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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » APPealing or APPalling? » » The Stranger (iPhone App) by Jonathan Levit (66 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tomd
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On Mar 1, 2020, ash2arani wrote:
Interestingly enough, when the international version was announced (with ongoing Blackpool Discount), it was removed from the appstore of the country I am in. I am an Android user but thought to jump onboard on the iOS version until Android was released, suffice it to say that I could not (and discount is gone now) and so now I am back to waiting for Android.

That’s odd. I was in Australia when the discount was applied, and it was on that App Store... then I had to switch back to Irish App Store to purchase (I had no Aussie bank account details) and it was on there as well. Did you search for it more than once over the weekend or just a one time search? I spent maybe 5 hours debating whether to purchase that weekend... and for maybe 30 mins it wasn’t on either App Store when I searched it, so I decided not to pay at discount price. It came back and I panic bought it haha.
Mark_Chandaue
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On Mar 2, 2020, GusGarcia wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
So international users should have purchased it 8 months in advance in the hope that it would indeed one day work? If it never worked you would be the first to say it’s your own fault for spending £100 on something you knew didn’t work in your country.

Having an international build and a US build does not significantly increase dev costs at all. I worked for Sony Computer Entertainment making games for the PlayStation we had a US version, EU version, Japanese version and several other regional versions each of which were vastly larger than any mobile phone app. Most came from a common build. The biggest cost factor was between Japanese language version and the English versions because different voice artists were needed and of course the manuals and menus needed to be in both languages and in some cases the names were different requiring different packaging and menu screens. Total NBA (the main series I worked on) was called NBA Shoot Out in the US. Likewise for Korean etc. Developing an international version is where the cost is, including it in a separate build should not significantly increase costs.

I guess it’s a balancing act, definite lost sales from international users who won’t buy it due to the additional cost (there are 8 of us in the U.K. that I know of and likely a fair few more in the uk and the rest of the international territories) vs a small loss of a few US users who might take advantage of the discount. Especially when you consider that the app has been available to US users since June where they were offered a pre sale discount and were also able to take full advantage of the Blackpool discount as the US version was fully supported at that point in time.

Were there to be a pre sale discount offered to allow international users to purchase it under similar conditions to US buyers and Android buyers it is highly unlikely that any US buyers that jumped on were likely to buy it at full price considering that unlike international users it has been available to US buyers since last June and the US users only recently had the opportunity to buy it at the Blackpool price knowing that the US was already supported.

So lose a big chunk of international sales whilst not necessarily adding any US sales, or gain a bunch of international sales and possibly pick up a few US sales that you might not have got. Alienating a big chunk of your market does not reduce development costs or increase profits.

Mark


Mark, you’re just wrong. If the “international” version was just simple language changes in code you may have a point, but clearly you don’t have a clue what went into producing this version (how could you as you don’t own it?)

Furthermore, you’re acting as if purchasing it sooner somehow didn’t allow you perform it? It worked all along, many magicians in the UK have been doing it for months and just calling US numbers.

Since you seem to have the pulse of all the magicians in UK, I guess Jonathan Levit will just have to deal with the spectacular failure you seem to think this app will be at the current price. I get that you missed out on the discount, and now it makes it more than you’re willing to pay but maybe let the market decide what it’s worth and move on with your life?

I am not wrong at all but you do need to work on your reading comprehension a little. Developing the international version full stop is what costs the time and money, not having a separate build. I think having worked for several years at one of the most successful software houses in the world I have a very good understanding of what it takes to maintain multiple builds of the same item. In fact I would be very shocked if Jonathon is not already maintaining multiple builds offline.

The moment you develop the international build you’ve spent the money. FULL STOP!! Now if you were arguing against creating an international version in the first place then absolutely I would agree with you that it’s a cost and one has to decide whether there are enough potential international customers to warrant that cost. Spending the time, money and effort to make an international version then alienating the international customers to the point where they choose not to buy the app is simply bad business sense.

Since making my original comment I have had quite a few others confirm that whilst they were looking forward to it they will not buy it because they feel let down. Lost sales are already at around £1400 that I know of so you be sure the actual figure is higher than that. This for an international version that has already been created, money already spent, work already done.

As far as expecting it to be a spectacular failure again go back and work on that reading comprehension again, I think it is a great app and wish it every success but any way you slice it alienating a chunk of your market does not make good business sense and if you think that offering a limited time discount to a new market would lose money because new customers in your existing market might also take advantage you may need to look at your comprehension of business as well as your reading comprehension.

