Apple and Microsoft at odds over SkyDrive app subscription fees [ux2]

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  • Reply 61 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post


     


    OTOH, in the ad free world of Apple, they want to make their money without resorting to crapware or in OS ads.   And if money changes hands, then that is a logical place for Apple to get their 'taste'    I do think 30% is too much for in-app purchases (really, shouldn't it be about storage and bandwidth).  Why not 15% for purely money handling with a 'floor' value of $0.30 (30% of a .99 purchase for less than 100K of 'data', and a Cert is usually less than that)).  If you move bits/bytes (100K+), it's 30% of the market value.



     


    Yes, but the 30 percent subsidizes the loss leaders. Namely, the apps Apple hosts for free. 


     


    You also made the point that retailers don't normally control price. That depends. If you are Walmart or Amazon, you are putting extreme pressure on producers to lower the price to meet Walmart's or Amazon's goals. Walmart is known to tell american manufacturers to produce overseas to lower cost, or it will not sell their product. 

  • Reply 62 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I don't see how it's fair that one can have Skype on multiple devices but if they have a Skype client on an iDevice Apple gets 30% from all sales regardless if the sale happened within that app or not. If the sale happens within that app then it's an in-app sale and Apple should get 30% and it should be charged via the App Store, but if the sale happens elsewhere and is attributed to a services account, like a Skype In number or call time, then I don't think Apple should get 30% just because they approved the Skype client for iDevices.


     


     


    If you have a Skype account, in all likely hood, you are going to give Microsoft money if at all through it's website. You already know how to do this. So, Microsoft doesn't need to offer Skype users the ability to pay in the app. If it does, Apple takes a cut. It is like with Netflix. Netflix offers me the app as a convenience, but I had the account prior to downloading the iOS app. Netflix doesn't need to allow people to subscribe via the app. 

  • Reply 63 of 105
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


     


     


    Yes, except it should be referred to as the retail tax. Walmart doesn't let you sell stuff in it's stores without a share of the profit. Not sure why Apple would be expected to do less. It does actually cost Apple money to host, distribute, and process payments for the apps. 



    Agreed.  And while the 30% does seem like a lot, traditional software distributors for physical product, such as Ingram Micro-D, take a far bigger cut, usually 50 to 55%.  


     


    Having said that, the App Store has become so big with so many applications downloaded, maybe it's time for Apple to reduce their fees a bit.    Or maybe they can have a two-tier fee based  upon the number of downloads that you sell.    If you go over, let's say 2500 units, maybe you pay 20% or 25% instead of 30%. 

  • Reply 64 of 105

    Posted to another forum:

    Do you want to run Office on a tablet?

    I certainly don't!

    From what I read, MS Office doesn't even run effectively on the MS Surface tablet that it was designed for.

    I think that an enhanced iWork suite is a better fit for the type of things being done on an iPad... and most things on the desktop. Let's face it, most users don't need all the bells and whistles, complexity and bloat that comes with Office. Those that do, won't be using a tablet.


    Given the above, I think that Apple should play hardball while at the same time enhancing it's desktop iWork suite and bringing the iOS version into feature compatibility.
  • Reply 65 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    Edit: Finding their way to the back alley is ok for some categories of purchases, but not others. For example, I don't believe you are allowed to sell game levels or consumables in the back alley at all. Subscriptions, though, clearly do allow this, they just aren't allowed to post a sign saying, "Back alley subscription sales, this way ->". :End Edit

    It's not like Microsoft doesn't know this. They are just trying to throw their weight around. Unfortunately for them, they've been on a diet for the past decade, and they don't really carry enough weight these days to bully their way to what they want.

    From what I read, we're not talking about the app itself changing in anyway, like it would when you buy extra levels in a game. This is simply a service that allows for additional cloud storage access right?

    The argument I read was that if you make the purchase via an iDevice for (say) 1 year of an additional 100GB for $50, but after that year you want to add another year but you are not using an iDevice Apple still wants to get 30% because you are still making a purchase for a service that was once tied to an App Store app. That is what seems unreasonable to me. If there is no App Store app involved, in any way in purchase then I think that Apple should be able to take a cut.
  • Reply 66 of 105


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    Microsoft did this.  100% their fault, their problem, generated by them either out of stupidity or malice or whatever.  



