The Rallying Cry Against Apple’s App Store Policies is Getting Louder
Sep 25 2020
In the past it has rebutted complaints from Spotify and Epic Games by saying they want to reap the benefits of the App Store's ecosystem without contributing financially. This differs from Apple's policies in regards to Macs, because you can install apps outside of the Mac App Store. The CAF cites a CNBC article that reportsApple made $US15 ($21) billion in revenue in 2019 just from its 30% commission, arguing that it takes too much money from app developers. Epic is backing the new coalition along with Spotify, online dating app maker Match Group, and other members including Tile, Basecamp, ProtonMail and European media industry associations. Recently, American developer, Blix, wrote to EU Antitrust Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, saying that there is unfair competition in the Apple App Store.
Scrutiny of the largest tech companies has reached a new intensity. Its rules around in-app purchases have also led to a customer experience where making purchases inside an app are as simple as pressing down your thumb or clicking a button, then looking at your phone to complete a transaction.
Each of these developers has tangled with Apple individually over its in-app payment policy.
Spotify has also been a long-time critic of Apple's policies, especially the 30% tax, since that portion of all its monthly subscriptions goes to Apple.
The coalition has 13 founding members.
Image Coalition for app fairness
App developers including Spotify, Epic Games, and Match Group have banded together to create a non-profit called the Coalition for App Fairness.
The Coalition has also laid down 10 App Store Principles it sees as crucial for the App Store to become fairer towards developers.
In addition to its long-standing abuses, Apple has conspicuously moved to make its App Store policies even less accommodating to app developers in the past several months.
A spokeswoman for the new coalition told The Wall Street Journal that the group was first convened last month, although she asserted this wasn't in response to the Epic Games lawsuit. App makers who feel similarly oppressed by Apple's practices are able to fill out a form to request to join. These include not requiring developers to use one app store exclusively, giving them access to the same interfaces and info as the app store owners give its own developers, and forbidding app store owners from preferencing their own apps and services. Instead, it tends to brief press on background when its rules change (or it say, launches new websites...), instead of issuing public statements, writing blog posts, or issuing press releases.