Minnesota the latest to introduce bill that allows developers to bypass App Store billing

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 79
    dewme said:
    One thing Apple could possibly do to placate these miscreants would be to create a “Wild Wild West” sandbox in Apple devices that is totally walled off from the rest of the device and all native services. Users who are so inclined would then be allowed to directly load apps into the WWW sandbox using some sort of utility or web based protocol. What happens in the sandbox, stays in the sandbox. Yeah, it’s a stupid idea, 
    Actually it’s not a stupid idea, and the funny thing is there already is a Wild Wild West sandbox for apps, separate to iOS. And it has the WWW initials.  It’s called the web. 

    A web browser is a platform in which all kinds of apps can run and Apple imposes no restrictions on developers or users as to who can run whatever they want in their web browsers. 

    Epic could make a web version of Fortnite for use on iPhones and charge its customers anything they wanted and never pay Apple a cent of it. 

    There isn’t much a native app can do that a web app can’t do these days, so I’m actually not sure why developers aren’t ok with this. 

    ...Except that there’s some perception that native apps are “better”...? Are they?  How?  Unless it’s because of all the work Apple has put into all the native API’s which are all Apple’s intellectual property but they license out for developers to have full access to for a measly $99 per year.  But even then... what’s in those API’s that the likes of Epic benefit from that mean a web based Fortnite wouldn’t be just as good as the native one?

    I just don’t get it. None of this makes any sense to me. Why should Apple be forced to unlock their IP for anyone to leech off for free?

    edited February 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 79
    It's possible that we're on the same general side of the argument, but I have to call out errors, even if the person I'm arguing with is on my side.
    Apple can't drop free apps. It would hurt the independent small developer community.
    On the contrary, Apple has every right to do things that "hurt the community." For example, it could shut down the entire App Store or stop selling iPhones. Those things would certainly hurt the community but there isn't a single person on earth that can force Apple to provide an App Store or sell iPhones. Apple can also charge developers of free apps a fixed fee just to get their App application processed. They can also charge developers of free apps a monthly fee for keeping their app onto the App Store. I could go on with additional fees to cover additional services that Apple provides free app developers. There is nothing wrong at all with charging people for the services you provide, even if that "hurts them." I get the impression that you think Apple OWES developers of free apps a no-cost place on the App Store. That's wrong. Apple is subsidizing free app developers with the money they take in from big app developers, like Epic. Is subsidization illegal? Do you really want Apple to be forced to charge developers of free apps in order to be compensated for their services?
    Agreed and we are on the same side of the argument. I do not think Apple "owes" a no-cost place on the App Store. I believe they do it out of mutual convenience to developers to grow both developer revenue and Apple services and hardware revenue. And it's seemed to work pretty well until some greedy publishers think they don't owe Apple anything any more and forgot who made this all possible.

    Epic - your moral high ground is eroded when your business model is based on in-game add-ons that people have to purchase to continue play - one might call it feeding an addiction that you created with your "free game". (witness a local story in my neighborhood where a kid purchased $10,000+ of in-game add-ons billed to his mom's Apple ID".

    But with the uproar against "big tech", Apple must navigate these waters so that they don't appear "monopolisitc/anti-competive" and at the same time don't kill the platform for users and developers.  Politicians and the courts don't necessarily see the big picture outside of "big guy bad, little guy good".
    Any attempt by Apple to drop free apps would be viewed by regulators as anti-competitive, since the App Store is currently the only way to get apps onto the iOS ecosystem.

    This is just another hilarious statement. Apple has no obligation to provide free services for free app developers. None whatsoever. It is not anti-competitive to charge app developers a fixed fee just for the privilege of getting onto the App Store since Apple is providing services for that fee. If Apple charged every developer $99 for any single app that goes on the App Store, even free apps, I think that would be of great help to consumers because it would stop all the pure junk apps that appear on the App Store. I've had to browse through dozens of totally useless apps "with no ratings" just to get to apps that people have used and that I might want.