     


    Bold and italic like that, I did a double-take to make sure you hadn't posted a tiny image of their logo.


     


    And then you gave me an idea. Both versions!


     


    image

  • Reply 67 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    From what I read, we're not talking about the app itself changing in anyway, like it would when you buy extra levels in a game. This is simply a service that allows for additional cloud storage access right?

    The argument I read was that if you make the purchase via an iDevice for (say) 1 year of an additional 100GB for $50, but after that year you want to add another year but you are not using an iDevice Apple still wants to get 30% because you are still making a purchase for a service that was once tied to an App Store app. That is what seems unreasonable to me. If there is no App Store app involved, in any way in purchase then I think that Apple should be able to take a cut.


     


    That sounds like,


     


    a) not what we're talking about here, in the context of the disagreement with Microsoft, and


     


    b) a possible issue that no one's thought through yet.


     


    It might depend on whether it was an auto-renewing subscription or not.

  • Reply 68 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    That sounds like,

    a) not what we're talking about here, in the context of the disagreement with Microsoft, and

    b) a possible issue that no one's thought through yet.

    It might depend on whether it was an auto-renewing subscription or not.

    Um, that's exactly what I initially replied to in this thread. Here is the article quote in question...
    "Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account," author Alex Wilhelm explained."
  • Reply 69 of 105
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 516member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LarryA View Post





    Put a Word doc from work into iCloud and get back to me.


     


    No doubt. It's unfathomable to me how iCloud is better for document handling than Dropbox (or SkyDrive, from the sound of it) for anything I want to actually do. Very irritating to have new documents on Mountain Lion now try to start by pushing stuff into iCloud by default too. WTF? Boom, it just works, just not how I need it to.


     


    Share docs with family / friends / co-workers? How about any of the above that additionally don't have an Apple ID? Oh hell no, that must not be what I really want. :/ (And if I can't realistically have it share with my wife / kids / family / friends, then I'd argue it misses on a HUGE piece of what todays "average user" with fancy Internet access would expect it to offer.)


     


    And that's not even getting into the issue that trying to make Microsoft pay 30% of subscription fees to a service they're running themselves is crazy.

  • Reply 70 of 105
    solipsismx wrote: »
    anonymouse wrote: »
    That sounds like,

    a) not what we're talking about here, in the context of the disagreement with Microsoft, and

    b) a possible issue that no one's thought through yet.

    It might depend on whether it was an auto-renewing subscription or not.

    Um, that's exactly what I initially replied to in this thread. Here is the article quote in question...
    "Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account," author Alex Wilhelm explained."

    If the renewal is not made from an iDevice or through Apple's servers, how will Apple know that it is being made?

    AFAIK, Apple doesn't automatically track or participate in the renewal services.
  • Reply 71 of 105
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Just as a data point ... I found it rambling too and was going to reply with much the same comment but refrained after seeing someone else do it. 

    Both yourself and "TheOtherGeoff" seem to be holding down the major contrary opinions on this thread but even after careful reading and re-reading I can't make out what either of you are on about.

    As several others have already said, the 30% deal and what Apple does with the app store have all been talked about over and over again and the consensus of opinion is that what they do is both reasonable and fair. As has also been pointed out, Microsoft does the exact same thing with their store.  

    Finally, just because no one has mentioned it ... this whole situation is basically Microsoft's fault.  

    They knew the rules before they began and they not only violated them, they included the violation baked into the SDK so that many of the developers making SkyDrive based apps or having SkyDrive access added to their app, have also had their apps refused from the App store simply because they used the default information provided with that SDK.  

    Microsoft did this.  100% their fault, their problem, generated by them either out of stupidity or malice or whatever.  

