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Apple last week announced the launch of a new App Store Small Business Program that will see the company lowering its App Store fees for small business owners and independent developers. On January 1, 2021, all developers who earn less than $1 million from the App Store will pay a 15 percent commission to Apple instead of the standard 30 percent.

app-store-15-percent-feature.jpg

Apple today shared a press release that has a long list of quotes from app developers who are pleased with the changes. Apple has said that the new App Store Small Business Program will benefit the "vast majority" of developers, providing them with more revenue to grow their teams and improve their apps.

From Christian Selig, developer of the Apollo app for Reddit:
"This made my morning. This will legitimately help so much. It'll make decisions like hiring on extra help, or acquiring better gear, going to conferences, doing more advertising, etc., much easier to justify, and it really means a lot to me that Apple is doing such an awesome thing! It's going to help my business a ton."
From Curtis Herbert, developer of Slopes Ski & Snowboard:
"I was very excited to wake up to the news. This translates to a 21 percent increase in revenue for us, which is huge. It lowers the bar for new developers trying to start a business. As COVID has hit many of us hard this year, this is a much-needed break that will help many of us weather the storm."
The quotes from Apple heap praise on the App Store fee drop, but some developers who earn more than $1 million from the App Store have been less pleased.

Spotify said that Apple's fee change demonstrates that "App Store policies are arbitrary and capricious," while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple is "gerrymandering the community with a patchwork of special deals" with the program.

Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, known for his outspokenness over the "Hey" email app controversy, said that "Machiavelli would be proud" and that Apple was attempting to "paint any developer making more than $1m as greedy."

All app developers who earned under $1 million in 2020 qualify to join the program and get the reduced 15 percent commission rate, as do developers who are new to the App Store. Apple's reduced commission applies to paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.

The fee changes don't benefit major companies like Epic Games and Spotify that have railed against Apple's App Store pricing, but it does provide relief for smaller app developers who have been struggling during the global health crisis.

Article Link: Apple Shares Praise From Developers Happy With 15% App Store Fee Cut
 
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Wiesenlooser

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2010
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This is a genius move by them. Only cutting to 15% for small developers. Essentially now it is just large corporates like Epic vs Apple, which is a morally much harder case who to side with in the public eye, alleviating pressure from them regarding regulatory intervention.

Part of why so many people sided with Epic was not because they liked Epic, but because of the feeling like Apple was nickle and dim-ing even small developer who just want to make a living.

Meanwhile, they are not losing that much revenue.
 
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progx

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2003
280
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Pennsylvania
While Apple isn't close to Epic's store rate, I think helping out the smaller companies is good win in this situation.

Of course, Epic will bellyache since it isn't helping them. They think Apple should be paying them, along with other software makers, they believe people are buying iPhones and iPad because of them. Yeah, I buy an iPhone just to play Fortnite and use ProtonMail 😑
 
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max2

macrumors 601
May 31, 2015
4,421
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In my opinion prices won't get any cheaper though. They will take the extra profit.
 

scuac

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2008
161
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Curious now what the justification will be to keep the 30% for larger companies? I thought the argument was that it was necessary to cover the costs of hosting/distributing/curating the app store content. How is that suddenly cheaper for smaller developers only?

It may seem like a smart move by Apple but I can see it backfire spectacularly with regulators.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68020
Jul 28, 2012
2,264
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This is a great move on Apple's part. A lot of positive sentiment from the dev community and more ammunition for their court battle against Epic and Spotify. The minor hit on profits won't amount to much, especially when you consider the extra cash might be even spent on more/better Apple hardware.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
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On January 1, 2021, all developers who earn less than $1 million from the App Store will pay a 15 percent commission to Apple instead of the standard 30 percent.
Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
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Spotify said that Apple's fee change demonstrates that "App Store policies are arbitrary and capricious," while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple is "gerrymandering the community with a patchwork of special deals" with the program.
The term "gerrymandering" makes absolutely no sense here. Sweeney has just had another epic failure in logic and rational thought.
 

breather

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2011
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Sweden
Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
Well that was then, this is know.
 

vipergts2207

macrumors 68030
Apr 7, 2009
2,635
5,530
Columbus, OH
Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.

