Apple has announced that it will now allow products and services to be bought and sold from within free iPhone applications.
Previously only applications sold for more than US 99cents (66p Sterling) could offer this service.
This new feature will allow developers to provide trial versions to users who can then pay to upgrade without having to make a separate trip to the iTunes store.
This allows for users to try-before-they-buy so the customer can buy with confidence and increase the chance of a sale benefiting the developers.
But Apple is not allowing service or content rental. This is bad news for film and book distributors who would benefit from the rental market.
Subscription services for content such as news and one-off payments for songs and games will be available but must be for use within the application it’s purchased through.
Requiring users to purchase additional items for there application should help fight piracy. Developers can restrict sales to those registered. Apple will continue to prevent the use of virtual currency.
After earlier denying free application commerce was on its way, Apple’s decision has been welcomed by developers.