    Again, we do agree, but the precedent has been set to allow free apps with the developer's $99 subscription. I fear that any change to that policy would create an uproar that dwarfs what Epic et. al. are trying to do.

    You are good at de-escalating disagreements. You're probably a nice person in real life.

    I've been pushing the idea of Apple's services leaving certain markets for a long time now, and I used to be all alone on this, but I'm quite happy to see a few people arguing that there's some merit to this idea. I'll admit that it's not Apple's goal to leave a market, but if the regulations get hostile enough, I think they would.

    I agree that Apple would create an "uproar" by removing services from a marketplace, but if the removal is justified the uproar would not be so much against Apple as it would be against the regulators who forced Apple out. The uproar would work in Apple's favour.

    edited February 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 79

    Detnator said:
    dewme said:
    One thing Apple could possibly do to placate these miscreants would be to create a “Wild Wild West” sandbox in Apple devices that is totally walled off from the rest of the device and all native services. Users who are so inclined would then be allowed to directly load apps into the WWW sandbox using some sort of utility or web based protocol. 
    My proposal, which is similar to yours, is for Apple to allow users to replace iOS with Android or Linux. Apple already has this approach with its computers: you can replace macOS with any other OS. Giving users this "freedom" would probably win Apple a lot of points in the political arena. Doing this is much simpler, technically, than your idea of supporting two OSs and probably two file systems on the same device at the same time.
    (1) Y’know, I’ve heard a lot of dumb ideas bandied around but this one actually makes a lot of sense. 
    ...
    (2) If Apple allowed anyone to build and install any OS (Android, Windows, EpicOS, or anything else) on the physical device and allowed the physical device to be open in that regard, but Apple still held tight to the stuff that is absolutely theirs - Apple’s OS, Apple’s App Store, Apple’s services, and Apple’s entire ecosystem - and had them all tied together and locked down together (independent of the hardware) could there be any grounds for anyone to reasonably complain about Apple’s walled garden at that point?  If the walled garden is entirely limited to the software, while the hardware is open for you to install whatever you like on it (outside of Apple’s OS and walled garden if you prefer it that way) is there any room for reasonable complaint at that point?
    ...
    (3) And then, when only a tiny minority of people who buy iPhones actually install any OS other than iOS on them, I wonder what Epic’s (and anyone else’s) argument then is?  
    ...
    (4) I just don’t understand how anyone can think it’s reasonable to force Apple to effectively open up portions of Apple’s intellectual property for a free for all. 
    ...
    (5) I can’t see Apple opening up the iPhone for installation of other operating systems, but of all their options, it does seem like the one that makes the most sense and solves the problem most cleanly.
    (1) That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me on this forum. Thanks.

    (2) That's been my argument for a long, long time here.

    (3) I've asked that question directly of a few people on this website and I don't recall ever getting an answer. 

    (4) I think the problem is that many people think corporations are evil and that they have no freedoms - and that only people have freedoms.

    (5) I think you are pessimistic. As I wrote, Apple allows other OSs on Macs. And Apple hasn't sued anyone for jailbreaking an iOS device. I don't think they care too much if you install a different OS, and I think it's an ace up their sleeve they are keeping as a "compromise" if it's demanded by regulators or the public. A few people have suggested that Apple support multiple OSs on the iOS device's disk at the same time (Bootcamp or virtualized OSs) but I think that's too complex for Apple to bother with. After all, it's not the iPhone that people are attracted to, it's iOS.

    edited February 2021
  • Reply 44 of 79
    rcfa said:
    Very easy: have two modes for iOS: one akin to macOS, where the user has full control, another one that’s jailed.

    support and warranty is applicable only in jailed mode.

    in full access mode, any app can be installed, with the corresponding consequences for security and privacy.

    give users the tools and the choices…

    …but give Apple sovereignty over its own AppStore 

    Does Apple void the warranty on Macs when a user installs an app from outside the Apple app store?

    Does Apple deny support for Macs when there are non Apple app store apps installed?

    No, of course not.  That would even be illegal in the US, because of the Magnuson-Moss warranty law.