I believe it’s only 30% on the sales over $1M. The first $1M is still only 15%.
 

WiseAJ

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2009
937
2,901
PDX
Curious now what the justification will be to keep the 30% for larger companies? I thought the argument was that it was necessary to cover the costs of hosting/distributing/curating the app store content. How is that suddenly cheaper for smaller developers only?

It may seem like a smart move by Apple but I can see it backfire spectacularly with regulators.
Why do they have to justify anything?

It’s Apple’s service. They get to choose what fees they charge or don’t charge.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,292
4,292
Since Epic made this case for the smaller guy, will they now lower their store percentage to match Apple for smaller game developers? 😆

Epic would need to raise their rate if they were to match Apple's 15 percent rate. Epic only charges 12 percent.

From their FAQ:
What’s the catch? Is this 88% revenue share a special introductory rate?

There is no catch; the 88% share to the developer is the permanent rate. Epic’s 12% share covers the operating costs of the store and makes us a profit.
 

warp9

Contributor
Jun 8, 2017
450
637
Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
For Pete's sake, stop making ignorant posts if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. The 30% only applies to earnings beyond 1 million.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/11/apple-announces-app-store-small-business-program/
 

JimmyHook

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2015
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Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
At the time he said that, it was true. So that is irrelevant
 

MEJHarrison

macrumors 68000
Feb 2, 2009
1,519
2,719
This is a nice move. I'd still like to see them do more. I'm a full-time web developer. But I like tinkering with iOS / MacOS on the side. The problem is, if you don't pay the $99/year, you're super limited. They keep tightening things down every single year. As of last year, I think I could only install 3 apps at a time on a personal device. And they were only good for 7 days.

I think they need to loosen those rules a bit. At this point, I just want to play around. Learn some. Explore. If I come up with a great idea, I'd gladly pay the $99. But until I reach that point, it feels like they're throwing every road-block they can in my direction. I had one app idea I wanted to explore. But it became such a hassle, I eventually just stopped playing with it. The testing aspect (it used Apple Watch data) was too annoying. There used to be a much higher limit on apps, and they lasted forever like any other app.

I don't see why a free account can't be allowed to be a useful thing. If I can only install on my personal devices, it shouldn't really matter to them. In fact, they should encourage people in my position, not limit them. Tinkering leads to ideas which leads to apps which leads to them getting money. I don't understand their position here. Or why they keep making it worse every year (to be fair, I don't know what the policies are this year).

I'd like to see them throw a little love to the beginners/amateurs who aren't yet ready to become full-blown Apple Developers. Or at the very least, remove all the road blocks they've added over the years.
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,599
Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
Are you saying Tim perjured himself? You understand how time works rights? One direction and all...
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,292
4,292
For Pete's sake, stop making ignorant posts if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. The 30% only applies to earnings beyond 1 million.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/11/apple-announces-app-store-small-business-program/

Are you saying if a developer earns, for example, $1,000,001.00, the first $1 million is charged a rate of 15 percent, and then the $1.00 is charged a 30 percent rate?

Because that's not how the press releases was written:

If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.

The App Store’s standard commission rate of 30 percent remains in place for apps selling digital goods and services and making more than $1 million in proceeds, defined as a developer’s post-commission earnings.

If that's what Apple means, it's poorly written. And other news outlets reporting on it are getting it wrong too such as https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/18...s-program-commission-cut-15-percent-reduction

Apple did spell out some of the program’s rules today. The company says it will look at developer proceeds for the year of 2020 to determine eligibility starting in January. New developers can also qualify right away. For those app makers that exceed the $1 million threshold at any point in 2021, they will automatically be removed from the program and subject to the standard 30 percent cut

Note the part about being removed from the 15 percent commission program if developers exceed the $1 million threshold.

Perhaps it's you who doesn't understand what the hell you're talking about?
 
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