Apple has announced that iPhone developers will now be able to use in-app payments in free applications, as well as paid apps.
A big deal? Most certainly, for several reasons. Until now, anyone wanting to use microtransactions (including subscription-based billing) in an iPhone app had to charge at least 59p for it.
Now, those apps can be free. It means social games publishers like Zynga and Playfish will be able to launch free games that make money from virtual item sales, for example.
Meanwhile, the change may remove the need for games publishers to create free ‘Lite’ versions as demos: they’ll simply be able to offer the full game for free, but with most of its content locked until a user pays.
The change could be big news for news organisations too, who can now offer free apps with a certain amount of content, but built-in paywalls to access other stuff.