Subscription Pricing For Fantastical - Up 50%

It has often crossed my mind that Apple and Developers give little thought to the impact of the USD pricing in other jurisdictions. This was reinforced yesterday when I received an email via Apple Store saying my Fantastical subscriptions was going up from Australian $66 to $100! A micro second later I received another email that says the $100 was going to be charged that day. I supposed they meant 7 Sept in California, because I think I have been able to get in and cancel before I was charged.

When the marginal cost of an additional customer is close to zero I don’t get this charging. Of course we don’t have to pay this. So there’s one $100 bill staying in Australia and not going to California!


I thought Fantastical was expensive before – couldn’t imagine having the price increase again. I cancelled last time – just not nearly enough value there for me. I wonder if they will do the same for Canadians where I am.

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Interesting. Flexibits’ new $57 USD price should be about $90 AUD based on the exchange rate, right? So Apple’s automatically translating $57 to $100 USD using a 1.75 ratio? And this happens with other software, too?

If I were Flexibits I’d use territory-specific subscription changes to avoid both using that weird exchange rate and hitting that psychologically significant $100; it seems worth the time for the size of the Australian market.

This would be a nice Hemispheric Views topic (if it hasn’t been already!)


It’s nothing to do with Apple, even if you subscribe directly with Flexbits via their web site, it’s Au$99.99 a year v US$57 (converted to Au$89).

Flexibits is charging Australian customers an additional 12% in Australia.

I would guess that this is mainly due to the requirement for sales tax (GST at 10%) to be applied in Australia for Software-as-a-Service, where in many US states this isn’t the case as SaaS is exempt from state sales tax.

All that said, for the value I personally get out of Fantastical I soon stopped my subscription, I’ve checked back in a few times and just can’t justify $100 per year.

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Another good example is PocketCasts who recently seemed to have a total failure of market understanding with their new subscription price raise, that said understand it is their business to do with as they please.

Current annual pricing

AUD $70.27
USD $39.99

Based on current exchange rates, USD $39.99 should be AUD $ 62.58, so against the current UD pricing this is another 12% difference.

If I had to guess, 2% would be forex risk mitigation or currency costs, and 10% is Australian sales tax that doesn’t apply in many US states.

Whilst the numbers add up, as is discussed above it would make sense for companies to be aware of ridiculous exchange rate differences and be market aware of pricing in other countries. Else they are just pricing themselves out of good solid reliable and repeatable revenue.

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I left Fantastical early this year over this price increase, which was outrageous in euros (+67% if I remember correctly), switched to BusyCal both on iOS and the Mac, and to be honest, I never looked back. There’s nothing from Fantastical that I miss.


If I were paying for Fantastical myself, I would also cancel with the price increase. However, my company pays for the subscription, so I’ll keep using it as I use the proposals feature daily.

I’ve pondered this before, and it seems like the problem is even more pronounced for our Aussie brethren, given your comments. In the UK thanks to all our political shenanigans the last few years some subscription currency conversions just don’t make “sense” now (financially), due to exchange rates, our domestic economy, and what customers can actually bear.

I think there’s an interesting issue of purchasing power but I don’t think I’ve got my thinking straight on it yet. As an example, a $5/month increase might not mean much in parts of the U.S. Maybe it’s less than a big cup of coffee in Starbucks, and many folk have enough disposable income to absorb a few of these $5 charges. A straight currency conversion to £ would be £4, but we usually get a couple charges thrown in so let’s call it £5. In the UK with our economy as it is currently I can’t really buy much for £5, and generally speaking we all have a lot less disposable income than we did 2 years ago. A litre of petrol is £1.41 in my town this week (that’s $6.66/gallon). My household electric bill for this week is already at £7, and it’s only Friday morning (and I am way below the UK household average). I’m fine financially, so I can absorb a couple of these £5/month charges without concern, but my tolerance for them is probably a lot lower than they would be if I lived in the U.S. (or even France - I’m a dual citizen and their economy is doing better than the UK - my money would go further there).

