1. emtunc's Avatar
    I am thinking about writing a quick article to show people how to pay for apps in different currencies in order to bypass the App World currency-converter (or lack of) craziness.

    I'd like to know whether people think this is 'unfair' to developers or a 'scam'.

    At the end of the day, the developers still get the same money whether it's in GBP, USD or Euros... right? That is how I believe the system works.

    How does the Apple app store handle this? Does it convert app prices to local currency? If an app is $5 will it also be 5 or converted?

    Update 28/12: I have posted my article for all to view @ http://emtunc.org/blog/12/2011/the-f...ther-currency/

    From a consumer standpoint I could find no rationale behind RIM pricing strategies. Happy for any comments.
    Last edited by emtunc; 12-28-11 at 05:43 AM.
    pixieloulou and azrin640 like this.
    12-26-11 06:02 PM
  2. DD1968's Avatar
    sounds like a good idea to me (well it would being in UK and getting charged 's)...
    12-27-11 01:08 AM
  3. emtunc's Avatar
    Before I go ahead and write up the quick blog (unless someone can give me a good reason why I shouldn't!) I have another question...

    If an app in the US costs $5 and in the UK 5... does that mean the developers are inadvertently receiving more money from UK payees than their US counterparts?
    i.e., Person A buys app from the US and Person B buys app from UK... does the developer get more money from person B?
    If not, where does the extra money go?

    It would be good to get some developer feedback in here
    12-27-11 05:16 AM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Pricing is complex (not a simple currency conversion). Developers specify a "pricing tier" not a set price for their apps. RIM sets the actual price to be paid in each region so it may be more in one country than another. RIM does not tell us the exact formula used to calculate actual prices but we can assume that it is based on some notion of "buying power" , is no doubt affected by taxation regimes in each region and sometimes differs by carrier. There is no doubt that completion also plays a role in RIM's pricing policy but again, developers are not involved in setting the actual selling price.

    Developers get a percentage (now 70%) of net sales converted to the US$ equivalent. If an app sells for the equivalent of $0.75 US%, RIM would subtract any taxes and give us 70% of the net. If the app sells for the equivalent of $1.25 locally then we get 70% of that amount.

    So the bottom line is that you will do us no favours by bypassing RIM'S pricing policies because it would reduce our income

    My app is priced in tier099 - here is a partial list of actual prices paid in some regions (I did not bother to pretty up the liust - sorry - the columns are, Country, local price, currency).

    Austria A1 (AT) 0.99 EUR()
    Gibraltar Gibraltar Telecoms(GI) 0.99 USD(US$)
    Indonesia Indosat (ID) 6600 IDR(Rp)
    United Kingdom O2 (UK) 1 GBP()
    France SFR(FR) 0.99 EUR()
    Indonesia TELKOMSEL (ID) 6600 IDR(Rp)
    Colombia Tigo Colombia 1799 COP($)
    United Kingdom Virgin(GB) 1 GBP()
    Spain Vodafone (ES) 0.99 EUR()
    Greece Vodafone (GR) 0.99 EUR()
    United Kingdom Vodafone (UK) 0.99 GBP()
    Egypt Vodafone Egypt(EG) 4.5 EGP()
    Guernsey 1 GBP()
    Zimbabwe 0.99 USD(US$)
    ........
    Bolivia 0.75 USD(US$)
    Bermuda 0.99 USD(US$)
    Bahrain 0.75 USD(US$)
    Bulgaria 0.99 USD(US$)
    Belgium 0.75 EUR()
    Austria 0.75 EUR()
    Argentina 0.75 USD(US$)
    Netherlands Antilles 0.99 USD(US$)
    Anguilla 0.99 USD(US$)
    Antigua and Barbuda 0.99 USD(US$)
    United Arab Emirates 0.75 USD(US$)
    United States 0.99 USD(US$)
    12-27-11 06:54 AM
  5. andrelondon's Avatar
    Are you talkiing about setting up a VPN? I'm in the UK and I use a canadian VPN so I'm charged in canadian dollars - as an example Angry Birds is 4.99. I paid $5.74 CAD ($4.99 + tax) which paypal converted to 3.69. An american VPN should probably be cheaper.
    12-27-11 07:01 AM
  6. emtunc's Avatar
    @BuzzStarField
    Correct me if I have got this wrong - so minus all the tax, the developers basically get more money if the payee is in an economy stronger than the US? Is that right?
    You would get more money if I paid 2 for your app than someone paying $2 for it locally?

    @andrelondon
    Simpler than VPN - just using a proxy. I used a US one yesterday to purchase AB also... came to 3.79 which equated to $5.74 USD.

