Australians Now Get US Price Parity On Apple's App Store...

And you know what means, right guys? You can now pick up Angry Birds for 20 cents less than before! Finally Apple has moved the pricing of its App store to US pricing. Meaning that $1.19 Apps now cost 99 cents. Hear ye gaming publishers - you can follow suit and make sure we never get gouged on Steam/PSN/Xbox LIVE again!

These prices follow through for more expensive games and apps. Meaning that $2.49 apps are now $1.99, and apps costing $3.99 are now $2.99. The one exception is US$4.99 apps cost $5.49, but this is an awesome step forward.

It signals Apple's confidence in the stability of the Aussie dollar - which is the typical excuse given by publishers for the price of video games in this country. In the grand scheme of things this is an interesting move - Apple is essentially saying that they are confident that US/Aus dollar parity is here to stay.


Comments

    What about music? Very annoying having to pay an extra $7 for an album when our dollar is better >.<

      Very much this. I have a friend who recently released a CD and it costs over twice as much on the AU store as the US one.

    About freaking time! Now if only game retailers would follow the same path...

    When you say swapping to US pricing, is the listing still in AU dollars, or US dollars? If it's in US dollars, foreign currency exchange fees may apply...

      Not if they do the conversion at their end and make you pay the correct amount in AU. I know Amazon works like that, they do the price change on their end and only charge my credit card in AU.

      Steam on the other hand charges your credit card in US and your bank converts it to to AU based on their rates and charges you the fee.

    Sadly, we'll continue to pay the 50%+ markup on the hardware, though...

    or you could have gotten it for free on an android phone ages ago

      But iOS apps actually work and there is a much greater selection of apps.

      trololo No.

      haha! so tempted to ask for examples but its really not worth feeding the trolls

    It appears In App Purchases are the US price as well :D

    I wonder if this will set a standard that other online retailers will be forced to follow, I know there's a grey area when it comes to online digital stores at the ACCC, but hopefully something positive comes out of this for those of us that don't have any Apple products.

    I still find it Amazing that a game like Black Ops will sell for $120 at EB or GAME and in the US is is $60, seriously WTF is with that, when I read and watch some of the US game sites, and the fans complain about the price of games being too high at $60 I don't know weather to laugh or cry. If you are not buying your games from play Asia or ozgamestore or any of the other import sites you are a mug

      Yeah, I hate seeing Americans complain about prices. Like if you go onto an American band's website people are like "pfft as if I'm going to go see a concert with a ticket price for $30, what a rip off!", meanwhile we have to play $80+ during the once in a blue moon Australian tour... yanks don't know how good they've got it sometimes!

      There's a time for hyperbole, but the second you out-right lie, your kind of blew the wind out of your own sails.

      Game prices in Australia have NEVER been $120 RRP for a standard edition current gen game. EBGames might price a new one at $110 but they've eased up on this as no-one's stupid enough to pay for it. They also typically sell at JB Hi-Fi at $80 on launch day.

      Additionally, Americans also pay Sales Tax for their games, bar certain states like Oregon, so it's closer to $65-70.

      Then you factor in the much higher wages in Australia, higher disposable income due to welfare state and does it not sound a reasonable state? Or will you just go with the "GAHHH!! $60 USD GAMES!" kneejerk again?

    Hooray! It's great that we're now getting screwed over just that little bit less! Now, about those console game publishers....

    This will probably only change things in the handheld landscape, at least in the short-term.

    And really, what about the other types of media on there?

    From what I have heard, local distributors are complaining to publishers that online distributors prices are undercutting the price point that they have set in order to turn a profit, with the result that publishers acquiesce and turn to Steam and have the game's price raised.

    PSN and XBL are a different kettle of fish.

    "The one exception is US$4.99 apps cost $5.49, but this is an awesome step forward. "

    Mark, if you're not too busy with everything else, could you expand on this please?

    Any word from Apple as to why this change means the expensive apps actually cost *more* considering everything else is cheaper due to the exchange rate?

    Also, do you have any data at hand on how many apps - or example of specific apps - that fall into that category?

    What's the justification on this really...strange....exception?

    Cheers! (whether or not you get to it)

      Not sure but I think US$4.99 apps were always AU$5.49, so nothing is costing more, just staying the same.

      Regardless, I think this is a good change. You might say that it's so negligible that you don't care, but it's a step forward in the right direction for games pricing as a whole, and in the long run you're gonna be saving money.

        Okay, so if there's price matching to the USD and exchange added on top - WHY does the same game cost more in USD here than in America?

        In this case, the GST actually explains the difference. Apple appear to be absorbing it at the lower price points.

    That's nice and all about the App Store, but what about the music store?! When an album I want on there is 17 bucks and I can buy it shipped from the states SIGNED by the artist at my request for the same price something is really wrong.

      It's the price of convenience.

        I guess, also iTunes still ships only 256k, I don't see why they can't ship in 320k bitrate or offer iTunes Lossless.

    Thats definatley good news! Wonder if it applies to music, would love to know that

    Yay! Now we only get gouged in retail stores! >_< In all seriousness, this rocks.

    Is there anything we can do to get parity on Steam? Contact the ACCC?

    I feel strongly about this but it seems voting with my wallet is ignored as more and more publishers jump on the Australia tax bandwagon all the time.

    It's ruining a once great service.

      I buy games elsewhere then activate them on Steam. I'm sure they monitor that stuff. ;)

      I did write to them about price fixing when I got pissed off about it (its marks fault for posting the article).

      Whether it does anything is another matter.

      This is the reply I received back.

      -----

      Thank you for your email of 9 April 2011 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding price fixing in the Australian game retailing industry.

      The role of the ACCC is to ensure compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the Act), which is designed to encourage fair trading and discourage anti-competitive conduct through a specific set of competition and consumer protection rules.

      The Act prohibits the making or giving effect to a contract, arrangement or understanding that contains cartel provision. A cartel provision is a provision which has the purpose or effect of fixing or maintaining prices, restricting outputs and/or allocating customers, suppliers or territories. The setting of same or similar prices by competitors is insufficient to demonstrate a breach of the Act if there is no evidence of a contract, arrangement or understanding.

      45C of the Act contains an outright prohibition on contracts, arrangements or understandings between competitors in relation to prices regardless of the effect on competition. This includes agreements which purport to ‘recommend’ prices but which in reality fix prices by agreement. Some joint ventures and collective buying groups are excluded from this provision.

      Generally speaking, businesses in Australia are free to set their own prices on goods and services as long as they do it independently (i.e. without consultation with their competitors to set prices at a certain level).

      Your complaint has been recorded by the ACCC and will be used in monitoring whether there is a pattern of conduct within the Australian game retail industry that may raise concerns and will be used to inform the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement activities. Whilst individual complaints also form the basis of investigations, it must be noted that the ACCC does not comment on matters we may or may not be investigating and the ACCC is unable to provide you with further information of any action we may or may not be taking in relation to your complaint. Please also note that the ACCC will only contact you again in relation to your complaint if we require further information or evidence to assist in our enquiries.

      While all complaints are carefully considered, ACCC staff make decisions on which matters will be investigated further based on the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement policy. A number of factors are weighed including whether conduct raises national or international issues, involves significant consumer detriment or a blatant disregard of the law.

      Thank you for contacting the ACCC with your concerns. I trust this information is of use.

      Hm, I'm not sure what the ACCC could do about an international digital download thingy.

      Best bet would be to just keep pelting publishers and local distributors with questions, since they ultimately decide the Steam prices.

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