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Readers Respond: Developers: Should Users Pay for Using iPhone Apps on Multiple Devices?

Responses: 23


On desktop operating systems, users often have to pay for each copy of a program they install (i.e., installing a program on a laptop and a desktop requires buying the program twice). Not so on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. On those devices, users buy the app once and install it wherever they want.

App developers, I'd like to hear from you on this one. Is this fair or should users have to pay for each device on which they install yours apps?

What Do You Think?


I have upgraded every time & we have so many devices they more than already made their money. Also on games, what a rip-off to have to buy special "helpers" for a dollar & up, ridiculous after spending all the money on new devices then make games so hard you quit or finally get so mad you spend more on a booster so you can move on.
—Guest Siamesegirl

No repetitive price.

I've had a personal problem with this one. When I've backed up info on my computer for my iPod and got an iPhone, I put the backed up data onto the phone and now I have a negative balance for my Apple ID. I'm a little PO'd from it, though I figured I'd just deal till something better comes out. [Apple doesn't currently charge for multiple app installations, so it's unlikely that the negative balance was a result of installing the backed up app. -Sam]
—Guest John


I understand and honestly, would rather get apps from the Apple Store because I don't want anything to happen to my phone. Thank you for the warning, and I don't plan on unlocking it.
—Guest Random


As a developer, I see it OK with limited redistribution of my game. Allowing my app to be transferred to multiple devices by the same owner reduces piracy (like from that jackass that uses installous, you should be ashamed for being a thief and stealing from people who have worked hard on their product). Having multiple devices share a license actually promotes sales if its a network capable game.
—Guest Developer

I do not agree

Users should not pay for apps on each device. Developers should be happy if an app gets sold. If it is good, then clients promote. I have purchased apps that stuffed my data, paid for the app, but can I get my money back? NO. You do not wish everyone to use your account so this will limit misuse if you like.
—Guest frans


No, if I buy an app I believe that I should be able to use it on both my iPad and iPhone. Or if we buy an app as a family it should be able to be used on more than one iPad. Maybe there should be a limit to how many devices it can be used on.
—Guest patricia murray


I think Apple have enough money out of customers as it is! Think the iPhone is the only phone I've had to pay for a ring tone as it is!!
—Guest Callan FFC


I believe you should have to pay once for an app, so I agree
—Guest marc beeman

Pay once

We should be able to have the app on as many devices. Unlimited access to all of our paid for content. I've spent $100's on apps and music that once a year must be transferred to a new and very expensive device. I shouldn't have to pay again. Once an app is paid for under my Apple ID, then I should have unlimited access across unlimited devices. I've found over the years with my iPod touch that I always get the new one with the most space and now have 4. The other problem is that like all things software related, they become obsolete within months and hardware even faster, so we also often don't have the original PC that we used to start the device. In my situation, my laptop screen is broken so I can't update my old iPods, so I must buy a new one and use a friend's PC since I'm also poor and can't afford to replace my PC. The thing is 7-10 or more years old, so old that I can't even update iTunes on it anymore. So there will be a 4th PC/laptop that I needed to use and being charged 5x's makes 0 sense.
—Guest L33t

Should iPhone users have to pay?

I think that paying once for an app is a great idea and if Apple tries to charge me 2 or 3 times for one app, I'll get a refund and go to another company. There are more companies that have lots of apps for freeeeee.
—Guest mrhipee

No way

If that was the case, we would have to re-buy all of our apps everytime we upgraded to a new iPhone or iPad (which, considering this is Apple, happens a lot). It's common for people to have multiple Apple devices and they deserve to have all of their apps available to them. The sharing of apps with family and friends isn't that big of a deal since the iTunes limit to the number of computers that can be linked to an account means only a small family would get away with it. Also, considering privacy concerns, most people, even in a small family, likely have their own iTunes account.
—Guest Guest

Well... No buy yes!

Like if you have 5 Apple products in your, home sharing it with your family, but you only have to pay once!? That's no good for the company! BUT if you like had 2 or so of your OWN like I have iPad and iPhone, you should be able to get one for free! So I think there should be a limit of paying. LIKE: buy one, get one free might be perfect!
—Guest Awesomeness


No, look at how expensive it is. And the Android gets everything free.
—Guest Julia

Yes and no

No for home users. Yes for business where they may be installing the app on hundreds of devices.
—Guest oodboo


Almost all software I've ever used (lots) will allow you to install it on multiple clients/computers/locations, given that you do not use more than one copy at the same time. Some have limits of 5 installs or activations, which should cover for the vast majority of people. Even enterprise software is usually tied to user accounts rather than copies as well.
—Guest bob

What Do You Think?

Developers: Should Users Pay for Using iPhone Apps on Multiple Devices?

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  2. Technology
  3. iPhone/iPod
  4. iPhone & iPod touch
  5. iPhone and iPod touch Glossary
  6. Readers Respond
  7. Should Users Have to Buy an iPhone App for Each Device?

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