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Is Apple's GarageBand app about to go freemium?

apps Updated: Oct 22, 2013 13:55 IST

According to an Apple website update -- which has since been removed -- the company's popular music creation and sound editing app is set to become a free download.

Instead of buying the app, revenue would be generated via in-app purchases as users pay to download and use different instruments or sounds.

The text announcing the change -- until now GarageBand was sold for $4.99 -- appeared on the Apple website over the weekend and said: "GarageBand is free on the App Store for all iOS 7 compatible devices; additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available with an in-app purchase." It has since been removed (but not before MacRumors spotted it), yet it is expected to make a swift reappearance following Apple's event on Tuesday.

The latest research from Flurry Analytics shows that in terms of apps, the tide is turning and 90 % of titles are now free to download with revenues coming from other sources such as advertising, in-app purchase or merchandising (as in the case of Angry Birds).

And as the number of apps continues to grow -- there are over 1 million on Google Play and over 900,000 on Apple's app store -- getting consumers to take a chance on a new title is easier if no up-front cost is involved.

As well as GarageBand, Apple has already announced that its iWork productivity apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- are going from paid for to free as are iPhoto and iMovie for owners of new iPhones and iPads.

The latest desktop version of all of those apps are already offered free of charge on the company's PC range.

As well as the move from premium to freemium apps, Apple is also rumored to be returning to the device accessory market. As well as its recently launched range of iPhone 5C covers, the company is also reported to be developing a range of 'smart' covers for the next-generation iPad which, as well as screen protection, is set to feature built-in keyboards.