Productivity software

Omni Group 'happy' with app sales, offers 30-day refund

Well-known independent Mac developer The Omni Group has announced that it will extend its 30-day refund guarantee to sales of its iPhone OS software made through Apple's App Store.

The announcement, which appeared in a post on the company's blog, is significant—unlike direct sales, in which the company receives all the revenue generated by a customer's purchase, Apple keeps a 30 percent fee on every transaction that takes place through the App Store. That’s money that Omni will have to cover itself in the event it decides to issue a refund.

Omni Chairman and CEO Ken Case explained the reasoning behind the company's new refund policy to Macworld. “We're building apps that we expect people to use for months and years. We are just making sure that our customers enjoy the same protection across every one of our products.”

When asked what he expects the financial implications of the refund policy to be, Case mentioned that the company is definitely taking a risk, but that the “impact to the bottom line is not the main consideration” that led to the decision, citing instead its customer support value.

During the course of the conversation, Case also mentioned that the company is very pleased with the performance of its iPad products and explained that users snapped up over 1,000 copies of OmniGraffle over the iPad’s introductory weekend, and another thousand since; OmniGraphSketcher, the company's other iPad app, has sold about half as many copies, probably due to its more specialized nature.

Considering the relatively high price point of both products—OmniGraffle sells for $50—these figures are indicative of the interest in the iPad as more than a device for consuming content, a fact that obviously hasn't escaped Omni's management. “We think that productivity apps have a lot of potential on the iPad,” said Case—a clear nod to the company's announcement earlier this year that it would port all five of its apps in that category to Apple's new device.

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