Apple has announced it will be raising its App Store prices in multiple territories – including every country that uses the euro, but excluding the UK at present – starting on 5th October.
As per an update shared with developers, which did not provide an explanation for the impending price hike, Apple said the move will impact all tiers of its App Store pricing chart in the following areas: Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Vietnam, and all territories that use the euro currency.
When the pricing changes come into effect on 5th October, App Store items previously priced at €0.99 will, for instance, increase to €1.19, while apps formerly costing €9.99 will rise to €11.99. App Store developers who offer subscriptions will, however, have the option to preserve prices for existing subscribers.
Following today’s news, vocal App Store critic and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney condemned the move on Twitter, writing, “This highlights Apple’s monopoly pricing power and also their seldom-discussed practice of fixing the ratio of app prices across regions: developers choose the US price, then Apple unilaterally sets the price in all other territories.”
“Compare to Steam and Epic Games Store,” Sweeney continued, “where developers choose their own regional pricing strategies in response to local competition and differing market conditions across specialised categories of games and apps.”
Epic, of course, remains in a messy legal tussle with Apple over its App Store practices after the iPhone maker blocked Fortnite from being distributed on its devices – a move it made after Epic deliberately circumvented contractually mandated App Store payment mechanisms within its Fortnite iOS app. Epic then launched an antitrust case against Apple, but failed to prove the latter held a monopoly as defined by antitrust laws. Appeals are set to be heard next month.