    So why should it be any different for a phone?

    No, all we need is a law requiring Apple to add the ability for users to install apps from anywhere.  No need for attacks on warranties, that's insane.

    And yes, Apple should be able to do what they like with their app store.  But Apple should have ZERO control over what I do with MY iPhone.
  • Reply 45 of 79
    darkvader said:
    And yes, Apple should be able to do what they like with their app store.  But Apple should have ZERO control over what I do with MY iPhone.
    People like you must not even read these forums. You own the hardware, but you DON'T own the operating system. You don't own Apple's OS or any software that you "buy" from any app store. And what's more, you CERTAINLY can't force any software vendor, either apps or OS, to conform to your wishes.

    If you oppose what Apple is doing with iOS, why don't you oppose what Epic is doing with their Fortnite app which doesn't allow anyone to sell skins for their Fortnite app, at least not without going through Epic's store. Do you have even a single shred of consistency in your position?

    If Apple was the only smartphone in town, there's a small chance you might be able to convince me that the law should take away Apple's freedom to do business as it pleases with its OS. But Apple is far from the only phone and OS you can choose. And if you choose Android, you have no problem at all side-loading.

    Would you be happy and content if Apple allowed you to replace iOS with Android? Or are you only satisfied when iOS is completely destroyed and made to conform with all the policies of Android?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 79
    Apple: "Sure, we will comply, it's just a small matter of 'shelf tax' we need to charge every single developer for 'shelving' the app in the Appl Store - it's 30% of the sales."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 79
    LeoMC said:
    Apple: "Sure, we will comply, it's just a small matter of 'shelf tax' we need to charge every single developer for 'shelving' the app in the Appl Store - it's 30% of the sales."
    Here's a more likely response by Apple: "Apple has been persuaded by popular opinion and government regulators that there should be no 30% charge on non-free apps. Instead, it is understood that everyone wants Apple to stop subsidizing all the free services it has been providing up unit now and shall start charging developers for the actual services used, instead of a single 30% fee structure that covers every service. Therefore the 30% fee is eliminated completely and Apple will replace that with the following service-specific fees, due to public and government demand:
    • a $999 application fee for each developer account
    • a $999 application fee for each app to cover the initial vetting and app review process
    • a $99/month fee as a fixed cost to maintain each app on the App Store (often called "hosting fees")
    • an optional fee to be negotiated to cover app promotion on the app store
    • a $999/year/workstation annual subscription fee to cover Apple's costs in developing Xcode, which was previously free
    • a $10/gigabyte download fee for each time a user downloads an app (minimum $5/app)
    • no more free access to TestFlight. Prices need to be negotiated by each developer with Apple
    • $1 for each promo code that developers send out to users
    • a $999 application fee for each app bundle
    • $1/comment when developers provide comments to reviewers on the App Store
    • $9/request fee for app analytics
    • $9/request fee for viewing app sales and trends
    • $9/request fee for financial reports
    • $9/request fee for developers when requesting information on the app's usage with Apple's Cloudkit servers
    • $99/app fee for EACH API that an app uses, including: Airplay, HomeKit, AirPrint, Mac Catalyst, Market, Apple Pay, MusicKit, CarPlay, Passkit, CoreML, SiriKit, Sign in with Apple, FaceID, ResearchKit, CareKit, DriverKit, GameKit, HealthKit, and all other kits and APIs.
    • Apple is willing to collect taxes for all app sales, but for a fee proportional to the tax rate.
    • A 5% fee on purchases made by users with Apple Gift Cards
    • a $99/app fee for any app which wants to have automatic user upgrades
    • in app purchases will also come with a fee, to be negotiated with Apple
    • additional fees for custom apps for specific corporations
    • additional fees to process discounts for educational institutions
    • all costs above are for a single OS only (eg, iOS). If a developer wants the app to also be available for iPadOS, or macOS, the costs will multiply accordingly
    • all tech support calls to Apple will now have a $99/call cost
