GarageBand for iOS 7 to break free at iPad mini 2 launch?

Apple to make music free with Garage Band?
Apple is free to do what it wants, any old time

Forget the iPad mini 2, give up on the iPad 5 - the biggest revelation at Apple's upcoming event will be that its music app GarageBand is likely to change into a freemium one.

Okay, maybe not the biggest news but Apple embracing in-app purchases points to an app ecosystem that is fast becoming a free or freemium one.

Currently priced at £4.99 ($4.99), the app popped up on Apple's website as a free app which will take advantage of in-app purchases. This was swiftly taken down but not before MacRumors managed to screengrab the information.

Apps are still massive business for Apple, but if it does swap the revenue model for GarageBand then this will send out a rather large message to app developers the world over: paid-for apps are struggling.

Flurry of information

In a fascinating blog post by Flurry back in July, the analytics company spelled out the problems with charging for apps – people just don't want to pay for them, and when they will pretty much pay peanuts.

After looking at the pricing information of 350,000 apps, Flurry found that in 2013 90% of apps in use were free, while in 2011 this was nearer 80%.

Then a further 6% were only willing to pay 99c for an app – leaving 4% worth of slim-pickings for those daring to price an app in the $4.99 and above range.

"While consumers may not like in-app advertising, their behavior makes it clear that they are willing to accept it in exchange for free content, just as we have in radio, TV and online for decades. In light of that, it seems that the conversation about whether apps should have ads is largely over," said Flurry in its blog.

Apple already has a freemium element in GarageBand on the Mac, with Jam Packs, and it has made iWork, iPhoto and iMovie free for new devices so it makes sense that it is going down this route with GarageBand.

With a likely announcement of the iPad 5 and new iPad mini 2, GarageBand may well be another app that you can get stuck into when these shiny new products are released.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.