The App Store is Missing a Critical Feature
Why doesn't Apple's App Store have an option to sell upgrades to existing customers?
Selling upgraded versions to existing customers has always been one of the most important sources of revenue for App Developers, but for some reason, Apple still doesn't have an option for selling upgraded versions.
While this may not seem like a problem for consumers, it's a deal breaker for a lot of software developers because it means that they won't be able to tap into their existing customer base to sell upgrades. This is one reason many software companies bypass the Mac App Store entirely and look for other ways to market and distribute their software, which isn't easy.
Without this critical feature, some software companies are forced to introduce alternate versions of their Apps with new names, just so they can continue developing new features. So, instead of simply putting out a discounted upgrade to an existing product they end up releasing multiple versions, hoping some of their older customers will be willing to pay full price for a new version.
For example, if a developer sold 30,000 copies of a program called "Crazy Font", and subsequently made numerous improvements, there's a good chance most of those customers won't get those upgrades, because the new version will end up being called something else. Thankfully, some developers use a similar name, such as "Crazy Font 3", so it'll be easy to find the new version in the App Store. The trouble is, a lot of the existing customers may not be willing to pay full price for the new features.
Joe Crescenzi, Founder
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