The best iPhone and iPad apps are about to get (slightly) cheaper

iPhone apps
(Image credit: Apple)

If you want to buy one of the best iPhone apps, you're going to have to shell out a bit of money – but the amount you pay for each app might soon drop, if only by a little bit.

That's because Apple has updated its pricing tiers for apps, adjusting the cost of buying the app in the first place but also the cost of in-app payments like microtransactions, as detailed in a blog post on its developer website.

This changes, which Apple says will come into effect "in the next few days", affect app prices in the UK, South Africa and Europe (or at least, countries that use the euro), and are being made due to changing tax levels and exchange rates for those regions.

To explain how prices are changing, the company has posted a pricing chart, and the bottom line is that in the UK you'll be saving around 10-20p for apps that cost a couple of pounds, and more if you spend more.

So you're not going to be saving huge amounts – a £25 app isn't going to suddenly cost £5 – but it's a nice little saving if you regularly purchase apps. 

Analysis: app prices down or up?

Apple works on a 'tiers' system, and rather than choosing a price for each transaction, a developer will pick a tier instead – and the news here is that prices associated with most tiers in the UK and Europe are being reduced.

In theory, then, you'll be paying less for an app – but it might not work out that way.

With this new change, developers are going to be making less money from every app they sell, and every microtransaction. 

It stands to reason, then, that some developers might opt to simply change which tier their transactions are associated with. Instead of letting buyers pay less for an app, companies and developers might use this as an excuse to move their app to a higher tier, and make you or I pay more for the app.

Whether this happens will depend on the developer, and it's likely that greed isn't the main motivator – independent developers, who work hard on apps, need all the funding they can get.

We'll have to see what happens in the future. Apparently, the prices will change "in the next few days" from August 3.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.