Apple Will Soon Let Developers Entice Past Subscribers With Discounted iOS, macOS, and tvOS Subscriptions

In an article posted to App Store Connect, Apple has detailed how iOS, macOS, and tvOS app developers will soon be able to offer discounted subscriptions to past subscribers in an attempt to win those customers back.

ios promotional subscription
As with introductory offers for new subscribers, there will be three categories of promotional offers for previous subscribers:

Free
Customers access your subscription for free for a specific duration — for example, a 30-day trial for a subscription with a standard renewal price of $4.99 per month.

Pay As You Go
Customers pay a promotional price for each billing period for a selected duration — for example, $1.99 per month for three months for a subscription with a standard renewal price of $9.99 per month.

Pay Up Front
Customers pay a one-time promotional price for a specific duration — for example, $9.99 for the first six months of a subscription with a standard renewal price of $39.99 per year.

Developers will be able to offer up to 10 different promotions at once to test the waters.

The promotional offers will also be available to existing subscribers, allowing developers to both retain and win back subscribers. A customer who has yet to subscribe to an app will not have access to the promotional offers, but may be presented with an introductory offer if the developer offers one.

Using receipt validation, developers will be able to identify subscribers who have turned off auto-renewal so that they can act quickly with a promotional offer in an attempt to win them back before the end of their current subscription period.

Once the promotional period ends, the subscription auto-renews at the standard price, according to Apple.

Promotional offers for previous and existing subscribers will be available in iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2 and later. Developers can get ready now by creating offers in App Store Connect and by downloading the Xcode 10.2 beta and implementing the new StoreKit APIs into their apps.

Apple first announced this change in its iOS 12.2 beta release notes. More information is available on the Apple Developer website.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

Pafoofnik Avatar
30 months ago
When I start renting other people's pants and shoes to wear, I'll start "subscribing" to software.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
30 months ago
Call it what it is: software rental. The moment you stop paying, you're left with nothing.

It's one thing to pay monthly for access to a deep and expanding content library (Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix) but quite another for an app that's already written to just keep charging you "a cup of coffee a month" just to keep working.

Agenda is an example of an app with a true "subscription" model. You pay for a year of newly introduced "premium" features, and at the end of that year, you keep the features you paid for even if you stop paying. If you want access to subsequent premium features, you keep subscribing.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diazj3 Avatar
30 months ago
Ugh.... does this means apple will now start abusing their platforms to sell their users unsolicited crap?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
drcre8tive Avatar
30 months ago
No. Please god no.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave-Z Avatar
30 months ago
Ugg, another move by Apple to get more money. Remember when its products sold themselves? Now Apple's web site and retail stores have ads vomited all over them.

I will not rent software. Period. I'll write my own before I do.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
30 months ago

Software subscriptions are bad when the software or content is not expensive, or when it's used only a mechanism to increase prices. Price increasing via boiling frog. Microsoft is guilty of this with Office. A home version of Office used to cost ~$150, and you could easily skip a version and not miss much. So upgrading every 3-5 years was needed - about as often as you bought a new computer. Now Office 365 is $100/yr?? That's actually a huge price increase, and bundling some cloud features along with it does not justify what is effectively a 2x-4x price increase for freakin' Work and Excel! Other companies are guilty of this too.
Why criticize Microsoft? You can purchase Office 2019 for $150 if you don't want 365 (limited to 1 PC or Mac). Factoring in inflation, it's cheaper than it used to be. Office Home & Business is $250 for a one-time purchase if you need a commercial use license.

Further, Office 365 can regularly be purchased for $55 or less for a year (NewEgg on Feb 2 for $50, Amazon on Dec 6 for $55). If you only need 1 account, the normal cost is $70 per year (includes 1 TB of OneDrive). For the 365 Home subscription, considering this comes with unlimited devices for 6 unique users, it's not bad - split the cost with friends and/or family if needed. Add to that the 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user (let's value that at $5 per month; 1/2 of Apple's 2 TB $10 plan) and the value is even better. Does everyone need this? No, but many of us use cloud storage.

Over time some people spend more with the 365 subscription. Others, however, are spending less than they would with a traditional purchase and upgrade cycle, especially if you factor in the OneDrive subscription.

Not every subscription is better than what used to be offered but Microsoft's (and Adobe's) offering provides good value for the cost for many people.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
ipad iphone duo ios 12

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 Security Fix for Older iPhones and iPads

Monday June 14, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released new iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates, with the new software aimed at older devices that are unable to run the iOS 14 update that's available on modern devices. The iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
apple store palo alto

Apple Stores to Drop Mask Requirement for Vaccinated Customers This Week

Sunday June 13, 2021 11:31 am PDT by
Apple will no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks inside their retail stores in the U.S, a major shift in policy compared to last month, according to Bloomberg. The new change, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, will no longer require customers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks inside Apple Stores in the United States. Bloomberg notes that Apple...
nomad airtag wallet card 2

Nomad's Latest Accessory Makes It Easier to Put an AirTag in Your Wallet

Monday June 14, 2021 12:00 pm PDT by
Nomad, known for its range of accessories designed for Apple devices, today announced the Card for AirTag, which is designed to make it easier for an AirTag to fit inside a wallet for tracking purposes. With Card for AirTag, an AirTag fits inside the middle of a card-shaped holder that's then meant to fit inside of a wallet. According to Nomad, the design offers a smooth, uniform shape that...