    • access to Apple's developer support forums will now come at an additional cost to be determined
    • developer events will no longer be free
    • NOTE: companies which sell apps for the iPhone using web interfaces will not be permitted to duplicate that app by also selling it on the App Store, as that would be redundant and confusing for users."
    edited February 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 79
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,500member
    LeoMC said:
    Apple: "Sure, we will comply, it's just a small matter of 'shelf tax' we need to charge every single developer for 'shelving' the app in the Appl Store - it's 30% of the sales."
    Here's a more likely response by Apple: "Apple has been persuaded by popular opinion and government regulators that there should be no 30% charge on non-free apps. Instead, it is understood that everyone wants Apple to stop subsidizing all the free services it has been providing up unit now and shall start charging developers for the actual services used, instead of a single 30% fee structure that covers every service. Therefore the 30% fee is eliminated completely and Apple will replace that with the following service-specific fees, due to public and government demand:
    • a $999 application fee for each developer account
    • a $999 application fee for each app to cover the initial vetting and app review process
    • a $99/month fee as a fixed cost to maintain each app on the App Store (often called "hosting fees")
    • an optional fee to be negotiated to cover app promotion on the app store
    • a $999/year/workstation annual subscription fee to cover Apple's costs in developing Xcode, which was previously free
    • a $10/gigabyte download fee for each time a user downloads an app (minimum $5/app)
    • no more free access to TestFlight. Prices need to be negotiated by each developer with Apple
    • $1 for each promo code that developers send out to users
    • a $999 application fee for each app bundle
    • $1/comment when developers provide comments to reviewers on the App Store
    • $9/request fee for app analytics
    • $9/request fee for viewing app sales and trends
    • $9/request fee for financial reports
    • $9/request fee for developers when requesting information on the app's usage with Apple's Cloudkit servers
    • $99/app fee for EACH API that an app uses, including: Airplay, HomeKit, AirPrint, Mac Catalyst, Market, Apple Pay, MusicKit, CarPlay, Passkit, CoreML, SiriKit, Sign in with Apple, FaceID, ResearchKit, CareKit, DriverKit, GameKit, HealthKit, and all other kits and APIs.
    • Apple is willing to collect taxes for all app sales, but for a fee proportional to the tax rate.
    • A 5% fee on purchases made by users with Apple Gift Cards
    • a $99/app fee for any app which wants to have automatic user upgrades
    • in app purchases will also come with a fee, to be negotiated with Apple
    • additional fees for custom apps for specific corporations
    • additional fees to process discounts for educational institutions
    • all costs above are for a single OS only (eg, iOS). If a developer wants the app to also be available for iPadOS, or macOS, the costs will multiply accordingly
    • all tech support calls to Apple will now have a $99/call cost
    • access to Apple's developer support forums will now come at an additional cost to be determined
    • developer events will no longer be free
    • NOTE: companies which sell apps for the iPhone using web interfaces will not be permitted to duplicate that app by also selling it on the App Store, as that would be redundant and confusing for users."
    That doesn't tackle the biggest issue: competition. 

    It would also kill the entire platform in a matter of months.

    Out of interest, has Apple ever put a number on how much it costs to run the App Store (payment processing included)?

    I dare say competing services could make a healthy profit at much lower rates than currently offered. 
    edited February 2021 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 49 of 79
    draenar said:
    crowley said:
    dewme said:
    "the tech giants would be forced to allow them in their digital storefronts"

    That's some very scary Big Brother massively intrusive sh**. Would Walmart, Target, Kroger, etc., allow the government to force them to stock certain products on their shelves even if the retailer did not want to carry such products? 
    Probably, yes.  I wouldn't be altogether surprised if some stores are obliged to sell some products that are unprofitable but socially beneficial as a condition of trading in some parts of the world.  It's won't be particularly onerous, these stores are very profitable.

