Wolfram Alpha iPhone: Useful, Ludicrously Expensive

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Wolfram Alpha, which is essentially an attempt to build a kind of collective knowledge engine, instead of a search engine, has launched its own iPhone app, with the only downside being that the app itself is fully $49.99.

wolfram alpha logo

As the folks at Wolfram Alpha have been fairly quick to point out, their service does offer the same kind of functionality as a graphing calculator, for around half the price. Indeed, their app is significantly more versatile than the calculator, but that’s beside the point; the point is that there are very few apps on the iPhone and iPod Touch App Store that people are willing to spend more than a few euro on.

Naturally, the world and its mother have had some choice words for Wolfram Alpha and its iPhone app, but TechCrunch has basically put it most succinctly when it said, “It’s no secret that most apps that sell well tend to be cheaper – as in, free of $0.99.”

The big question for now is just how well Wolfram Alpha will do. It may be the case that the team simply decides to knock the price down to closer to that 99 cent mark and see if it can make up enough numbers to equal what it was making already, certainly that seems the most likely course.

Otherwise it’s likely we’ll see the Wolfram alpha app enter the infamous company of other iPhone Apps (including TomTom’s GPS app) that people have, for one reason or another, evaluated as not worth anything like the asking price.

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