Weird iPhone Book-in-an-App Category Pricing: Why Buy “The Lost Symbol” for $24.95 When the Kindle Version is $9.99?

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Screenshot courtesy of ScrollMotion

Apps for the iPhone are, in general, much lower in price than apps for other phones and conventional computers. We’ll all become accustomed to the 99 cent to $4.99 price range since the iTunes App Store opened in the summer of 2008. There is, however, one iPhone app category that defies this price norm: The book-in-an-app. These are books that are wrapped up and delivered as an individual application. You buy, download, and install it like any other app. And, these book-in-an-app apps are really expensive. Let’s take the current Dan Brown blockbuster novel…

The Lost Symbol (iTunes App Store)

The book-in-an-app version of this novel is priced at $24.99. The physical hardcover paper book is $16.17 from Amazon and $9.99 as an ebook from Amazon in the Kindle format. Note that the Kindle iPhone app is free and runs great on an iPhone or iPod touch. So, why would someone pay $24.99 instead of $9.99 to read it on an iPhone (or iPod touch)? And, yet, people are buying the book-in-an-app because it is currently #18 in the top paid apps book category. It is telling, though, that it is at #18 and not at #1 as it is on Amazon’s and Audible’s bestsellters list ($24.50 for the wonderfully read audio book version).

FYI: I used one of my Audible “credits” to buy the audiobook version of the book. My daily commutes were consumed by listening to it from its release date (Sept. 15) through this past Friday (Sept. 25). You can find my comments about book in these personal blog entires. No spoilers! One word review: Entertaining!

“The Lost Symbol” very entertaining so far: Audiobook-Thriller-In Progress

Finished Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” (audiobook): Predictable But Entertaining Thriller