Why universal apps are good for gamers but bad for developers
In a blog post, the co-founder of paid-discovery platform W3i Rob Weber points out that developers pushing out universal apps are potentially sacrificing a favourable iPad rank because of the way Apple counts downloads for such releases.
In short, if a user buys a universal app on iPhone or iTunes, Apple counts said purchase towards the iPhone ranking only even if the consumer then goes on to install it on an iPad.
"With a universal app, purchases on the iPhone count for iPhone rankings only, purchases on the iPad count for iPad rankings only, and purchases in the iTunes desktop application count for iPhone rankings only," Weber states.
"Therefore, creating a universal app creates value for the user as they can use the app on both the iPhone and iPad, but as a developer, creates a possible disadvantage since it splits the count in the rankings."
Weber also notes that universal apps, by their very nature, cost the same amount on both formats, meaning its impossible to adjust the price of an iPad game to reflect the cost of native apps on the format.