It looks like Apple plans to raise the prices of mobile apps in the App Store, at least in the United Kingdom, arguing it is a safety net against the falling value of the British pound. Indeed, apps in the iOS App Store now cost roughly 25 percent more than they used to.
In an email, Apple detailed that with “foreign exchange rates or taxation changes, we sometimes need to update prices on the App Store.” Fortunately, this will not affect subscription prices—at least, not yet—and the new price scheme should take effect some time within the coming week.
Now, Apple had already expressed concerns over currency fluctuations in Britain, most notably through the raising of its MacBook line-up, in the UK—by several hundred pounds—towards the end of last year. Of course, changes in the App Store (in the UK) will not be quite so dramatic but Apple has confirmed that it will be increasing the lowest price tier (subsequently affecting all other price tiers), which now increase from 1.49 BPS to 1.99.
In a statement, the company has also described: “Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business. These factors vary from region to region and over time.”
Now, the official currency of the UK has taken quite a beating since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June. Currency investors, of course, pulled out in droves, fearing that by the time the process is completed, Britain will lose much of its securities value. As an example, the value of the pound has already fallen to a 31-year low against the US dollar; and this could very well only be the beginning.
But perhaps Britain’s choice to leave the European Union also comes at a somewhat convenient time for Apple, who has also announced finance-related changes in India, Romania, and Russia as well. Now, in those three regions, the monetary shifts are more related to taxation and currency value than to inflation and currency exchange. Still, it is an interesting coincidence.