Apple increases UK Dev Program fee, will US be next?

Christopher Reynolds

In news

January 8, 2015

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Apple is bumping-up the cost of its iOS Developer Programs in Germany and the UK to as much as approximately $121.

The new pricing varies depending on the territory. In Germany the price of a dev program has gone from 80 euros ($96) to 99 euros (around $119). UK devs will have to incur the biggest cost, with prices jumping from £60 to £79 (roughly $121). Apple’s Dev Program pricing in the US is – for the time being – still priced at $99, though it’s being reported that the price increases will roll-out to other European markets.

Apple has not given any reasons for the price change. Some have speculated it’s linked to currency fluctuations. While this may make sense for Eurozone countries, such as Germany, where the Euro has been dropping in value, it doesn’t make much sense for the UK, where the British Pound remains strong.

More likely is that Apple is using the UK and Germany as a testing ground for a wider price increase. The UK has often been used in this way by software companies, with videogame publishers in particular willing to see how much consumers are willing to pay. If the price increases don’t affect dev sign-ups, and it’s highly unlikely they will, then you can probably expect a similar fee increase in the US this year.

Apple has also announced changes to tax on its European App Stores. From now on, Apple will charge tax based on a customer’s home country, rather than a standard VAT rate across all EU territories. This move is tied to The European Union’s overhaul of Value Added Tax rules that applies directly to the sale of digital content, dictating that companies can no longer charge VAT based in the country they’re headquartered in. The change will likely see increases in the cost of apps for countries such as the UK, where VAT rates have remained high, though other territories could see a slight dip.