The WolframAlpha iPhone app is now considerably more affordable. The company announced on Thursday that it has dropped the iPhone app from its launch price of $50 (and occasional sale price of $20) to a more App Store-friendly $2, effective immediately. WolframAlpha is the “computational knowledge engine” that launched last year to copious quantities of hype.
According to Barak Berkowitz, Managing Director of WolframAlpha and former CEO of SixApart, the shift in pricing strategy is tied directly to the company’s “push for ubiquity.”
“Whenever you need computational knowledge,” Berkowitz told Macworld, “we want you think of WolframAlpha.”
Toward that end, in addition to slashing the iPhone app’s price, the company will unveil a new version of its free mobile site, at m.wolframalpha.com. That mobile front-end existed once before, but was shuttered—amidst controversy—shortly after the introduction of the iPhone app. Berkowitz says that the new version of the site will be better optimized than the previous iteration, working well in almost all smartphone Web browsers.
To ensure that early adopters of the iPhone app who paid the original premium price don’t feel shortchanged, Berkowitz says that WolframAlpha will be offering a full refund with proof of purchase, via a Web form. That’s a complete refund, meaning the company is even paying out on Apple’s cut of the original purchase price. That’s not necessarily going to be cheap: the company estimates that it has sold roughly 10,000 copies of the app to date.
The company promises more announcements soon regarding its plans for WolframAlpha’s ubiquity.