As far as some people in the U.K. were already using it because they were happy to have an audience generate a random number in the US well that’s fine but I would love to hear their audience talking after the show to see how many questioned why not call a UK number especially when the time of the show means that calling a US number would be bang out of order. For many of us that simply won’t fly especially not at £100. Ultimately I hope Jonathon sells enough international versions to make the effort he has put in worthwhile but there are a lot of us who simply won’t buy it because we were not given a level playing field to the US users and Android users.

Mark
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kcmagic1
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Mark, I am not understanding the argument here. You would spend a lot more than that on a prop that probably wouldn't get as good of a reaction as the Stranger. Magicians spend a lot more than the price of the Stranger on things that only last them a year or two. I get that you are upset over not receiving a discount, however, I didn't receive a discount either. At the time it was released, I didn't have IOS. By the time I bought an I phone to support it, the discount was gone and I paid full price. Business is business! That's the way it has been for centuries. It came down to the question of whether or not I will be able to use it in my show or not and how I felt the audience reactions would be if I did use it. To me, the reactions are well worth the price. Why create all of this hate because of a discount. You rarely receive discounts on other magic apparatus! Get over it and move on. If you don't want the trick or think it's not worth the full price then don't get it. It's as simple as that!
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ash2arani
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On Mar 1, 2020, tomd wrote:
Did you search for it more than once over the weekend or just a one time search? I spent maybe 5 hours debating whether to purchase that weekend... and for maybe 30 mins it wasn’t on either App Store when I searched it, so I decided not to pay at discount price. It came back and I panic bought it haha.


I searched multiple times. It is still not there. Seems the region has been excluded (accidentally) with the new update. I know it was there.

Either way, waiting for Android.
rasp
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Mark, you have hit the nail on the head.............. What was the point in spending additional costs to enable the app to function on an international basis, only to then alienate the international market you were pitching to?
Mark_Chandaue
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On Mar 2, 2020, kcmagic1 wrote:
Mark, I am not understanding the argument here. You would spend a lot more than that on a prop that probably wouldn't get as good of a reaction as the Stranger. Magicians spend a lot more than the price of the Stranger on things that only last them a year or two. I get that you are upset over not receiving a discount, however, I didn't receive a discount either. At the time it was released, I didn't have IOS. By the time I bought an I phone to support it, the discount was gone and I paid full price. Business is business! That's the way it has been for centuries. It came down to the question of whether or not I will be able to use it in my show or not and how I felt the audience reactions would be if I did use it. To me, the reactions are well worth the price. Why create all of this hate because of a discount. You rarely receive discounts on other magic apparatus! Get over it and move on. If you don't want the trick or think it's not worth the full price then don't get it. It's as simple as that!

Ken likewise I can spend a lot less on diverter which will get the same reactions. It’s not about cost, I am more than happy to spend premium on something that does what I need it to if I know that I can rely on it to do so. I have spent thousands on promystic/cesaral and on custom props.

The point I am making is that it is bad business to alienate a whole new market so that you don’t give your existing market an additional chance to get the discount. Now you not having IOS when the fully supported and discounted version was released is not the same thing as you not being offered a discount at all. Jonathon has absolutely no control over which phone you chose and when. However he does have control over the decision to offer a discount to US users and Android users but not to International users who already have to pay a far higher price than the US users.

What message do you think that sends out to international IOS users? If the priority is US and Android users do I really want to risk my money on something that may not work after the next IOS update and then have to wait for the US and Android versions to be fixed before the International features are fixed? Will the international users get left behind when new features are added to the US and Android versions? If International users are given lesser treatment to the other versions at the release stage then why would I expect any different when it comes to updates and new features?

Anyway I see no point in debating this with people who have no skin in the game. Jonathon can read my posts and decide whether the logic in them makes any sense or whether he disagrees with my points. It’s his app and his decision and he needs to do what is right for him. I will express my opinion and I have put my argument forward in a logical and respectful way. However whilst I will voice my opinion in a clear and logical way Jonathon is free to sell his app to whoever he wants in whatever way he wants. Nobody is automatically entitled to it and regardless of which way Jonathon goes and whether I get the app or not I will always wish Jonathon only success with the app.

Mark
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The Unmasked Magician
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Well said, Mark.
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about. (This applies to mentalists as well.)
jlevit
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, ash2arani wrote:
Interestingly enough, when the international version was announced (with ongoing Blackpool Discount), it was removed from the appstore of the country I am in. I am an Android user but thought to jump onboard on the iOS version until Android was released, suffice it to say that I could not (and discount is gone now) and so now I am back to waiting for Android.


