keep it.
Another thing is, instead of trimming down an app, the developer will only create a full app. Less coding, less effort.
Benefits to Apple
Of course, Apple will not implement such scheme if it won’t be beneficial to the company.
- First, on every rent a certain percentage of the revenue goes to Apple. This depends on how much the rental price is. If Apple would be greedy, the rental price could be more than 50% of the regular price.
- This could also be Apple’s answer to some countries demanding 7 day App return policy like Taiwan. The Cupertino based company, could be planning to disable regular purchases, and let them rent apps first before completely buying the app. Not sure if there’s a need for 7 day return policy for rented apps.
The App Rental model sounds good to me, specially if the rent price is less than 50% of the regular price. Otherwise, it could be just a plot for Apple and the developers to earn more. I hope not..
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