iPhone app promo codes trickle out

Apple gives developers the green light to distribute a small number of promotional codes for iPhone apps, allowing some users to try them out for free.

iPhone 3G

On Tuesday, the first promotional codes that will make iPhone apps free to some users began trickling out of the App Store.

Apple is finally bequeathing apps developers with a way to let some media testers review an app at no expense and reward or attract a few lucky users. (The first invite has already floated into my in-box.)

This is Apple, so there are limits. Fifty promotional codes per product, to be exact.

Also, as wonderful as it is to see the passcodes allowed and implemented, they are not free trials. Developers angling to hook new customers will still need to lure them with free, light versions of the software or the less popular approach of offering an app free for a limited time and then ratcheting up the cost when the window closes.

Still, we're happy to finally see some leeway for developers, who will also get a reprieve from issuing gift certificates that often lose them money as a workaround for letting select reviewers evaluate apps for free.

(Via MacRumors)

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.