Urban Airship, the Portland, Oregon-based iPhone infrastructure service provider, just announced that it is offering in-app purchase provisioning for iPhone apps. The company says customers can implement the service in four minutes and will be charged 5 cents per transaction. The service also enables delivery of free content to app users for the same cost.
Urban Airship's primary product prior to now has been push notification provisioning. The company says that both push and in-app sales are complicated enough to warrant outsourcing to specialists like them. We've written about the company's vision at launch and its dramatic success on iPhone OS 3.0 launch day.
As we wrote early this summer:
Push notifications, like when Tapulous now tells users who don't have the app running that they've been challenged to a music playing match by a friend, are something developers believe will increase ongoing engagement long after the initial download of an app. In-app sales will help monetize that engagement, something developers have found challenging after an initial flurry of sales, once they are lost in a sea of options in the app store and no longer making money sitting beside countless other apps on people's phones.