The Case for Pricing Parity for Desktop and Mobile Apps


At Flixel we’ve always been committed to helping photographers, videographers, and marketers create cinemagraphs, and we’ve always prided ourselves on the rich feature set in our mobile app. In February we released the latest version of our Cinemagraph Pro for iOS app, and version 4 adds support for Apple’s 3D Touch and Live Photos features, the Apple Pencil, and 4K video.

More importantly, this latest update brings the mobile app up to the same quality as the desktop app, transforming your iPhone or iPad into a professional mobile cinemagraph studio. The app is designed as a pro-level tool, used by the world’s best photographers, videographers and leading brands.

Today, with products like the iPad Pro and iPhone 6s, mobile devices are as powerful as the MacBook Pro, yet there’s still a disparity between iOS and Mac apps – both in features and in price – and we’ve decided to address both. Our mobile app is equally as feature-rich as the desktop app (there’s only a slight feature differentiation), so as of today we’ve raised the price of the mobile app from USD $49.99 to $249.99. This is still lower than our Cinemagraph Pro for Mac software at $299.99 (Our Flixel Cloud Web+Apps plan is available for only $199.99 annually, which provides access to both versions and our hosting and streaming service), but it bucks the trend of providing mobile apps for free or next-to-free, regardless of how rich the feature set.

Pricing Parity Desktop Mobile Apps Flixel

We’ve entered an era where developers are focused on building out full-featured iOS apps that should be priced accordingly, and at Flixel we’ve decided to be the first to close that pricing gap.

Our software has come a long way since Flixel 1.0, which was the precursor to Cinemagraph Pro for iOS – back then we continuously ran into hardware limitations, but now the combination of the power in Apple’s new devices combined with iOS 9’s performance enhancements means feature parity is finally a possibility.

Over 1.2 million people have downloaded Cinemagraph Pro for Mac and iOS, an Apple Design Award winner in 2014. We’re excited to see how our mobile customers – 96% of whom are running iOS 9 – will use the latest version, and we know that while the price point might deter casual retail consumers, our professional audience is happy to pay for the tool knowing it saves them time in the long run.

The Flixel dev team aren’t the only ones facing the challenge of a low benchmark for app prices. While low mobile app prices work great for game developers, they’re a real challenge for developers that are creating professional-level tools like Cinemagraph Pro, and we hope we’re the first of many to ensure their prices match their feature set for mobile apps. There should be no difference in price between iOS and Mac apps if there is no difference in features, regardless if your product is for consumers or professionals. We’re hoping to spark a trend of mobile developers leveraging the professional quality of new mobile devices, and charging a price that reflects it.