Chapter 18: Selling Past the Sale with In App Purchases

The iOS SDK has helped many developers earn enough to make a living, and a variety of business models have helped these developers earn money. The first model is easy to understand (and arguably the most profitable): Make an app and sell it on the App Store. Another model is to release both a free lite version and a pro version of an app. Yet another model, probably pioneered by Web 2.0, is advertisement-based. Developers use a third-party advertiser’s SDK (or iAds) to show advertisements, and developers are paid for impressions or click-through. Although all these augment a developer’s earnings, the first model, selling apps on the App Store, has been by far the most successful model. In App Purchases augment this model by offering yet another unique way to sell premium contents or features on your iOS app. Some apps take advantage of this and make money only through in app purchases. They fall into a category called freemium apps, and they have been quite successful, at least when you look at the top-grossing apps list on U.S. App Store.

In this chapter, I introduce you to Apple’s In App Purchase framework, StoreKit.framework, and move on to a wrapper framework, the MKStoreKit, and discuss how to use it to integrate a mini–In App Store within your app. Then I provide you with solutions to the problems that developers most commonly face while integrating StoreKit within their app.

In iOS 6, Apple introduced a new feature ...

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