    I've read my post again. It's perfectly clear and perfectly simple. Was it terms like "fulfilment" which made y'all confused. It means to fulfil an order using some kind of payment system generally involving credit cards or gift cards .Amazon can clearly do this using their own systems but smaller devs cannot. For the smaller devs the 30% is "fair" as there is a transaction cost to Apple- but bad business in my view; however for Anazon et al. Apple is asking for payment for nothing.

    And it is clearly not the common system on the "mobile space" either - Apple could release iTunes for Android tomorrow and get the app on google play and as a direct download and use their own payment systems, as they do when you buy a song on iTunes for windows.

    This harms you the consumer. I don't think it does apple any good either.
  • Reply 72 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    If the renewal is not made from an iDevice or through Apple's servers, how will Apple know that it is being made?
    AFAIK, Apple doesn't automatically track or participate in the renewal services.

    I don't know. Based on the quote it sounds like Apple would expect their cut, which I adamantly disagreed with.

    If I were MS I would simply make it 43% higher (this is the percentage you need to counter Apple's 30% take) within the app and simply disclose to users in text why it's higher within this app than from other sources. Would that violate Apple's rules?
  • Reply 73 of 105


    The problem with a lot of these arguments and the 30% is that Apple and defenders of this policy have previously argued that Apple is bringing the business to these apps.  And yes a lot of these apps were nothing until Apple made the App Store and they were created and became something.


     


    The problem is taking that to established players like Microsoft Office.  What happens when a user who has been thinking about getting an iPad, finally jumps in because he hears there is Office.  Does Apple really deserve that 30%?  Or of course if a SkyDrive users changes to Android or Windows but still keeps his iTunes account and uses that for billing because users are lazy and won't change things they don't have to.  30% is outrageous for billing when expensive players like PayPal charge 3%.


     


    And then there are grey lines.  There is reports that Microsoft wanted to remove in app purchases, Apple is saying no.  I speculate because of grey lines.  Like if you don't have a Microsoft Account it sends to you to the web to create one and the link to pay is all to close, though not officially part of the process.  (And yes, plenty of Office users don't have Microsoft Accounts, its currently not required but is now being encouraged for cloud sync with Office 2013).


     


    Ultimately it would be in Apple's favour to make an agreement, as selling to corporate and other users will be easier with Office, even if Apple manages to convert some of them to iWork.  Sure it might bring some new sales Microsoft's way, but who hasn't used Office in some shape in their life?  Very few.

  • Reply 74 of 105
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KootenayRedneck View Post



    I use SkyDrive on a Mac and very limited on a iPad. I would rather use a html interface than the app since it quite simply better than the app.


    and this article is about an updated app that MS is ready to release.

  • Reply 75 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I don't know. Based on the quote it sounds like Apple would expect their cut, which I adamantly disagreed with.

    If I were MS I would simply make it 43% higher (this is the percentage you need to counter Apple's 30% take) within the app and simply disclose to users in text why it's higher within this app than from other sources. Would that violate Apple's rules?


     


    I think Apples terms are the app store price cannot be higher if the app or service is available through another portal.

  • Reply 76 of 105


    Sorry folks, but I'm so not caring about some fee-based storage app on iOS peddled by a company that grows more irrelevant by the second. 

  • Reply 77 of 105
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I wonder if this would push MS so far as to pull their Office apps from iOS completely?





    hasn't hurt Apple before.

  • Reply 78 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think Apples terms are the app store price cannot be higher if the app or service is available through another portal.

    I thought that was only for iBookstore books. I also thought I recall reading about a developer that choose to charge different amounts from their site and the Mac App Store specifically to make up the difference. There seems to be a lot of free stuff on Android but the same paid stuff on iOS devices. Does Apple compare them before approving?
  • Reply 79 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Um, that's exactly what I initially replied to in this thread. Here is the article quote in question...


    "Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account," author Alex Wilhelm explained."


     


    I don't know where Alex Wilhelm is getting this idea, but I don't think, in fact I'm 100% certain, he doesn't know what he's talking about. 


     


    From Apple's documentation, SkyDrive would use, I would think, a non-renewing subscription.