    How does the Apple/Android app stores work? Are they the same?
    12-27-11 07:09 AM
  7. SuperAxino's Avatar
    I think you should publish the guide.

    The idea that there's a complex formula that comes up with $1 = 1 = €1 is ludicrous. Tax is higher in many countries in the Eurozone, but the UK is still charged more. If 'buying power' is relevant, then the Zimbabwe price would be much lower, I'm sure.

    Why should a developer get more money depending on the customer's location?

    In the apple app store, $0.99 = 0.69.
    Last edited by SuperAxino; 12-27-11 at 08:33 AM. Reason: typo
    12-27-11 08:28 AM
  8. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    @BuzzStarField
    Correct me if I have got this wrong - so minus all the tax, the developers basically get more money if the payee is in an economy stronger than the US? Is that right?
    You would get more money if I paid 2 for your app than someone paying $2 for it locally?

    @andrelondon
    Simpler than VPN - just using a proxy. I used a US one yesterday to purchase AB also... came to 3.79 which equated to $5.74 USD.

    How does the Apple/Android app stores work? Are they the same?
    Developer get 70% of the net after converting to US$ (how the "net" is calculated is entirely RIM's call - "stronger economy" may or may not be part of the equation). Higher net means more return for me. 2 (less taxes) is probably more than 2 USD so, yes, it means more money in my pocket. The opposite also applies, so if the net is only $0.75 USD, the developer gets less. My app is not available in Android or Apple stores, so I don't know about these markets.
    12-27-11 08:37 AM
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I think you should publish the guide.

    The idea that there's a complex formula that comes up with $1 = 1 = 1 is ludicrous. Tax is higher in many countries in the Eurozone, but the UK is still charged more. If 'buying power' is relevant, then the Zimbabwe price would be much lower, I'm sure.

    Why should a developer get more money depending on the customer's location?

    In the apple app store, $0.99 = 0.69.
    Ludicrous or not, it is no secret that regional price differentials have existed in App World. And it is no secret that the differentials are not solely due to currency conversion "problems". I do not see why I should get more (or less) money depending on the customer's location either. But there may be good reasons for RIM to charge different base prices in different places. And I am happy that RIM shares the difference with developers and does not keep it for themselves.

    This situation is not exclusive to app prices but seems to be a general problem with all goods and services. In Canada we tend to pay quite a lot more than people in the US for the same goods despite the fact that our dollars has been hovering near parity for quite some time now. No one has been able to explain the discrepancy to my satisfaction. It may have a lot to do with corporate taxation levels (or maybe not). It may be due to our better than average but not so great public health care system (or maybe not). It may be due to corporate greed (or maybe not). We will probably never know.
    12-27-11 09:24 AM
  10. emtunc's Avatar
    Ludicrous or not, it is no secret that regional price differentials have existed in App World. And it is no secret that the differentials are not solely due to currency conversion "problems". I do not see why I should get more (or less) money depending on the customer's location either. But there may be good reasons for RIM to charge different base prices in different places. And I am happy that RIM shares the difference with developers and does not keep it for themselves.

    This situation is not exclusive to app prices but seems to be a general problem with all goods and services. In Canada we tend to pay quite a lot more than people in the US for the same goods despite the fact that our dollars has been hovering near parity for quite some time now. No one has been able to explain the discrepancy to my satisfaction. It may have a lot to do with corporate taxation levels (or maybe not). It may be due to our better than average but not so great public health care system (or maybe not). It may be due to corporate greed (or maybe not). We will probably never know.
    The discrepancy between physical, tangible goods is understandable as a lot of other costs come in to play.
    I cannot say the same for digital downloads though.

    I have posted my article (see first post) as I do not believe consumers should be paying more for a digital product just because they are located in a different region (minus all the taxes involved).
    12-28-11 05:46 AM
  11. latarnik's Avatar
    Adding to this discussion - people in UK may be used to paying slightly higher prices for everything, but I believe they would be happy to buy more apps if the prices would be little lower. So RIM's policy actually harms developers here.

    What makes it even more unfair, is that PB is a portable device. Whenever I am in a business trip, I check App World prices. And I bought a lot of software during my latest trips to Romania, much more than back at home in the UK. But seeing, that I can pay less, makes me buy even less apps when I am in London - I am simply waiting for the next trip to come...
    01-01-12 09:12 PM
  12. JeepBB's Avatar
    Yes. The higher UK prices do act as a deterrent to me as well. It might be cutting off my nose to spite my face , but I think long and hard about how much I really want an App before spending half as much again on it as our American cousins. (1 = US$1.55)

    And, correct me if my recollection is faulty, but is it also illegal inside Europe to operate a dual-pricing regime?

