When you port your App to the iPad, one of the first choices you get is whether to create a separate product, or a fat (i.e. “universal”) binary.
It seems that many folks on the App store, including several apps in the GPS/travel space have gone done the separate-product route.
Perhaps I understand why they did this. After all, it is not trivial to port an App to the iPad (basically your UI needs a complete re-think). For some apps, they have gone so far as to offer a totally new UI, using real life metaphors like “pages” and “books”.
I still think it’s a bad idea. Why? For two main reasons:
1) customers don’t like paying for the same product twice
2) how many people will actually buy both versions anyway?
Yes the iPad version costs you money to make. BUT, it will hopefully get you more customers. New customers who buy it for their iPad.
Historically I know of several products that used to ship with multiple targets. Warcraft 3 is one, and Adobe’s suite is another, both supported both Mac and Windows. Many steam games now support Mac as well (and don’t require re-purchasing).
So my theory is most users won’t buy the App twice. Some will buy it for the iPhone, some will buy it for the iPad. If you have the one binary to support both, a few will run it on both, and find that useful. If you sell it separately, I doubt most people would buy the counterpart, simply because they would use one device more than the other. Furthermore, users that have already bought the iPhone version get that installed to their iPad anyway, which may be enough.
So rather than trying to milk your existing customers to pay for the port, think of it this way: You get new customers (those who have never used your app, and want to use your App on the iPad), you add value to your product (by allowing use of both devices) which may give you an edge. And you’re doing the right thing (ask yourself, do you like paying for the same thing twice?).
I think so few customers will buy the app TWICE, that you actually de-value your product. I suspect that the number of additional people who buy your App because it supports both, will outweigh the number of people who would have bought a second copy, and that both categories of users represent only a small percentage anyway.
And please, don’t try to claim “but the iPad version is different”. I don’t care if it has a fancy book UI, a re-arranged layout, or up-res’d textures. If it performs the same function, it’s the same App.
GPS Log for iPad. Coming soon. Free for existing users.