     


    Quote:





    Digital services are usually either Non-Consumable or should be a Non-Renewing Subscription. The differentiation would be whether access to the service is limited to a specific time period. Here are some examples of services you might consider offering, and whether they are allowed:  ...







     


    With "One year of VoIP telephone service" -- a non-renewing subscription service -- being the example given that would seem to most closely resemble SkyDrive. In which case,


     


    Quote:


    For Non-Renewing Subscriptions, if you want to allow users to renew their subscription, your application must track the expiration manually. If the user chooses to renew their subscription you have to initiate a new StoreKit purchase request. Tracking of the expiration date of initial or renewed subscriptions is not handled by the App Store and is your responsibility. Additionally, your application must include a mechanism to deliver the purchased Non-Renewing Subscription In App Purchase to all iOS devices owned by a single user.



     


    so the would certainly be no cut that, "lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not," in this case, and, there is no type of purchase listed in the documentation that would have this result. Even an auto-renewing subscription, which I don't believe would be the appropriate type, based on Apple's guidelines, still allows the user to cancel the renewal.


     


    Now, while it's most likely that Microsoft just doesn't want to have to give up the 30% cut at all, it's possible that maybe the argument is over some point such as, "your application must include a mechanism to deliver the purchased Non-Renewing Subscription In App Purchase to all iOS devices owned by a single user," and Microsoft want to charge by device. But, the most likely scenario is that they are just trying to wriggle out of the straight 30%, and it's entirely in character for them to try to do that.

  • Reply 80 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post


    The problem with a lot of these arguments and the 30% is that Apple and defenders of this policy have previously argued that Apple is bringing the business to these apps.  And yes a lot of these apps were nothing until Apple made the App Store and they were created and became something.


     


    The problem is taking that to established players like Microsoft Office.  What happens when a user who has been thinking about getting an iPad, finally jumps in because he hears there is Office.  Does Apple really deserve that 30%?  Or of course if a SkyDrive users changes to Android or Windows but still keeps his iTunes account and uses that for billing because users are lazy and won't change things they don't have to.  30% is outrageous for billing when expensive players like PayPal charge 3%.


     


    And then there are grey lines.  There is reports that Microsoft wanted to remove in app purchases, Apple is saying no.  I speculate because of grey lines.  Like if you don't have a Microsoft Account it sends to you to the web to create one and the link to pay is all to close, though not officially part of the process.  (And yes, plenty of Office users don't have Microsoft Accounts, its currently not required but is now being encouraged for cloud sync with Office 2013).


     


    Ultimately it would be in Apple's favour to make an agreement, as selling to corporate and other users will be easier with Office, even if Apple manages to convert some of them to iWork.  Sure it might bring some new sales Microsoft's way, but who hasn't used Office in some shape in their life?  Very few.



     


     


    You miss the point. First, Apple is not just a payment processing system like Paypal. Apple also hosts the apps, distributes the apps, and to a lessor extent markets the apps. Like with any retailer, the 30 percent also has to pay for the loss leaders. Namely the free apps. This is little different than a flower shop that substantially marks up the price of flowers because it has to pay for the 50 percent of flowers its buys that do not get sold. Or restaurants that have to factor food wastage into the price of the food it sells. 


     


    This is all about Apple acting as a retailer and making a profit when it brings a sale to Microsoft. The person who buys an iPad because he or she hears you can use Office on it 1) should do a little research, and 2) could go to Microsoft directly to pay for the subscriptions it wants. When Microsoft sells Office at Walmart, Microsoft isn't complaining about giving Walmart its cut. Further, besides withdrawing its apps, it is easy for Microsoft to avoid paying Apple the fee. Take for instance the rumored version of Office that is supposed to be released to iOS devices. The free version is just supposed to allow people to view Office docs. The subscription service allows people to create and edit such documents. If Microsoft wants to allow in app subscriptions, it will have to pay Apple. To avoid this, Microsoft just has to invest in letting people know about its products and have them sign up for the subscriptions not using Apple's services. This is what the other big companies like Netflix and Hulu Plus do. However, Microsoft wants to use Apple's infrastructure to let iOS users know of services it has for sale without paying Apple.

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