    Way back when, I believe iTunes used to sell music at 99p per track instead of the 99c paid by US customers. There were grumblings from the EU bigwigs about pricing, and iTunes started using the official exchange rate (69p for a track).

    I find it hard to believe that Apple decided to cut their prices out of the goodness of their hearts, so were legal noises made, and would the same argument apply to RIM?
    01-02-12 05:02 AM
  13. emtunc's Avatar
    I did a bit of digging around on the countries app world accept payment from and it really does look like they have 'banded' countries in to certain categories.

    I found that an app costing 10 (monopoly) in the UK could be bought for less than a fiver in another currency. Unbelievable - more than a 50% saving!!!
    01-02-12 05:36 AM
  14. pixieloulou's Avatar
    I did a bit of digging around on the countries app world accept payment from and it really does look like they have 'banded' countries in to certain categories.

    I found that an app costing 10 (monopoly) in the UK could be bought for less than a fiver in another currency. Unbelievable - more than a 50% saving!!!
    Which currency is that? I'm dying for some of the bigger named apps but cannot justifying paying the high prices.
    01-02-12 08:13 AM
  15. emtunc's Avatar
    Which currency is that? I'm dying for some of the bigger named apps but cannot justifying paying the high prices.
    See the comments in my blog post
    pixieloulou likes this.
    01-02-12 08:16 AM
  16. pixieloulou's Avatar
    I've just purchased and installed Monopoly for 5 using a proxy from Zambia. Your blog was spot on with the instructions. Thank you so much! Now....which other apps shall I download next?!
    01-02-12 09:45 AM
  17. azrin640's Avatar
    Thanks, this will help a lot for me where paypal is not recognized by appworld.

    Will try and update.
    01-02-12 10:33 AM
  18. azrin640's Avatar
    It works! Now I can buy apps again.

    Error id : 9300, 10000, 11400 eliminated
    01-03-12 07:09 AM
  19. Enri69's Avatar
    Thought the currency problem was going to be fixed by RIM last month (according to a BerryReview report) but seems nothing has changed: App World Changing Prices To Reflect Exchange Rates - Conversion Chart - BerryReview
    01-03-12 10:08 AM
  20. emtunc's Avatar
    Thought the currency problem was going to be fixed by RIM last month (according to a BerryReview report) but seems nothing has changed: App World Changing Prices To Reflect Exchange Rates - Conversion Chart - BerryReview
    Interesting, I did not read anything about this before and I am usually on top of BB news!
    01-03-12 02:59 PM
  21. mr_gill's Avatar
    It looks like RIM still havent made these changes to App World. Im based in the UK and apps are still priced as though they are in dollars (eg. Angry Birds HD is $4.99 in US App World, yet also 4.99 in UK App World!). I shouldnt have to use a proxy everytime, RIM should have made these currency changes by now..

    Im sure someone mentioned earlier in this thread that Apple were doing the same a few years ago and this was found to be illegal, and thus they changed their pricing structure? Its small things like this that doesnt help the Blackberry app experience...
    02-07-12 06:50 AM
  22. SCrid2000's Avatar
    You say there's no costs for digital transactions, but currency conversion isn't free.
    (not an argument in favor of Rims policy, just pointing that out).
    02-26-12 04:47 PM
  23. yorkshireman2's Avatar
    You say there's no costs for digital transactions, but currency conversion isn't free.
    (not an argument in favor of Rims policy, just pointing that out).
    RIM is an international company operating in countries all over the world. Like any multinational it should know how to handle currency fluctuations and price accordingly.

    The days of just changing a dollar symbol to a symbol ended decades ago as it was SERIOUSLY offensive to everyone living in the UK for example.

    The fact that RIM continues this appalling practice shows how badly run the company is demonstrates a total lack of customer care.

    How can you justify charging $5 in the US for an app and charging $8 for the same app in the UK. It is just plain wrong.

    How would Americans feel if it was reversed and they were having to pay 8 bucks whilst we pay 5. I'm sure they'd be p****d off, and rightly so.

    It is this kind of stupidity that is getting RIM a bad name.

    So many people in the UK are shifting from Blackberrys to iPhone and Android, and absolutely nobody is shifting the other way. The App World isn't the reason why they are doing this, but it is symptomatic of RIMs total disregard of customers.

    To win this war (and it is a war - all be it a commercial one) RIM need to go the extra mile on ALL customer related things, and something as billy-basic as getting fair pricing is just one step in that direction.
    03-23-12 03:08 PM
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