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iPad can maintain higher app pricing EA Mobile

Consumers will expect higher production values than on iPhone, says publisher

The high entry price for Apple's iPad, coupled with the ability to produce richer, more creative software for the new handheld tablet, will help maintain a higher sales price for games in Apple's App Store.

That's according to EA Mobile's vice president of publishing Luca Pagano, who told GamesIndustry.biz that he hopes prices for iPad apps won't drop as dramatically as those on the iPhone did after launch.

"In a way the iPad will be less crowded on the marketplace compared to the iPhone," he said "The production values expected will be higher from consumers and I don't think there will be as much downward pressure on prices of apps for the iPad."

EA Mobile has released five titles for the iPad in the US, with two Need for Speed Shift and Scrabble in the top ten grossing apps since launch.

Need for Speed Shift sells for $14.99 in the US and goes live in the UK today for 7.49, while Scrabble sells for $9.99 and 5.99.

"It's very early days but I would expect an even more niche and premium audience," said Pagano of the iPad consumer. "Definitely people with a high disposable income, especially those that have the device in the beginning.

"I believe that with the right level of content, with the right level of quality and with the right brands people will always be prepared to pay a higher price."

Pagano added that although they both share similar technology, it's important to treat the iPad as a completely different device compared to the iPhone, and play to its strengths which in turn will help differentiate it from the other Apple handhelds.

"Because it's a unique device you need to develop games in a way that take advantage of its specific features and bare in mind certain aspects like its size and its weight," he said. "The accelerometer for example is very powerful for the device but it may not necessarily deliver the same kind of gaming experience that you have on the iPhone.

"It would be a shame not to develop games specifically for the iPad and games that are optimised for the iPad."

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