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Apple today announced plans to make several changes to the App Store in order to settle a class-action lawsuit that was brought against Apple by developers in the United States.

app-store-blue-banner.jpg

Under the terms of the deal, Apple will let developers use communication methods like email to tell customers about payment methods available outside of iOS apps, and it will expand the price points that developers can offer for apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. Apple also plans to create a $100 million "fund" for small developers as part of the settlement, and it will release annual transparency reports on the app review process.

Apple says that the settlement will make the App Store an "even better business opportunity for developers" while maintaining the safety of the App Store.
"From the beginning, the App Store has been an economic miracle; it is the safest and most trusted place for users to get apps, and an incredible business opportunity for developers to innovate, thrive, and grow," said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow who oversees the App Store. "We would like to thank the developers who worked with us to reach these agreements in support of the goals of the App Store and to the benefit of all of our users."
To establish a settlement, Apple and the developers involved in the lawsuit have come to an agreement that "identifies seven key priorities shared by Apple and small developers." Apple will implement the following measures, as outlined in court papers:
  • Apple will maintain the App Store Small Business Program in its current structure for the next three years. Businesses earning less than $1 million annually will continue to pay a reduced 15 percent commission, while developers earning over that target will pay the standard 30 percent commission.
  • App Store search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics like downloads, star ratings, text relevance, and user behavior signals. Apple will maintain the current App Store search system for at least three years.
  • Apple will allow developers to use communications like email to share information about payment methods available outside of their iOS apps. Developers will not pay Apple a commission on purchases taking place outside of the app or the App Store. Users must consent to the communication and can opt out.
  • Apple will expand the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions, in-app purchases, and paid apps from fewer than 100 to more than 500. Developers had complained about the $0.99 minimum price available in the App Store and the inability to offer price points not ending in $0.99, so that may change.
  • Apple will maintain the option for developers to appeal the rejection of an app based on perceived unfair treatment. Apple will add content to the App Review website to help developers better understand the appeals process.
  • Apple will create an annual transparency report based on App Store data, which will provide meaningful statistics about the app review process, including the number of apps rejected for different reasons, the number of customer and developer accounts deactivated, objective data regarding search queries and results, and the number of apps removed from the App Store.
  • Apple is paying $100 million to developers to settle the lawsuit, and the money is being distributed as part of a "Small Developer Assistance Fund." Developers can claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic App Store participation. Eligible developers must have earned $1 million or less through the U.S. storefront for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021, a figure that encompasses 99 percent of U.S. developers. More information will be provided at a later date, and there is a settlement website, but it is not yet working.

The class-action lawsuit dates back to 2019 when a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its App Store monopoly to impose "profit-killing" commissions. The lawsuit took issue with Apple's 30 percent cut of App Store sales, and was largely addressed with the late 2020 announcement of the App Store Small Business Program that cut the commission that small developers have to pay to 15 percent.

The developers who filed the lawsuit were also unhappy with Apple's minimum $0.99 purchase price for apps and in-app purchases, and they took issue with the $99 Apple Developer fee.

Apple will be implementing these changes pending approval from Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case. Rogers is also handling the ongoing Epic v. Apple lawsuit.






Article Link: Apple Pays $100 Million to Settle Developer Lawsuit and Agrees to Multiple App Store Changes
 
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TheYayAreaLiving

macrumors demi-goddess
Jun 18, 2013
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Just be fair, Apple. Let developers earn their paycheck what they really deserve.

Slow progress! But moving towards a right direction.

Bloomberg: The goat, Mark Gurman posted the article about this.

 
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cmaier

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“"From the beginning, the App Store has been an economic miracle”

It’s been an economic miracle for Apple; not for most developers.

Not every developer deserves to get rich. I made a ton of money selling apps on the App Store, and am thankful to Apple for giving me the opportunity - without their app distribution, ecosystem, sdks, etc., I wouldn’t have made a dime.
 

