Jun 18, 2020 News
Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world, and is also one of the most popular. What started as a small computer company, is now a gigantic firm with its branches reaching everywhere. The fact that Apple’s App Store is the only direct competitor to Google Play Store, and is such a big player in the game, means that it can control how applications operate on its app store, and make the rules for them as well. Even though you have Google Play Store as the other big app store in the market, it won’t work on Apple devices, and if developers want their apps to work on iPhones and iPads, the App Store is the only way to go for them. Using this situation, Apple is reportedly charging hefty fees from manufacturers from even their in-app purchases.
Epic Games has been the latest company to take a hit at Apple about their treatment of app developers, and how they exploit them to make as much extra profit as they can. Epic Games reported that Apple has been taking upto 30% of the in-app purchases that users make inside the company’s much popular game Fortnite. Fortnite has an in-game currency known as V-bucks, which users can buy from real money to get new skins and whatnot. These purchases are not being regulated properly by Apple, as they seem to be keeping almost 1/3rd of the revenue generated by such streams with themselves. Tinder’s parent company also joined the discussion, as they said the same was happening to them as well, with Apple not distributing these in-app purchases sincerely. Tinder, the well-known dating app, also has several in-app purchases built-in, where users can spend money to get extra features.
These companies weren’t looking to cause a dispute with Apple however, as they just want what’s rightfully theirs. The companies also added that they’re open to any sort of discussion with Apple in terms of how to distribute the percentage of the revenue that Apple gets, and make the situation more just for these developers. Apple responded by saying that it doesn’t want to cater to those who want a “free-ride” and that they want to keep the playing field level for everyone.
I had to remove content that I offered for free and put it behind the paywall ... Apple would never confirm if those changes would suffice, but I did it and the app was not removed. Months pass in this limbo.— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) June 16, 2020
Then, Daily Dictionary was featured as App of the Day in February.
However, that’s where the issue stands, as Apple doesn’t have a level playing field for everyone. According to reports, Apple doesn’t charge anything from several developers, like ride-sharing apps, Airbnb and even Amazon Prime Video. On the other side of the see-saw, Apple is taking 30% of in-app revenue from other apps, tinkering with some to promote its own apps such as Apple Music and a lot more.
Another app developer Benjamin Mayo, who has a popular mail service app known as Hey, tweeted that Apple basically “threatened” him to include in-app purchases and have more paid content inside his app if he wanted his app to stay on the App Store. He goes on to say that he had to put on a paywall on stuff he previously offered for free inside the app, and that’s probably the reason his app still remains on the App Store.
We don’t know why Apple is trying to blemish its image by mistreating app developers on its platform. Apple is against all these claims made against it, and has put the blame back on the developers - which clearly isn’t a good idea. Now time will tell how this situation progresses further into the future.