    If it's forcing the stocking of a dumb shooting game that teenagers play, that's still not particularly scary, it's just a bit pathetic that lawmakers think this is worthwhile.
    There is little to no chance that the lawmakers introducing these bills see the issue of the app stores as worthwhile.  What they see as worthwhile are the campaign donations from Epic, Spotify and Basecamp and/or the threat from those companies and their flacks to support alternative candidates. 
    Apple and Google should just tell these small-state legislators: whatever donations Epic and Co. are making to your campaigns, we'll triple them.  If this bill passes, we'll stop those donations and give 10x to your primary and general election opponents.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 79
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,739member
    avon b7 said:


    I dare say competing services could make a healthy profit at much lower rates than currently offered. 

    I doubt that very much. If that were the case, Android would be more profitable for developers as Android users can download and pay for apps from the internet. Why aren't developers making a killing on Android? Why does Sweeney have to bitch about Google putting out a warning to Android users, about the danger of downloading apps from the internet, that drives away cusomers?  

    First of all, like a lot of people here, you are assuming that the developer only need to pay a 3-5% processing fee and thus save 25% of the 30% "tax", in order to sell their apps. That thinking is so wrong. The developer would also need to set up a safe and secure payment processing system that their customers will trust with their CC info. They must set up a website on a secure server and maintain a domain name. They might have to lease that server from Amazon, Google or Microsoft if they don't have one set up at home. How much will it cost developers to keep customers account info that are in their payment system away from hackers? They must do their own accounting as to who purchased what apps from them and when. They must handle refunds. They must keep track of who to send app updates to. Is their time of any value for developers?

    What if a customer wants to use PayPal? What if a customer want to pay with gift cards that can be purchased with cash? What if a customer want to deduct the payment directly from their bank account? What happens when a customer has to restore their device and needs to have the apps they bought from the developer, put back in. Or if a customer lost their device and needs the apps put back into their new device. iTunes take care of a lot of these for the developers and it should cost the developers something, other than a 3%-5% sales processing fee.  

    The only developers that will benefit from being able to process their own sales in an app store are the big developers that already have a safe and secure payment system in place, that customers will trust. Developers like Epic and Spotify. Gee, what a surprise. NOT. 

    If you wanted a $1.99 app, would you go on the internet to some  unknown website and risk giving your CC number to some developer you never heard of, for a $1.99 purchase? Would you even want to give them any of your personal info? Here, with the app stores, one already need to have a iTunes account or a Google account to download anything from them. Why would anyone use small developers payment system and risk hackers getting a hold of their info, when they already have a very safe and secure way to pay for it? 

    The iTunes Music Store been around for nearly 20 years. The only way to pay for iTunes music purchases is with an iTunes account. When digital downloaded music was at its prime, iTunes had over 75% of the market sales. And yet, I don't ever recall reading about any of the big music labels or the tens of thousands of music artist selling in the iTunes Music Store or the millions of people that purchased music with their iTunes account, complain about it. Not even about Apple 30% "tax". To the labels and artists, the 30% "tax" was worth every penny to access customers with iTunes accounts. Digital downloaded music became the biggest profit generator for the music industry, until streaming music became more popular just several years ago. 

    After nearly 20 years, why no major complaints about the Apple iTunes Music Store payment system, which operates exactly the same as in their App Store?  All I can think of is that big music labels CEO's, music artist and people that like to listen to music, are a lot smarter business wise and less whinny, than CEO's of big software developers, small time app developers and people that like to play games like Fortnight.  
    edited February 2021 Bombdoewatto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 79
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,216member
    avon b7 said:
    It would also kill the entire platform in a matter of months.
    I presume, then, that you get my point. My point is that people will start saying they want the 30% subsidy system.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 79
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 84member
    avon b7 said:

    I dare say competing services could make a healthy profit at much lower rates than currently offered. 
    And who are you to say how much profit is ”healthy profit” for my company?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 79
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,500member
    davidw said:
    avon b7 said:


    I dare say competing services could make a healthy profit at much lower rates than currently offered. 

    I doubt that very much. If that were the case, Android would be more profitable for developers as Android users can download and pay for apps from the internet. Why aren't developers making a killing on Android? Why does Sweeney have to bitch about Google putting out a warning to Android users, about the danger of downloading apps from the internet, that drives away cusomers?  

