Hooray! Google is giving Android smartphone users a bit of an unexpected bonus just before the Christmas season gets fully into gear, by giving app developers the option of reducing the price for apps and in-app purchases to a new minimum amount.

Google explained that after a successful pilot in India, it has now extended the new minimum pricing to 17 other countries – including South Africa.

If a developer chooses to invoke the new pricing structure, the lowest price that South Africans will now pay for an app on the Google Play store is R3.99, where the previous minimum was R10. Interestingly, the maximum price for an app is now R5 500.

“Every market has its own unique challenges and opportunities. Purchasing behaviour, in particular, varies significantly between markets. So to provide developers with more flexibility, we’ve worked to adapt Google Play pricing options to better-suit local consumers and make content more accessible,” the company explained in a blog post.

The new minimum pricing in the other countries on the list are as follows:

  • Brazil: R$ 0.99 (was R$2.00)
  • Chile: CLP $200.00 (was CLP $500.00)
  • Colombia: COP$ 800.00 (was COP$ 2000.00)
  • Hungary: Ft 125.00 (was Ft 225.00)
  • Indonesia: Rp 3,000.00 (was Rp 12,000.00)
  • Malaysia: RM 1.00 (was RM 3.50)
  • Mexico: MXN$ 5.00 (was MXN$ 9.90)
  • Peru: S/. 0.99 (was S/. 3.00)
  • Philippines: ₱15.00 (was ₱43.00)
  • Poland: zł1.79 (was zł2.99)
  • Russia: руб 15.00 (was руб 30.00)
  • Saudi Arabia:﷼ 0.99 (was 4.00﷼)
  • Thailand: ฿10.00 (was ฿32.00)
  • Turkey: ₺0.59 (was ₺2.00)
  • Ukraine: ₴5.00 (was ₴8.00)
  • Vietnam: ₫6,000 (was ₫21,000.00)

Google explained that all developers need to do to change their minimum pricing, is visit the Google Play Developer Console and click on ‘Pricing & Distribution’ or ‘In-app Products’ for the apps.

“We hope this change allows you to reach more people around the world so that you can continue to grow your business on Google Play,” it concluded.

[Image – CC by 2.0/gp sachs]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.