Writer for iPad: Sales and Reactions

September 24, 2010

For my 40th birthday we did a quick campaign, dropping the price of our Writer for iPad from $4.99 to $0.99. Our expectation was to sell maybe two or three times more apps. The impact of the price drop was shocking.

  1. Writer for iPad: What is it?
  2. Reactions
  3. Augusten Burroughs on Writer
  4. Stephen Fry on Writer
  5. Enthusiasm: Twitter on Writer
  6. Support and knowledge base
  7. Contact: Writer on Twitter
  8. Get Writer on iTunes
  9. FAQ

While we were perfectly happy with the overall performance of Writer, we would have never thought that dropping the price would have such a massive impact on sales. So far we only have the App Store rankings, but if they give an adequate image of the revenue generated we have reason to believe that our pricing was based on completely wrong assumptions. Reading through several blog posts, looking at the pricing of similar apps, and talking to our friends with experiences selling apps, we thought that the standard price for an iPad App was around five dollars. And people kept telling us that at $4.99 Writer was too cheap.

Some have tried to raise or lower the price and came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter so much. Lowering the price would sell more apps but wouldn’t generate much more revenue. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what happened to the rankings in the app stores around the world:

We are still waiting for the actual sales numbers to come in (takes 1-2 days), but we’re severely rethinking our pricing. We’re not going to keep the $0.99 pricing, but following this article we’re going to continue at $1.99 and see what happens.

We’ll update the sales numbers as soon as we know more (the $0.99 campaign will last until midnight 1/26/11).

Initial Sales Numbers

We launched iA Writer on September 22nd. The feedback was nothing short of sensational. We sold over 2,000 apps the first day, which got us a #11 in the iTunes Charts for Overall Paid Apps, and #6 for Paid Apps in the Productivity category. And the app keeps on selling. Here are the sales numbers and some reactions:


First Reactions

  • “The best app on my iPad” Erik Spiekermann
  • “The Perfect iPad Writing App” Gizmodo
  • “A leg up on the competition” TUAW
  • “Brings that hyperfocused aesthetic to word-processing.” WIRED
  • “If you like writing, see the excellent Writer from @iA… (If you don’t like writing, this may change your mind.)” Liz Danzico
  • “An intriguing app” Khoi Vinh
  • “As good as everyone is saying”Simon Collison
  • “It’s truly awesome” Vitor Lourenço
  • “A beautifully crafted application for the iPad. If you write, buy it.” Mark Boulton
  • “I knew Writer was going to be perfection in every way” Beautiful Pixels
  • “Excellent work. Writing just got better.” Aza Raskin
  • “…one of my favorite apps on my iPad” Antonio Carusone
  • “It’s nice” Hoefler+Frere-Jones
  • “An excellent example of the kind of user interfaces that are possible if someone puts their mind to it.” Smoking Apples
  • “It’s not often you find a piece of software that shows as much intelligence, taste, simplicity and utility as Writer.” Joel Friedlander

You can get Writer at the App store. View in iTunes.



iA is a strategic design agency with offices in Tokyo and Zurich. For questions regarding our apps, please visit iAWriter.com. If you are interested in our services, please use our contact form. If you are interested in joining iA, check out the job openings.

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