    First of all, like a lot of people here, you are assuming that the developer only need to pay a 3-5% processing fee and thus save 25% of the 30% "tax", in order to sell their apps. That thinking is so wrong. The developer would also need to set up a safe and secure payment processing system that their customers will trust with their CC info. They must set up a website on a secure server and maintain a domain name. They might have to lease that server from Amazon, Google or Microsoft if they don't have one set up at home. How much will it cost developers to keep customers account info that are in their payment system away from hackers? They must do their own accounting as to who purchased what apps from them and when. They must handle refunds. They must keep track of who to send app updates to. Is their time of any value for developers?

    What if a customer wants to use PayPal? What if a customer want to pay with gift cards that can be purchased with cash? What if a customer want to deduct the payment directly from their bank account? What happens when a customer has to restore their device and needs to have the apps they bought from the developer, put back in. Or if a customer lost their device and needs the apps put back into their new device. iTunes take care of a lot of these for the developers and it should cost the developers something, other than a 3%-5% sales processing fee.  

    The only developers that will benefit from being able to process their own sales in an app store are the big developers that already have a safe and secure payment system in place, that customers will trust. Developers like Epic and Spotify. Gee, what a surprise. NOT. 

    If you wanted a $1.99 app, would you go on the internet to some  unknown website and risk giving your CC number to some developer you never heard of, for a $1.99 purchase? Would you even want to give them any of your personal info? Here, with the app stores, one already need to have a iTunes account or a Google account to download anything from them. Why would anyone use small developers payment system and risk hackers getting a hold of their info, when they already have a very safe and secure way to pay for it? 

    The iTunes Music Store been around for nearly 20 years. The only way to pay for iTunes music purchases is with an iTunes account. When digital downloaded music was at its prime, iTunes had over 75% of the market sales. And yet, I don't ever recall reading about any of the big music labels or the tens of thousands of music artist selling in the iTunes Music Store or the millions of people that purchased music with their iTunes account, complain about it. Not even about Apple 30% "tax". To the labels and artists, the 30% "tax" was worth every penny to access customers with iTunes accounts. Digital downloaded music became the biggest profit generator for the music industry, until streaming music became more popular just several years ago. 

    After nearly 20 years, why no major complaints about the Apple iTunes Music Store payment system, which operates exactly the same as in their App Store?  All I can think of is that big music labels CEO's, music artist and people that like to listen to music, are a lot smarter business wise and less whinny, than CEO's of big software developers, small time app developers and people that like to play games like Fortnight.  
    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
  • Reply 54 of 79
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,216member
    avon b7 said:

    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
    Are you aware that apps sold on the App Store use Apple's APIs like HomeKit, CloudKit, and 50 other "Kits"? Do you think that apps sold on third party store should still be allowed to use all these Kits? Basically, people on your side of the argument want apps to be able to use Apple's services without paying for them.

    By the way, that 60 billion figure you float refers to all Apple online services, not just app store revenue. And you're also talking revenue, not profit. By comparison, Walmart makes 500 billion revenue in its stores (ten times as much as all Apple's services combined) and I don't see you using that argument to set up third party stores inside Walmart.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 79
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,500member
    avon b7 said:

    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
    Are you aware that apps sold on the App Store use Apple's APIs like HomeKit, CloudKit, and 50 other "Kits"? Do you think that apps sold on third party store should still be allowed to use all these Kits? Basically, people on your side of the argument want apps to be able to use Apple's services without paying for them.

    By the way, that 60 billion figure you float refers to all Apple online services, not just app store revenue. And you're also talking revenue, not profit. By comparison, Walmart makes 500 billion revenue in its stores (ten times as much as all Apple's services combined) and I don't see you using that argument to set up third party stores inside Walmart.
    On App Store revenue. A quick Google returned this:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/apples-app-store-had-gross-sales-around-64-billion-in-2020.html

    No one knows for sure as Apple doesn't reveal that information. I'd guess there's a good reason for that and it's profit related. 

    The different 'kits' are in iOS. 

