Cabel Sasser, writing for the Panic blog, on the challenge of making money building (top notch) iOS apps:
I brought this up last year and we still haven’t licked it. We had a change of heart — well, an experimental change of heart — and reduced the price of our iOS apps in 2015 to normalize them at $9.99 or less, thinking that was the upper limit and/or sweet spot for iOS app pricing. But it didn’t have a meaningful impact on sales.
More and more I’m beginning to think we simply made the wrong type of apps for iOS — we made professional tools that aren’t really “in demand” on that platform — and that price isn’t our problem, but interest is.
So, once again, we will investigate raising our iOS app prices in 2016, with two hopes: that the awesome customers that love and need these apps understand the incredible amount of work that goes into them and that these people are also willing to pay more for a quality professional app (whereas, say, the casual gamer would not).
Gabe is 100% right, pricing your iOS apps is a tough nut to crack. It's tough to know the right apps to develop and even tougher to find the right pricing sweet spot at which to sell them.
Personally, I am a fan of Panic's software: Transmit, Coda and Prompt are used by me almost daily in my work, and am looking forward to the release of Firewatch next week.