Which country are you in?
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Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, kcmagic1 wrote:
Mark, I am not understanding the argument here. You would spend a lot more than that on a prop that probably wouldn't get as good of a reaction as the Stranger. Magicians spend a lot more than the price of the Stranger on things that only last them a year or two. I get that you are upset over not receiving a discount, however, I didn't receive a discount either. At the time it was released, I didn't have IOS. By the time I bought an I phone to support it, the discount was gone and I paid full price. Business is business! That's the way it has been for centuries. It came down to the question of whether or not I will be able to use it in my show or not and how I felt the audience reactions would be if I did use it. To me, the reactions are well worth the price. Why create all of this hate because of a discount. You rarely receive discounts on other magic apparatus! Get over it and move on. If you don't want the trick or think it's not worth the full price then don't get it. It's as simple as that!

Ken likewise I can spend a lot less on diverter which will get the same reactions. It’s not about cost, I am more than happy to spend premium on something that does what I need it to if I know that I can rely on it to do so. I have spent thousands on promystic/cesaral and on custom props.

The point I am making is that it is bad business to alienate a whole new market so that you don’t give your existing market an additional chance to get the discount. Now you not having IOS when the fully supported and discounted version was released is not the same thing as you not being offered a discount at all. Jonathon has absolutely no control over which phone you chose and when. However he does have control over the decision to offer a discount to US users and Android users but not to International users who already have to pay a far higher price than the US users.

What message do you think that sends out to international IOS users? If the priority is US and Android users do I really want to risk my money on something that may not work after the next IOS update and then have to wait for the US and Android versions to be fixed before the International features are fixed? Will the international users get left behind when new features are added to the US and Android versions? If International users are given lesser treatment to the other versions at the release stage then why would I expect any different when it comes to updates and new features?

Anyway I see no point in debating this with people who have no skin in the game. Jonathon can read my posts and decide whether the logic in them makes any sense or whether he disagrees with my points. It’s his app and his decision and he needs to do what is right for him. I will express my opinion and I have put my argument forward in a logical and respectful way. However whilst I will voice my opinion in a clear and logical way Jonathon is free to sell his app to whoever he wants in whatever way he wants. Nobody is automatically entitled to it and regardless of which way Jonathon goes and whether I get the app or not I will always wish Jonathon only success with the app.

Mark



Mark, thank you for your posts and thank you for your thought out arguments. I sincerely do appreciate everyone's feedback. I've had to make some difficult decisions and as I've said, I have tried to accommodate everyone or as many as I could. It does seem that there are some that have felt alienated or not taken care of. For that, I do apologize. Sincerely. I accept that this effect may not be right for everyone, or that some feel they do not want to support it or have it based on this experience. I wish you well, as well, Mark. I appreciate your words. Let's call this discussion closed and all move forward in a positive and productive way. We are all brothers and sisters in this art form and I like to think that I, and we, have no ill intentions toward anyone else. Again, my thanks to all!
Jonathan
ash2arani
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On Mar 2, 2020, jlevit wrote:

Which country are you in?


United Arab Emirates
jlevit
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On Mar 2, 2020, ash2arani wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, jlevit wrote:

Which country are you in?


United Arab Emirates


Thank you. Let me investigate what’s happening with the App Store.
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I won’t mix my words. I rarely do. The international version release has been nothing but a complete and utter cluster f@@@.

As the investors say in ‘The Dragons Den’ ...

I’m out.
The Unmasked Magician
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Don't be a stranger, Pegasus...
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about. (This applies to mentalists as well.)
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Is there going to be an app for android users?
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Glad to see the app finally available to Hong Kong, and it's my honor to meet Johnathan during Blackpool a few weeks ago.
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Convince yourself that you were wronged however you want. End of the day you had a choice to purchase it early and take the discount but also take on the risk. You choose to not take the risk and keep your money. No one forced you to make that decision. You have your own free will and exercised it so give it up man.

You are not paying any premium in the UK. There are exchange rates between pounds, euro's and dollars and the rate has never been 1.0, nor should it be, unless you one doesn't understand monetary policy.


Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
I must admit that I kind of agree with Rasp. Whilst I have absolute faith in Jonathan’s integrity it’s not a great situation in the UK as we automatically pay a premium because Apple do not realise that the exchange rate is not 1.0 so currently it cost $194 in the U.K. Whilst the advice when released was buy it now and have the international features later. At the sale price it was $127 which is a lot to spend on something you can’t use and as it turned out wouldn’t be useable for 8 months based on release in June 19 and international version being ready late Feb 2020. I was ready to pull the trigger at the Blackpool price but as I couldn’t get to Blackpool I sent Jonathon a message to confirm that the International features were imminent. Unfortunately that message wasn’t answered before the sale ended which is fair as Jonathan had to travel there and back and was busy on the stand. However I just don’t see myself buying this whilst the international users are getting hammered on the price in pounds vs dollars and not being able to take advantage of a similar discount the US users got (on top of the fact that it’s cheaper in the US to begin with.

