SmartGo Pro: End of the Line
by Anders Kierulf
In the continuing saga of SmartGo Kifu (universal) and SmartGo Pro (iPhone only), it’s time to terminate SmartGo Pro — again. The timeline so far:
- 2008-09: SmartGo touch for iPhone released ($10).
- 2009-06: SmartGo touch renamed to SmartGo Pro ($13).
- 2010-04: SmartGo Kifu available on iPad launch day ($20).
- 2012-02: SmartGo Kifu becomes universal (iPad & iPhone).
- 2012-09: SmartGo Pro killed.
- 2014-02: SmartGo Pro revived ($12).
- 2014-09: App bundles allow upgrades from Pro to Kifu.
Experience with upgrade bundle
In a sense, the upgrade bundle is working. Over the last two months, upgrades have increased slowly, with income from the upgrade bundle now averaging 40% of Kifu income. It gives users a fair price to upgrade from the iPhone-only to the universal version. Upgrades so far are less than 1% of the installed base of SmartGo Pro, so there are still many users who could benefit from this upgrade, and I’d love to keep this going.
However, the number of returns has increased dramatically, indicating that people are confused and buy the wrong version by mistake. With only Kifu in the store, the return rate was 0.5%. After adding back Pro earlier this year, the return rate was 1% for Kifu and 5% for Pro, already an indication that separate iPhone and universal versions are not ideal. After adding the upgrade bundle, the return rate for Kifu shot up to 8%, and for Pro it’s at 66%! That’s terrible. I created the bundle to give existing users a fair way to upgrade, but it’s adding too much confusion for everybody.
With the iPhone 6 Plus blurring the line between phone and tablet, and Apple giving a solid clue with the introduction of size classes in iOS 8, it’s time to focus on universal apps going forward.
If Apple at some point allows upgrade bundles without having to keep the original app in the App Store, I’d be happy to bring back the upgrade. But at this point, I can’t recommend bundles as a workable solution for upgrades.
Last chance to upgrade
Before I take SmartGo Pro and the upgrade bundle off the store, I want to give you a last chance to upgrade. For the next week, the upgrade bundle will be $16 — if you bought Pro at $13, you can upgrade for just $3. And SmartGo Kifu will be on sale for $15 (25% off). Grab this chance before it’s gone.