The success of the App Store can be attributed to both developers and Apple. While developers gathered in the App Store with high-quality apps and games, Apple has been doing its part of the job for years, carefully checking the quality of submitted requests and ensuring that all rules and regulations are followed. Success means the App Store has become a big money cow for Apple in recent years, further fueled by pandemics and quarantine around the world.
Despite the App Store recording record revenue every quarter, Apple has done nothing to give back to developers. Instead, it used its position to thwart competitors and boost its own applications and services. In many ways, Apple seemed to be trying to make as much money as possible from the App Store, regardless of developers and ecosystem.
The App Store itself has become too big, raising concerns about Apple’s strict control over it. No wonder trade has been under intense control by regulators around the world.
Apple has done very little to solve the App Store problem
By mid-August, Apple had done a minimum to solve the problems related to the App Store. The most important action is to reduce the App Store commission from 30 percent to 15 percent for small developers. In recent weeks, however, Apple has announced a bunch of changes to the App Store regulations to resolve lawsuits and close regulatory investigations.
First, South Korea has passed a law that will force Apple and Google to allow alternative payment systems in their respective app stores. The draft law has yet to be turned into law, but it is only a matter of time before that happens. This law will set a precedent that could be followed by other countries investigating Apple for unfair App Store practices.
Apple then announced a series of changes to the App Store, including allowing developers to contact their customers directly and notify them of alternative payment systems, all to resolve a lawsuit filed by small U.S. developers.
Additionally, the company will even create a $ 100 million fund for distribution among small U.S. developers as part of the lawsuit resolution process. However, it seemed that because of these changes, Apple did the minimum to solve the problem.
Then, in order to conclude another study by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), Apple announced that it would allow “reader” applications such as Netflix, Kindle, etc. To redirect users to sign up for services outside the App Store.
The biggest blow came late last week when in Apple’s trial against Epic, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Apple could not force developers to use its proprietary payment system for IAPs. Instead, developers could direct users to any third-party payment system on their device.
The order issued by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ court will take effect in 90 days, unless the higher court orders otherwise. This is a big deal because Apple tends to charge developers between 15-30 percent of the fee for any IAP transaction. By using a third-party payment system, developers could completely circumvent this fee.
Apple won the trial against Epic, but lost a lot in the process
Apple may have won the trial against Epic, but it will lose the most from this verdict. Yes, Epic will appeal the verdict, but it’s only a matter of time before Apple — willingly or forcibly — allows apps and services on the App Store to use third-party payment systems for IAPs.
These changes and judgments will effectively change the App Store forever. The changes could take some time to take effect, and Apple is doing everything in its power to resist and block them. But regulators and governments around the world have realized how tightly Apple controls the App Store for its own benefit.
There are always two sides to the coin. Apple allowing third-party payment systems in the App Store can lead to an increase in fraudulent transactions, card theft, and more. However, it will also give developers more freedom, such as Netflix, Spotify, etc. To equalize the competition with Apple.
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