I have made the decision to increase the price of Privacy Browser Android from $1 to $5 USD on Google Play, the Amazon AppStore, and the Galaxy App Store. Ever since Privacy Browser Android was first released it has been available for $1. Privacy Browser Android will always be available from F-Droid or similar repositories for free.
The motivation for making this change is two-fold.
- The price of an item can indicate its quality to potential buyers. Sometimes people look at something that costs $1 and say, “That must not be very good”.
- Privacy Browser is taking much longer than I expected to become financially viable. This is of concern because I can only subsidize the development of Privacy Browser with my own funds for so long before I will have to spend more of my time in other pursuits. I recently looked through Google Play to see what other browsers charge. Years ago I did so and saw various browsers available for a range of prices that were mostly between $1 and $5. This time when I looked, I couldn’t find a single other browser that was sold for an initial price. They had all switched to in-app purchases, which ranged between $1 and $80. I am fundamentally opposed to placing in-app purchases in Privacy Browser because the very act of checking if a user has paid the in-app fee involves tracking users.
One of the unexpected things about developing Privacy Browser has been the generosity of donations I have received, which have generally exceeded the amount of money I have made selling Privacy Browser. Typically, these donations have been for $5 or higher. This indicates to me that $5 is a reasonable price to ask for the value Privacy Browser provides.
I would not make this change if it wasn’t still possible for users to acquire Privacy Browser Android for free from places like F-Droid. It is important to me that Privacy Browser always be available to everyone, and I would never want someone to not use it because of financial considerations. Additionally, as I have previously stated, I have no current plans to monetize Privacy Browser PC. Rather, as Privacy Browser PC progresses towards availability on multiple operating systems, I expect that people’s good experiences with it will increase donations as well as drive sales of Privacy Browser Android.