Smile announced Tuesday lower subscription prices for TextExpander 6, including the decision to extend half price subscriptions for those upgrading to a lifetime discount. The move comes in the wake of a fierce outcry from customers and pundits after announcing that TextExpander 6 would be subscription-only.
New pricing for TextExpander 6 is $4.16 per month if billed monthly, or $39.96, if billed annually (that's $3.33 per month). This compares to $4.95 per month/$47.52 per year at launch.
That not only makes the half-off upgrade pricing just under $20 per year for those upgrading, Smile extended that offer to become a lifetime discount. Going further, Smile is allowing customers to get that upgrade pricing when upgrading from any version of TextExpander in the past, not just the most recent version.
As part of the company's different thinking on the subject, Smile has also brought back TextExpander 5 for OS X and TextExpander 3 + Custom Keyboard for iOS, both of which are available for one-time purchases through the App Store.
The hue and cry in the echo chamber when Smile launched TextExpander 6 was loud and almost universally negative. Our own Dave Hamilton took a far more nuanced approach, embracing the improvements that could be made possible by subscription income.
Smile has always been a very customer-focused company. I've been interacting with Smile for many years and have made no bones about being a fan. It's possible this move still won't make everyone happy, but I applaud it.
The repositioned subscription pricing should be much more palatable to new customers (who theoretically wouldn't be comparing it to anything anyway). More importantly, the lifetime discount to any customer of any prior version is a huge effort to recognize those customers who have helped make Smile what it is.
In my book, $20 a year for TextExpander is a no-brainer, especially for those who already rely on it. $39.96 a year is less of a no-brainer, but new customers can try it for free and make their own informed choice.
In one move, Smile eliminated almost all cause for its existing customers to be disgruntled and positioned TextExpander for the future, too. That's a solid effort.
[Update: Title changed from "Drops" to "Lowers" to avoid confusion. - Editor]