Memory Map on the iPhone – continued..

Although I’ve made a couple of approaches to Memory Map now to try and get some sort of discount for existing and loyal customers of the product – for the iPhone app, I’ve been told that there are no plans to discount the product and the senior members of the sales team feel that £20 is a fair price to pay for people who have already spent hundreds of pounds on the maps for the PC version of the product.

Well it appears that they’ve had a change of heart – they now do a free version of the Memory Map software for the iPhone! Yes, great news you’d think! When you read the details though it becomes clear what’s going on. The free version only allows you to download maps from the Digital Map Store – their online map shop – where you can purchase and then download new maps to the iPhone directly. There is no connectivity to a PC for map transfer and existing users will not be able to take advantage of the maps they already own.

What a kick in the teeth that is for loyal customers!

However, the current satisfaction rating for this app is dreadful, but that could be down to people not realising it doesn’t come with any mapping – you have to go to the map store and buy it.

Current satisfaction rating for the free version of the app

The app seems to be selling well though, despite the price – it’s currently 5th in the “Top Grossing” apps list, so perhaps the £20 price tag isn’t enough to put many people off. It’s hard to tell exactly how many sales have been made from this, but probably not an insubstantial number.

The quality of the app remains in some doubt however – the marmite effect I described in a previous post is still visible, with almost as many 5 star reviews as 1 stars.

Current satisfaction rating for the paid for app.

The Memory Map support forum is now closed to all debate on the price of the app and the question I raised of customer loyalty on that site. Members posting comments about the price point or positioning of the app within the market are now threatened with deletion of the post and a warning on their behaviour. The reason given sounds reasonable – that it’s a support site – but even so it’s the only forum people have to openly discuss their concerns and annoyance at the marketing strategy of the product – so a legitimate avenue you’d think.

My opinion has not changed – it’s still way too expensive for me to pay for – at the end of the day it would only ever be a “nice to have” app – I would never rely on it on the hills – the GPS in the iPhone is too flaky and too dependent on a mobile signal for it’s initial lock etc – so I’ll stick with the much superior AND COMPLETELY FREE Windows Mobile app for my iPaq.

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