Apple Launches iPhone “In-App Purchase” Virtual Goods Platform for App & Game Developers

Today at the iPhone OS 3.0 preview event, Apple announced a new “In-App Purchase” platform for iPhone app and game developers to sell digital goods and subscriptions inside their apps.

As expected, Apple will control the experience and users will be billed through the iTunes store. Apple said the new APIs from the updated SDK will go live sometime this “summer.”

“Some developers have come to us and talked about other models they’d like to use. Like subscriptions. A place where you could renew that sub in the app. Some game devs have wanted to be able to sell new levels from within an app. There are many examples of that, like e-books. Like a bookstore built into an app. We supporting these new models in what we call In-App Purchase,” Scott Forstall, SVP of iPhone Software, said today at the preview event.

Here’s how it looks:

iphonedigitalgoods1

Forstall said, like with the regular app store, developers can select the price of digital goods in their games and will keep 70% of the revenues, which will be paid monthly.

iphonedigitalgoods2

Photos courtesy Engadget

Now, iPhone app developers have not had any simple way to sell digital goods or subscriptions inside their apps. Those that wanted to sell virtual currency had to refer users to purchase “premium versions” of their apps, that came with virtual currency.

Will Apple open up the payments market on the iPhone for other providers to participate? Many top iPhone app developers that we’ve spoken with don’t expect them to any time soon. For now, however, developers will be very happy to be able to start selling digital goods easily inside their iPhone games.

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Leave a Reply

7 Responses to “Apple Launches iPhone “In-App Purchase” Virtual Goods Platform for App & Game Developers”

  1. iPhone and iPod Touch 3.0 Copy Paste and New Features says:

    [...] Joystiq, Gamasutra, Obsessable, Gizmodo, Mobile Tech Addicts, dailywireless.org, Boy Genius Report, Inside Social Games, bub.blicio.us, Mashable!, Nieman Journalism Lab, jkOnTheRun, Macworld, Paul Colligan’s …, [...]

  2. Sean Ryan says:

    The In App Purchase service will become known as the prime driver behind a large new revenue source, both for Apple and for developers, since they can now sell virtual goods within games. It’s a huge step forward for Apple and its developers.

    Sean Ryan
    Loki Partners – Monetizing Social Media

  3. Matt Kelly says:

    This is very exciting news, thanks for the update! I’m glad to see companies like Apple integrating payment systems for in-game transactions. This opens some exciting possibilities for microtransactions. Hopefully Facebook and MySpace will catch on soon.

  4. iPhone Game Developers Eye Increasing Monetization Options says:

    [...] yesterday’s announcement that Apple is launching an in-game digital goods transaction platform this summer, iPhone developers are now evaluating increasing monetization options for their apps [...]

  5. Will Facebook Take a Cue from Apple on Payment Fees for Developers? says:

    [...] too: with the launch of iPhone OS 3.0 this summer, iPhone applications will be able to start monetizing through in-app micropayments billed through iTunes. Apple will be taking a 30% cut, the same fee it established at the launch of [...]

  6. The true test is on our doorstep « Friends of FundRazr says:

    [...] pay with PayPal. iPhone applications will be able to start monetizing through in-app micropayments billed through iTunes. Apple will be taking a 30% cut, the same fee it established at the launch of [...]

  7. Alex Mayhew : Apple Launches iPhone “In-App Purchase” Virtual Goods Platform for App & Game Developers says:

    [...] http://www.insidesocialgames.com » [...]

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