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Apple to hike international App Store prices, add new low-cost tiers in certain countries

In an email sent to developers on Tuesday, Apple announced upcoming App Store pricing adjustments slated to affect Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey, including new low-price tiers in select emerging markets.




According to a copy of the email provided to AppleInsider by reader Gregg, Apple is raising App Store prices to account for fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and a 10-percent value-added tax (VAT) for South Korea, meaning auto-renewable subscriptions will expire in most areas. Changes are scheduled to take effect within 36 hours, the note said.

For apps sold in South Korea, Apple notes it will pay upfront VAT fees for developers outside the country before ultimately collecting that same amount on the backend. Developers living in South Korea are responsible for their own VAT contributions.

As for subscription renewals, customers in South Africa, South Korea and Turkey who have auto-renew enabled need to resubscribe once the new pricing goes into effect. Apple will send emails to subscribers including information about the price change and a link to resubscribe.

Interestingly, Apple says subscribers in Mexico, which is also subject to the new App Store pricing, will not see an interruption in service. Emails sent out to Mexican customers will also contain details regarding modifications to the digital storefront, but with a link to turn subscriptions off.

Finally, Apple is introducing two low-price tiers, dubbed "Alternate Tier A" and "Alternate Tier B," to Indian, Indonesian, Mexican, Russian, South African and Turkish markets. Apple already offers similar options through the Chinese App Store.

Apple last modified international App Store pricing in January to account for VAT, foreign exchange rates and an unstable Russian ruble. While the EU, Canada, Norway and Russia all saw increases at the time, prices were reduced for users in Iceland.