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Vision Pro revitalises one-and-done app purchases

Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a selfie with a customer wearing a Vision Pro

Remember the good old days, when you paid for an app with full features and could use it forever after? The days were gone when you needed to purchase in-app items to gain any real value or subscribe to the app to lease it. Apple’s App Store seems to be experiencing a return to the glory days of its virtual reality/augmented reality Vision Pro goggles.

The data released by AppfiguresMore than half of the developers who create Vision Pro only applications (54%), are old-school paid downloads. According to the website, only 5% apps in Apple’s App Store require payment.

It’s the byproduct of a new ecosystem, said Eric Abbruzzese. ABI Research, a global firm of technology intelligence.

TechNewsWorld reported that “the App Store during the iPhone launch and growth period was almost completely free as opposed to paid.” Apple and developers have been pushing subscriptions in recent years to increase service revenue.

“Also,” said he, “fewer clients will be willing” to subscribe to an application on an entirely different platform. Long-term monetization is more feasible as users become familiar with Vision Pro’s capabilities and develop habits. Few will be willing subscribe to an app until they have established habits and preferences using Vision Pro.”

Clear Path to Profitability

It typically takes a while to develop new products. three versions Rob Enderle – president and principal Analyst of the Enderle GroupThe firm is a consulting services company in Bend, Ore.

He told TechNewsWorld that “developers want to pay up front because they are concerned about the risk of a new platform not being successful.”

Mark N. Vena is the president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research San Jose, Calif.

“Charging for Downloads helps recoup the development costs and ensures that a dedicated user base,” he said to TechNewsWorld.

He continued: “Moreover, it maintains an exclusivity level, attracting serious users to leverage Vision Pro features. The model is a path to profitability that supports app development.

App Discrepancy

Appfigures discovered that paid downloads for developers creating Vision Pro apps were very popular, but not for iOS software companies optimizing iPhone and iPad applications for AR/VR. According to Appfigures, only 17% were paid apps, 25% didn’t monetize on the App Store, while 58% used subscriptions.

Tim Bajarin is the president of Creative Strategies, a San Jose-based technology advisory company.

He told TechNewsWorld that iPhone app developers have the potential to earn billions of dollars from their apps. “Vision Pro subscribers will always choose subscriptions, if that is an option.”

Enderle said that the iPhone will not be going anywhere and that this model for apps was already in place when Vision Pro announced. This means developers were already paid and they will continue to receive payments, regardless of how successful Vision Pro may prove to be.


Vena emphasized that iPhone developers and Vision Pro only developers target different audiences. He said that Vision Pro apps are usually targeted at a niche market with specific needs. This leads to developers adopting different monetization methods, such as paying for downloads.

“In contrast,” he added, “iPhone designers often cater to a larger market with varied app categories. This allows for diverse monetization strategies, like freemium or in-app purchasing. The user expectations and development requirements of these two types differ greatly.

Vision Pro Apps are available at a low price

TechCrunch cites Appfigures data that shows Vision Pro apps to be relatively cheap. A review of all apps available for the device revealed an average of US$5.67. The majority of apps were priced at $9.99. One of the most expensive apps was an interactive periodic chart of elements, which cost $98.

Appfigures calculates the cost of purchasing all apps for the Vision Pro at $1,089.07. The Vision Pro is priced at $3,499.

Apple has taken all the software for Vision Pro off the App Store’s “top charts”.

Vena, a Vena spokesperson, said that Apple’s removal from categories and charts of top apps could harm developers as they will hinder app discovery and competitive analysis.

He continued, “Without these tools, developers will struggle to reach and gauge their target audiences and market trends. This could impact user acquisition and revenue generation.”

He added that the removal of the features could pose a challenge to developers who want to remain visible and competitive in the Vision Pro marketplace.

New Monetization models

Enderle, however, discounted the possible harm caused by the lack of categories and top list at this stage in Vision Pro’s evolution. He said that there aren’t too many apps, and ranking them initially could cause confusion or direct people to early questionable apps.

“These categories are expected to appear as soon as there are enough apps that justify them,” said he. “The platform is just not there yet.”

He predicted that another change would occur as the platform matures. “Eventually, Vision Pro developers will shift to other monetization methods,” he said. I anticipate they will pivot to a subscription model once the second and third versions of the software are released. These releases should validate Vision Pro’s success.

Vena stated that developers who only use Vision Pro may transition to other monetization methods to adapt to changing market trends and preferences.

He explained that “subscription-based and freemium models provide recurring revenue streams, increased user engagement and appeal to developers who are looking for sustainable incomes and a wider audience.”

He continued: “As the competition in the Vision Pro Market grows, developers may explore other models to remain competitive and meet changing expectations from users.” The choice ultimately depends on the developer’s goals and perceived value of the app’s features.

Abbruzzese also added that in the end, the Vision Pro App Store and development eco-system will be more similar to iOS. Apple is likely to want that to happen sooner rather than later, given its focus on services revenue.