TheYayAreaLiving

macrumors demi-goddess
Jun 18, 2013
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Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Sigh.

Exactly how is apple denying developers their paycheck? Do you mind if I set up a store and sell waffles on your front lawn? Or if I did that do you think you should maybe get a cut of the action?
Never said they are denying developers their paychecks. I just want Apple App Store to be fair and treat the developers with what they earn.

No friend! I wouldn’t mind you selling waffles on my front lawn. Heck! You can even use my backyard. However just make sure u give me my cut at the end of the day with the fair amount.

Also, if you do make more money by selling waffles… make sure u give me the fair cut.
 
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falainber

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Mar 16, 2016
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Sounds like Apple really didn’t agree to do much new here.
Indeed. But they have not settled anything. It's just a proposal. They want to get away with cosmetic changes. We'll see if it works. Sounds unlikely. Besides there is already a proposal in congress to mandate alternative app stores. If this one makes it into the law, whatever Apple is proposing is going to be irrelevant.
 

cmaier

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Never said they are denying developers their paychecks. I just want Apple App Store to be fair and treat the developers with what they earn.

No friend! I wouldn’t mind you selling waffles on my front lawn. Heck! You can even use my backyard. However just make sure u give me my cut at the end of the day with the fair amount.

When you say you just want them to be fair, you are implying they are not. So how are they not fair?
 

falainber

macrumors 68030
Mar 16, 2016
2,712
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Wild West
Sigh.

Exactly how is apple denying developers their paycheck? Do you mind if I set up a store and sell waffles on your front lawn? Or if I did that do you think you should maybe get a cut of the action?
Flawed analogy. The lawn (the phone) does not belong to Apple. It belongs to a phone owner. It's the phone owner who needs to agree to install and app or an alternative app store. It should not have anything to do with Apple.
 

TheYayAreaLiving

macrumors demi-goddess
Jun 18, 2013
11,858
37,134
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
When you say you just want them to be fair, you are implying they are not. So how are they not fair?
I was referring to unfair App laws and fee’s


 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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They knew what they was signing up from the start.

exactly. iOS is the best platform to target for developers because ios users actually spend money.

Why? Because the sdks allow developers to create great apps, and because apple makes it easy to avoid getting ripped off. When you buy an app it doesn’t automatically sign you up for email spam. If you subscribe, you can easily cancel your subscription from one place, without having to call a telephone and escalate through three levels of “customer service” who are paid to prevent you from cancelling. And even though there are exceptions, when you buy an app on the App Store you are much less likely to be downloading a scam app than from other app stores. All this means that customers are much more willing to spend their money. It’s perfectly fair for Apple to demand a cut of sales in exchange for access to these customers.
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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I was referring to unfair App laws and fee’s



They aren’t “laws,” and they aren’t “unfair.”
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,936
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The developers who filed the lawsuit were also unhappy with Apple's minimum $0.99 purchase price for apps and in-app purchases

So wait... do developers think 99 cents for an app or IAP is too high?

Are developers really itching to sell stuff for 49 cents?

Or do they want the minimum price raised?

and they took issue with the $99 Apple Developer fee.

Again... do they think the Developer Fee is too high?

You get a TREMENDOUS amount of value for your $99 yearly fee.

You're getting all the development tools, API access, testing capabilities, storage, e-commerce, worldwide tax calculations, cloud capabilities, etc. It allows anyone to create and sell apps to a billion potential users.

Read more here...

I'm struggling to think of a situation where the $99/year Developer Fee is a barrier to entry.
 
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farewelwilliams

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Jun 18, 2014
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"From the beginning, the App Store has been an economic miracle”

It’s been an economic miracle for Apple; not for most developers.

there are 20 million registered app store developers.

assuming $1 million would be an "economic miracle" for a single developer, the App store would have to be at least a $10-$20 trillion business for "most developers" to be part of this "economic miracle".
 
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