In-App Purchase

In-app purchases are purchases made from within a mobile application. Users typically make an in-app purchase in order to access special content or features in an app such as power-ups, restricted levels, virtual money, special characters, boosts, etc. The purchasing process is completed directly from within the app and is seamless to the user in most cases, with the mobile platform provider facilitating the purchase and taking a share of the money spent (usually in the range of 30% or so), with the rest going to the app developer.

In-app purchases first became available in Apple’s App Store with the release of iOS 3.0 in October 2009. The BlackBerry App World added support for in-app purchases in September 2010, and in March 2011 Google added its version of in-app purchases called in-app billing for Android users.

Apple currently offers four different types of in-app purchases: non-replenishable, replenishable, subscription-based and auto-renewing subscriptions. In-app purchases can apply to premium apps as well as free apps, which are also known as freemium apps.

In-app purchases initially created some controversy due to users not always realizing they were spending actual money on apps, and as a result Apple updated its in-app purchasing as of iOS 4.3, requiring users to first enter their password before being able to make an in-app purchase. The ability to make in-app purchases can also be disabled in most cases, which is particularly recommended when the smartphone is shared with another person or frequently accessed by a child or teenager.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest Stroud
Forrest is a writer for Webopedia. Experienced, entrepreneurial, and well-rounded, he has 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming, and more.

Related Articles

Human Resources Management System

A Human Resources Management System (HRMS) is a software application that supports many functions of a company's Human Resources department, including benefits administration, payroll,...

How To Defend Yourself Against Identity Theft

Almost every worldwide government agency responsible for identity theft issues will tell you the same thing: The first step to fighting identity theft is...

Infographic

An infographic is a visual representation of information or data. It combines the words information and graphic and includes a collection of imagery, charts,...

Phishing

What is phishing? Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which victims are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by an attacker posing as...

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...

HRIS

Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...