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Apple App Store New Guideline: Try and Buy is Available for Premium Apps

By Gurdeep Singh
June 8, 2018 2. min read
Last update on: April 2, 2020

Apple, a few days back, made an announcement in the WWDC 2018 event, which the iOS App Developers were eagerly waiting for a very long time.

On 5th June, Apple made the announcement that it will now be extending the Free Trial version to all the apps on Apple Store, something which was earlier restricted to just the Subscription Apps.

The guideline change now allows developers to launch an app with no-in-app-purchase option for a period of 14 days. In these 14 days, users will be able to use the app without paying the app charges and the end of the free trial period, they will have the choice of whether to continue using the app or uninstall it from their Apple devices.

As for the Free Trial version app launch, the 3.1.1 guideline states that the developers will have to clearly mention the Trial period duration, the services or content that will not accessible after the trial period ends, and if there are any downstream charges that the users will have to pay for accessing the full functionality of the app.

Also, with this update, it is time to add another element to your app store submission checklist – Naming Convention. You will have to set up a Non-Consumable IAP item at 0 Price Tier that will follow this naming convention – ’14-day Trial’.

The new 3.1.1 guideline will also bring in a change in scenario in the present day in-app purchases scenario.

The Current iOS in-app Purchase Scenario

Even though, category wise, iOS users spend ($1.08 per user per app) more than their Android counterpart ($0.43 per user per app), the present in-app purchase spending is still a little grim. Only a little more than 5% app users spend on in-app purchases, including both iOS and Android.

Adding on to the stats, while on one hand 7.1% of iOS users are estimated to make in-app payments atleast once a month, the number falls down to 4.6% in case of Android users.

Which Categories are the iOS users spending their Money on?

U.S App Store Revenue Per Active iPhone

At the back of these spending, the in-app purchase revenue is expected to cross $189 billion. So in case you still haven’t decided on adding an in-app payment option in your iPhone/iPad app, now would be the time.

[Read: Payment Gateway Integration: The Process and What Nexts]

With the in-app purchase condition improving at a steady pace, the timing of 3.1.1 guideline couldn’t have come at a better time for both businesses and Apple.

On one hand all the businesses will get a fair chance of reaching the users’ devices, which was earlier restricted to only those brands that are famous. On the other hand, since all the in-app payments are done through Apple Pay, the chance of Apple generating more revenue is now highly probable, meaning greater cut for Apple.

While the benefit 3.1.1 guideline would garner for Apple is pretty clear, let us what it would do to your iPhone/iPad App.

What Does The New Guideline Mean for Businesses

The new update has come bearing good news for the businesses. Earlier, brands used to lose business on their non subscription apps, as users were always indecisive of how the applications are and if the experience would be worth the amount that they are paying for it. An event which stand nullified following this new guideline update.

Businesses will now be able to get more traction on their apps if they are developed well and if they are offering something that the users value. However, to keep the users hooked with the app and make them a loyal user, straight from the Free Trial Period, will require the brands to sit with their partnered iPhone App Development Company and ensure that the app is designed and developed in a way that there are no bugs and lags whatsoever. As businesses, you will have to ensure that the app is ready to be used.

Gurdeep Singh
Gurdeep Singh
Product Innovation Team
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