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What are iPhone In-App Purchases? State the Types of In-App Purchases


April 30, 2024


5 mins



Have you ever clicked on an application only to find a whole world of exciting offers waiting inside? That's what in-app purchases in iPhones are all about. But what exactly are they? In simple terms, these offers that you can buy within an application. But they're not just add-ons; they're also a source for developers to earn. By offering their apps for free and then tempting users with these purchases, developers can make money while keeping users engaged. In fact, in 2023, it was predicted that in-application revenue would increase to $96.3 billion. Statistics like these are a testament to how much money such purchases can generate. In this article, we will learn about why these purchases are popular among iPhone users, the types of in-application purchases, and their benefits.

Understanding In-App Purchases iPhone

iPhone in-app purchases are a new way to sell either digital goods, services, or special features. Here, a good example is that to play with the best character in the game, you would have to pay for that particular application.  Developers use three models to upsell their applications: free apps, paid applications, and freemium. Among these three tactics, iPhone users prefer the freemium version. The term freemium refers to the point that applications are free to download and use. However, to enhance the experience, users may have to purchase additional features, and this more likely occurs among iPhone users.

Types of iPhone In-Application Purchases

There are several types of iPhone in-app purchases;


Consumable purchase is all about repeating your buying process in applications. For example, every time there is an exciting new gun skin in Valorant (game) you buy in-game currency to purchase the skin even if you have already purchased one before.  In other words, it means repurchasing digital goods multiple times.

Non-Consumable In-App purchase

A one-time iPhone in-app purchase is generally non-consumable, which means it gives users permanent access. For example, with a one-time in-application purchase, you can unlock all the features in Minecraft once and for all.

Subscription Based

In this era of the digital world, anyone who uses an iPhone or any other smartphone knows the term “subscription.” In subscription-based models, customers pay a certain amount of fees to avail themselves of the service or good. There are two further categories of subscriptions,
  • Auto-renewable subscriptions
  • Non-renewable subscriptions

Auto-Renewable Subscriptions

With subscriptions, developers sell access to premium features for a fixed price, payable regularly. Options include weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly plans. They renew automatically unless you cancel.  It's popular for music and streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, giving full access as long as you pay. Some monthly newspapers like Wisden and Guardian use it too. It's an easy way for developers to earn money and is hassle-free for users.

Non-Renewable Subscriptions

The main difference between auto and non-renewable subscriptions is that some applications don’t renew subscriptions automatically. Once your subscription plan reaches its limit, you’ll need to subscribe again.

Unlockable Content

Unlockable content allows you to buy extra features. For example, in mobile games like Candy Crush, you can use boosters to pass levels with ease. In apps, it could be features like ad removal or bonus content. Once bought, you can use these extras whenever you want. It's like getting a bonus to make your experience better, whether it's in a game or an app.

Benefits of In-App Purchases

Freemium Flexibility

In recent times, the freemium model has been making waves since it generates more revenue than any other model. Also, it has drawn the attention of more application owners due to one simple rule, i.e., the increase in engagement will increase revenue.

Increasing Apps Accessibility

When companies give apps away for free and let users make within-program purchases, it can help the business get noticed and do well in the crowded application world. This way of making money is also simple to set up and do, which is suitable for everyone involved.

Making Payment Easy

Sometimes, people aren’t willing to pay a lot of money at once. Thus, breaking payments into smaller parts or charging subscriptions makes it easier for customers. Not only that, but it also benefits the growth of applications and developers.

Drawbacks of In-App Purchases iPhone


Marketplaces, like the Apple App Store, don't charge you for selling real stuff or showing ads in your app. But if people make in-app purchases, like extra features or coins, these stores take a big chunk of the money you make.

Managing the Backend

If you are using free tools to develop apps, then you might not have a big problem. However, if you are making the application in a regular way, then adding in-app purchases can make things complicated. It’ll make you think about coding, fixing things, and designing the application in a way that makes people like it.

Additional In-App features

Adding more in-app features can cause frustration, complaints, and queries. People will ask about auto-renewal, features, etc. If their queries remain unheard, such issues can result in application abandonment


So, here we are! Now, we know how in-app purchases are changing the landscape of mobile applications while offering convenience. On top of that, they’re helping developers to earn money in exchange for keeping users engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are in-application purchases on Apple?

A: In-app purchases on Apple are like buying stuff while using an app. It could be things like extra game levels or pretend money you use in the app.

Q: What are Apple's in-app purchase guidelines?

A: Apple's in-app purchase guidelines are rules that application makers must follow when they sell things in their apps. This includes using Apple's payment system for digital items.

Q: What are the different types of in-app purchases?

A: There are four types of purchases:
  • Consumable
  • Non-consumable
  • Subscription
  • Unlockable content

Q: What are in-app purchases flutter?

A: In-application purchases in Flutter refer to transactions made within mobile applications for additional content.