None of this is a developer’s problem of course, but I do think savvy international sales should try and reflect the nuances of the most common nations of customers. Depending on the product, £3 or even £4 price increases in the UK are much easier to bear than £5.


Price in Euro did not change (so far)? (€69,99/year)

(I’m not subscribed; too expensive for my usage - I mostly use the grandfathered functionality only)

Fantastical costs:

Monthly (billed annually)
USA: 4.75 USD
UK: 5.00 GBP
Aus: 8.33 AUD

Converting that back to a USD baseline:
USA: 4.75 USD
UK: 6.24 USD (+31%)
Aus: 5.32 USD (+12%)

Looks like Australia is getting off lightly! Sales tax in the UK is 20% which explains some of the difference, but a huge difference.

(Prices taken from Flexibits website using a VPN to get different currencies. Exchange rates calculated using Google).

With this sort of thing it would be better if companies just charged in their local currency so the company gets their fee, and the customer takes the hit (or benefit) from the exchange rate.

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Wait, is this another increase in Fantastical pricing, following the one earlier this year? Are they trying to price everyone out except corporate users?

It’s the same one they announced late last year. People are receiving additional reminders as they approach their renewal dates (apparently too close to the renewal date in @Brisbane 's case.)

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That makes perfect sense–thank you. And then the $66 would’ve been something like $40 USD * 1.5, plus 10% and possibly the additional margin for currency slippage.

Agreed. I’m concerned about the number of expenses Americans readily take on, but such a huge number of us can do it compared to other major western or commonwealth nations’ markets.

Not as many as you might think:

“According to Bankrate’s Annual Emergency Fund Report, 68% of people are worried they wouldn’t be able to cover their living expenses for just one month if they lost their primary source of income. And when push comes to shove, the majority (57%) of U.S. adults are currently unable to afford a $1,000 emergency expense.” 1/25/23

Looks like most of us need to upgrade less and save more.


Looks like most of us need to upgrade less and save more.

Couldn’t agree more. Having said that, the world’s most smartest people are paid to keep motivating consumers to spend.

Regardless of what corporations say, they all just want to make more money. that includes Apple. I dont blame them. thats how they are structured.

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All I have to say is subscription costs are getting out of hand. And then they say it costs the price of a coffee…a coffee here, a coffee there, and here we are paying $50-100 worth of app subs. We all should try to use default apps or one-time payment apps. In some cases, it’s not possible (like music streaming - unless plex), not in other cases it is (default calendar, email apps, Reminders, etc)

My subscription runs out in December.

Before then - i.e. now - I’m going to see if I can wean myself off it.

I am very happy to pay for subscriptions, and for my business, it’s not that much, but it just doesn’t feel as useful or as valuable as it’s meant to be.


  • I think the meeter app (which is free, though I’d be happy to pay $5 for it) gives me my menu bar “what’s next”.
  • And does a good enough job.

Fantastical feels like it’s overkill, for me:

  • I’ve tried fantastical’s openings feature and … honestly … it just confused me. So I probably don’t need that.
  • I’ve also to use cardhop … but I find it’s user interface promising … but confusing.

Maybe I’m just easily confused!

Hi Clarke - I never responded to your comment about me being in NZ - so hi now :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve found Cardhop quite handy recently when I’ve been adding a pile of new contacts because of a new client (I’m replacing somebody who was previously in-house so I work with lots of their people). Cardhop isn’t fancy in any useful way, it’s just way faster and more reliable than When I start adding a new contact it doesn’t just kick me back randomly to the contacts list, which makes a slightly nicer experience to say the least. But because it seems to be inserting the contacts into the native address book it means those contacts can be emailed immediately from without having to wait for a sync.

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I don’t like the coffee comparison :slight_smile: … for me a coffee at home costs about 0,20 EUR and at work it is free… it seems like those app devs go out for their coffee at expensive places to justify the app sub prices. :smiley:


Great suggestion! I definitely have thoughts on this, as I gave up my Fantastical subscription for the same reason, and am thinking about others.

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