Pixelmator Photo Switches to Subscription Pricing, Launching on Mac by Next Year

The team behind the popular Pixelmator series of image editing apps today announced that the Pixelmator Photo app for the iPhone and iPad is switching to subscription-based pricing with an update rolling out now on the App Store.

Pixelmator Photo iOS
For new users, Pixelmator Photo now costs $4.99 per month or $23.99 per year, while existing users of the app will continue to have "unlimited access" without having to pay again. A lifetime purchase option will remain available for $59.99, which is significantly more expensive than Pixelmator Photo's previous one-time price of $7.99.

In a blog post, the Pixelmator team admitted that the subscription-based pricing model is more expensive, but argued that there are "some pretty big problems" with an upfront pricing model, including slower development and a focus on new users over existing users. Among other reasons, Pixelmator also noted that the App Store does not allow paid apps to offer free trials or upgrade discounts for major new versions.

"The hope is that there are enough users who use the app regularly and feel that the annual or monthly fee is worth it," said Pixelmator. "It looks like this is the best way to ensure Pixelmator Photo can continue to be developed long into the future."

Pixelmator Photo Mac
Pixelmator also provided a sneak peek at its Pixelmator Photo app for Mac, which will be a "completely native app" that is "designed from the ground up just for Mac." Pixelmator plans to release the app late this year or early next year and says those who subscribe to Pixelmator Photo for the iPhone/iPad now will get Pixelmator Photo for Mac for free when it launches. Existing users will be eligible for a discounted subscription.

Pixelmator informed MacRumors that it doesn't have any immediate plans to switch the standard version of Pixelmator for iOS or Pixelmator Pro for macOS to subscription-based pricing and is working on a major update to Pixelmator Pro that will be free as usual.

Top Rated Comments

tmoerel Avatar
7 weeks ago
Another app I will stop using!
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m.x Avatar
7 weeks ago
I get why they switch to a subscription, but why does every app has to raise prices that much? From a $7,99 one-time purchase to $23,99/yr? Why not $9,99/yr?
And what was the business model before the switch to subscription? It was a one-time purchase for $7,99 and now it’s $59,99. No wonder people hate subscriptions.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
7 weeks ago
Go for Affinity Photo and ditch Pixelmator, it’s inferior anyway.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
7 weeks ago

Why, if you already have it?
Because it’s just a matter of time till it stops working, due to incompatibility that Apple introduces with every major macOS update.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dredd67 Avatar
7 weeks ago
While it might be understandable from the businesses point of view, for the customer it's just hostile.
There's one ultimate greedy person, and it's Apple's current CEO (or the people he has to answer to).
Unrestrained capitalism always pushes towards the most profitable route, whatever the consequences. It's like electricity or water, always choosing the path of least resistance to get where it can.
It's the responsibility of the architects of the bigger structures to design a platform that doesn't allow such customer exploitation and keep the business healthy on the long run. Here, it's the contrary and it's actively pushing app makers towards the greedy route, leaving no choices to the customer but to either accept, or leave the platform.
How is this any good on the long term except for those reaping the benefits ?

I understand the concerns of app makers, and yes, they have to make a living. But this is NOT the solution. Allowing users to try the apps (not speaking about freemium here), allowing special sales or promoting them (like Steam), allowing true upgrade paths (reduced prices for owners of a previous version), ... this should have been part of the platform from the start. Building a healthy relationship with your customers is what makes them get back to you when you have a new version or a new product, or simply when they can afford it.

Some plans make sense, because the service usage itself is a running cost by nature (insurances, access to a media library like streaming platforms or e-books). Something like a processing software doesn't belong there. If you push it to the limits, maybe having access to an online storage like adobe cloud, or some cloud processing which could not be done on device would be acceptable, as an option.
For the life of me I can't think why I would have to subscribe to an app I have to use, but only seldomly like a Photoshop or a Lightroom alternative. Adobe understood that and kept the lifetime licenses for Photoshop Elements. If you have a pro workflow it would probably need cloud storage anyways so a plan makes sense, and that cost is part of your business expenses.

So to get back to your reaction, there's no need to be sarcastic. Yes people have to make a living, but their options are in the hand of the people who control the platform itself, and these are the people who make them miserable, not the customers. App store developers should unionize and reclaim what their work should get them, and not play the devil's game and offset their issues onto their own customers, it will only end poorly for everyone but the person at the top of the pyramid.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tmoerel Avatar
7 weeks ago

Why, if you already have it?
Out of principle!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
magsafe charger orange

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware

Tuesday October 4, 2022 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that is designed to work with the iPhone 12 and later and the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 10M1821, up from the prior 10M229 firmware. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a different version number than the firmware number, with the update displayed as version 255.0.0.0 (the prior firmware was 247.0.0.0). The...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...