I appreciate Jonathon wants to be fair to the existing US users as well as new users but unfortunately fair is not a possibility with Apple’s 1-1 ratio between pounds euro’s and dollars.

Mark
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Martin.Lester
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On Mar 2, 2020, Kaliix wrote:


You are not paying any premium in the UK. There are exchange rates between pounds, euro's and dollars and the rate has never been 1.0, nor should it be, unless you one doesn't understand monetary policy.


[/quote]

Well just to be clear in the UK we do pay a premium both with the poor exchange rate

Plus 20% VAT ( Tax that is added) to all transactions
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On Mar 3, 2020, Kaliix wrote:
Convince yourself that you were wronged however you want. End of the day you had a choice to purchase it early and take the discount but also take on the risk. You choose to not take the risk and keep your money. No one forced you to make that decision. You have your own free will and exercised it so give it up man.

You are not paying any premium in the UK. There are exchange rates between pounds, euro's and dollars and the rate has never been 1.0, nor should it be, unless you one doesn't understand monetary policy.

What an absolute load of complete bollox. Let’s not get into the fact that on release there was no guarantee of an international version. When it was released it was limited to North America. I am not even sure it was available in the UK App Store at that time. An international version was then promised but that was only just released just over a week ago so no we didn’t have the option to buy it we were told the international version was coming soon and it came 8 months later. it was also at the very least implied that there would be a similar pre sale discount for the international version that there was for the US and Android version so not only was it perfectly reasonable for international users to wait for a version that actually worked properly in their country it was sensible considering this is not a cheap app.

You clearly don’t understand monetary policy if you believe that $150 equates to £150. Apple apps generally cost the same in pounds as they do in dollars including this app. You are correct that the exchange rate has never been 1-1 and yet you seem to think that it isn’t a premium to have to pay £150 for a $150 app.

Let’s give you a brief lesson in monetary policy at current exchange rates $150 = £117 even if you add vat at 20% this only comes to £139. So at the barest minimum UK users are paying a premium of £11 or just under $15 but in real terms the price for the app in the U.K. is $192 vs $150 in the US and vs $99 that both US users and Android users paid when their versions were released.

I had absolutely no intention of continuing to debate this with people that have no skin in the game but I had to call BS on this post which was not only complete BS but was also completely unnecessary.

Mark
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Quote:
On Mar 3, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 3, 2020, Kaliix wrote:
Convince yourself that you were wronged however you want. End of the day you had a choice to purchase it early and take the discount but also take on the risk. You choose to not take the risk and keep your money. No one forced you to make that decision. You have your own free will and exercised it so give it up man.

You are not paying any premium in the UK. There are exchange rates between pounds, euro's and dollars and the rate has never been 1.0, nor should it be, unless you one doesn't understand monetary policy.

What an absolute load of complete bollox. Let’s not get into the fact that on release there was no guarantee of an international version. When it was released it was limited to North America. I am not even sure it was available in the UK App Store at that time. An international version was then promised but that was only just released just over a week ago so no we didn’t have the option to buy it we were told the international version was coming soon and it came 8 months later. it was also at the very least implied that there would be a similar pre sale discount for the international version that there was for the US and Android version so not only was it perfectly reasonable for international users to wait for a version that actually worked properly in their country it was sensible considering this is not a cheap app.

You clearly don’t understand monetary policy if you believe that $150 equates to £150. Apple apps generally cost the same in pounds as they do in dollars including this app. You are correct that the exchange rate has never been 1-1 and yet you seem to think that it isn’t a premium to have to pay £150 for a $150 app.

Let’s give you a brief lesson in monetary policy at current exchange rates $150 = £117 even if you add vat at 20% this only comes to £139. So at the barest minimum UK users are paying a premium of £11 or just under $15 but in real terms the price for the app in the U.K. is $192 vs $150 in the US and vs $99 that both US users and Android users paid when their versions were released.

I had absolutely no intention of continuing to debate this with people that have no skin in the game but I had to call BS on this post which was not only complete BS but was also completely unnecessary.

Mark



Exactly
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From chatting with UK friends and a few overseas European friends, I would think at the moment there is just short of £2500 worth of business waiting (at the discounted $99), none of whom will buy at the full rate because of the way they feel they have been treated waiting, in some cases over five months, for the international version. So, that's £2500 towards the cost of the work involved to make this app international........ What was the point. The majority registered to be notified by email about the release and did not receive anything.............. All that needed to happen, was to send an email (to those who registered) stating that the price would be reduced to $99 for the duration of the Blackpool convention and that the international version was imminent.
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