Wolfram Alpha Releases iPhone App for $49.99

News | Thursday October 15 2009 1:21 AM | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

Explaining the rationale behind the pricing, the company writes
It is listed at $49.99, which is basically less than 1/2 the price of a graphing calculator with inferior functionality in comparison, which is how the company came to that number. Or, as we’ve been saying, the price of 12 lattes from Starbucks…
A price of $49.99 for an app, the web version of which can be accessed for free from the Wolfram Alpha website has generated a lot of debate.
There are two points of view. There are folks like
of TechCrunch who believe that the iPhone app is overpriced and should ideally cost only $5.
However, you have people like
“I haven’t bought it, but I’m glad they’ve set the price high. There’s widespread consensus that the current race-to-the-bottom in App Store pricing discourages the development of deep, significant applications. If all anyone is buying are quick-hit apps, then all anyone will make are quick-hit apps. We can’t have it both ways, folks. By pricing the app at $50, Wolfram is clearly saying, “This app is significant.”
It’ll be interesting to see how they do on the top-grossing list. Maybe it won’t work, but I’m glad to see someone try.”
We tend to agree with Gruber. The
is definitely much more slicker than the website accessed via Safari and additionally, the iPhone app can indeed replace a graphing calculator and can come useful for all sorts of data analysis. As a matter of fact, considering that iPhone apps are being
than what they are actually worth, we do see this as a positive trend in trying to sell iPhone apps at prices that the developers deserve.
There is another important angle to the discussion. With the website version of the app already available for free even for the iPhone users, it is possible that the most interested target audience for the Wolfram Alpha app would be the developers who shall be interested to make use of their API to develop their own products focusing on specific user segments such as financial analysts, stock brokers,etc. The company stands to earn much more from requests sent via API than it can through the sale of its own apps (The basic plan starts at $60 for 1000 requests).
using the Wolfram API service. Also, at a lower cost of the app, the developers would be tied down to sell their own iPhone apps at equal or lesser prices making it economically unviable to develop apps based on Wolfram's API service. So from this angle too, it does seem fair that the company has put a high price tag to give more leeway to the developers.
How do you see the price of an app of such utility at $49.99? What price do you think is ideal? Please do tell us in the comments.
If you think the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app would be useful to you and$49.99 is a fair pricethen you can download it using this

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