In-App Purchases

Types of In-App Purchases
There are four different types of In-App Purchases:

  1. non-replenishable
  2. replenishable
  3. subscriptions
  4. auto-renewing subscriptions
    • In-App Purchase require iOS 3.0 or later
    • In-App Purchase can be offered in both free and paid apps—no free In-App Purchases are available.
    • Gifting an In-App Purchase is not available
    • If an app offers In-App Purchases, the app description page may include descriptions of available In-App Purchases as well as a list of Top In-App Purchases1:

Example of Top In-App Purchases

Example of description page for In-App Purchases

App developers maintain the app description pages; some app description pages may not match exactly with current offerings.

Non-replenishable In-App Purchases are items that only require you to purchase them once, and can be transferred to multiple devices authorized with the same iTunes Store account.

  • Bonus game levels
  • City guide maps

Replenishable In-App Purchases are items that have to be purchased every time and cannot be downloaded again for free.

  • Extra health
  • Extra experience points

Subscriptions are one-time services that must be purchased again once the subscription period expires.

  • One-month subscriptions
  • Location service subscriptions

Auto-Renewing Subscriptions are services that can be purchased with different renewing subscription durations.  

  • Weekly newspaper subscriptions
  • Weekly magazine subscriptions

For information on auto-renewing subscriptions see this article.

Buying an In-App Purchase

In-App Purchases can only be made from within an app. When you make an In-App Purchase, you will see a dialog with the item’s name and cost for the in app purchase. You must tap Buy in order to proceed with your purchase. Once you tapBuy, you’ll be required to enter your iTunes Store account password.
Note: Every time you make an In-App Purchase using iOS 4.3 or later, you will be asked to confirm your purchase by tapping Buy. If it has been less than 15 minutes since your last In-App purchase, you will not be required to type in your account password again. You can also enable Restrictions on your iOS device to restrict purchasing of In-App Purchase content.


Redownloading an In-App Purchase

If you lose your In-App Purchases because apps were accidentally deleted, or if you had to restore your device without a backup, you may be able to download some of your in app purchases again for free. Not all In-App Purchases are eligible for free download again.

  • Replenishable In-App Purchases and subscriptions cannot be downloaded again for free, and must be repurchased. Examples include but are not limited to: extra ammo, additional health, extra experience points, or other one-time services.
  • Non-replenishable In-App Purchases and auto-renewing subscriptions can be downloaded again for free. Examples include: bonus game levels, a map/city guide, a daily news subscription, or other recurring services.
  • To download an In-App Purchase again, you must download it from within the installed app using the same iTunes Store account name for the original In-App Purchase.

Transferring an In-App Purchase

Subscriptions and replenishable In-App Purchase cannot be transferred or synced to another iOS device. Non-replenishable In-App Purchases  and auto-renewing subscriptions can be transferred to another iOS device authorized with your iTunes Store account. For example, if you transfer a game from an iPhone to an iPod touch, only the game levels will sync over, the extra ammo and experience points will not be transferred.