Apple Looking to Increase Exposure for Free App Store and iBookstore Content?

Late last month, Apple launched a new "Free App of the Week" promotion on the App Store, featuring a single app on each of the iPhone and iPad platforms and offering the normally-paid titles for free. Apple's digital content stores have of course offered free apps for years, but the new promotion seeks to bring greater visibility to content being temporarily discounted from paid to free.

great free apps banner
In another sign that Apple may be looking to increase exposure for free content, the company earlier this week registered two new domains: freeonappstore.com and freeonibookstore.com. There is currently no content located at either of the sites, but it seems that Apple may be interested in either creating specific websites featuring free content or using them as redirects to point to existing features.

freeonappstore com whois
The two domains were registered the day after Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, but they do not appear to have any direct relationship to announcements made during the event. Consequently, Apple's intentions for the domains remains unknown.

Outside of the digital stores themselves, Apple has a number of other venues for promoting free and discounted content, including a partnership with Starbucks for free "Pick of the Week" offerings such as apps and book samples. The current Free App of the Week promotion also began as a Facebook promotion on Apple's App Store page, but has since migrated directly into the App Store.

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Top Rated Comments

Moonjumper Avatar
158 months ago
Promoting paid apps that are temporarily free helps devalue the paid apps. Such promotions are a large part of the reason for the move towards freemium and ad-supported models.

I would rather Apple promotes normally free games, and choses games that have quality, but are unknown, rather than games that are already successful.

A problem for developers is that the downloads are concentrated onto a few massive hits, while other great apps go unnoticed. Apple promotions should be widening the circle of success, not narrowing it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Born Again Avatar
158 months ago
I'd rather have trial apps than a random free app apple
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Z400Racer37 Avatar
158 months ago
They should have free trials that last for 10 full hours of usage. there is no way I would download a $10 or $20 app without trying it out first... They would sell a lot more paid apps ( to me at least:)).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
158 months ago
I would like to add that I also hate with a passion Freemium apps.

Never heard that term before I like it.

There should be 3 types of apps.

1: Paid for apps
2: Free apps that only give you say a few levels/and or require payment to advance or do much with the product
3: Free apps

Jeez, we are even getting full paid for apps now that try and get you to buy things in-game.
It's a nasty trend that's growing and I've never experienced it before I bought an iPad.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moonjumper Avatar
158 months ago
Hope they limit it to truly free aps. i.e. no freemiums. Nothing more annoying than seeing a "free" app only to discover it's freemium.

Freemium is applied in many different ways, not all bad. I have played Jetpack Joyride for many hours, yet never felt pressurised to use in-app purchases. While some others are in your face as soon as you launch the app and have little value before paying out.

Freemium is not inherently bad, but it is applied badly far too often, giving it a bad name. Don't write off the potential because of some applications of it.

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Does anyone know what fraction of the original price (0-100%) apple pays the developers for the downloaded free copies?

Considering the developers have to pay to be on some other free app promotions (I know, it sounds daft to pay to give stuff way for free), I suspect Apple won't have to pay anything.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisH3677 Avatar
158 months ago
Hope they limit it to truly free aps. i.e. no freemiums. Nothing more annoying than seeing a "free" app only to discover it's freemium.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)