    Apps are made using Apple's IDE. Developers pay for that. 

    It has nothing to do with the App Store per se. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 56 of 79

    Requiring a developer to sell their apps in the App Store seems unfair.  

    However, should a sale be made privately (i.e., not in the App Store) then Apple should not be held responsible for any issues with said app.  This should be only between the purchaser and developer—even if the app ‘damages’ the operating system in some way.  

    Thus the App Store would become a safe place to make a purchase.  The developer should be free to sell in the App Store and privately, with some mechanism in place to tell where the app was purchased.  This would provide App Store ‘safe’ apps, and  private ‘not as safe’ apps, and in my opinion the purchaser should be wary of ‘not as safe’ purchases.

    Also Apple should be free to impose whatever requirements (i.e., charges) it wishes for in App Store sales.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 57 of 79
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,739member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:

    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
    Are you aware that apps sold on the App Store use Apple's APIs like HomeKit, CloudKit, and 50 other "Kits"? Do you think that apps sold on third party store should still be allowed to use all these Kits? Basically, people on your side of the argument want apps to be able to use Apple's services without paying for them.

    By the way, that 60 billion figure you float refers to all Apple online services, not just app store revenue. And you're also talking revenue, not profit. By comparison, Walmart makes 500 billion revenue in its stores (ten times as much as all Apple's services combined) and I don't see you using that argument to set up third party stores inside Walmart.
    On App Store revenue. A quick Google returned this:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/apples-app-store-had-gross-sales-around-64-billion-in-2020.html

    No one knows for sure as Apple doesn't reveal that information. I'd guess there's a good reason for that and it's profit related. 

    The different 'kits' are in iOS. 

    Apps are made using Apple's IDE. Developers pay for that. 
    It has nothing to do with the App Store per se. 
    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 


    The $64B in your link is the App store gross sales for 2020, not gross revenue. That number came from Apple reporting that they generated $45B for developers. So Apple estimated gross revenue from the App store is only 30% of that $64B gross sales number.  Apple do not count the 70% they pay to developers as their revenue. It's the developer that pays Apple a commission, not the other way around. 

    So Apple gross revenue from the App store comes in at $19B for fiscal 2020, using these numbers.

    To put $19B in perspective. Apple total revenue for fiscal 2020 was $275B.  So the App store generated about 6% of Apple's total revenue with that number. Still not too shabby. But no where near $60B. At $60B, the App Store revenue would be about 25% of Apple 2020 revenue.That is totally unrealistic.

    Even the $19B estimate seems too high. Apple services revenue, that Apple do report and includes the revenue from the App Store, is about 17% of Apple total revenue. That would be about $47B in 2020. And the Apple App Store is not the service that generate the most revenue in Apple services. Apple Care generate the most and Apple Music alone generate over $6B a year now. Apple services includes iTunes Music Store, e-books, Apple TV+ subscriptions, Apple TV movie rentals and sales and licensing. Tough to imagine that if at $19B, Apple App Store revenue accounts for 40% of Apple services revenue. 

    There's no competition for the 70% ($45B)  developers got. No third party store is going to survive by giving developers less than 70%. So $45B of Apple App Store gross sales is off the table when it comes to a third party app store competing for some of Apple App Store gross sales. 

    So the only money a third party app store would be competing for is a piece of the 30% commission Apple charges. 

    Here's a break down of the app store revenue generated by Google and Apple app stores. 


    There's no doubt that Apple App Store generate more revenue than Google Play Store. There's no doubt that the Apple App Store generate much more revenue for developers than the Google Play Store. How much revenue developers generate using Android is an unknown. But developers are are their own when they sell their Android software outside of the Google Play Store. And Google neither get or claim any credit for it.   

    Notice that subscriptions and games with in-app purchases are by far the biggest revenue generators for Apple in their App Store. Without them, I doubt that even the Apple App Store would be profitable. 

    All Apple has to do is to not offer any support to subscription services that put their free apps in a third party store. If a third party app store app runs into trouble, it's up to the third party store owner to fix it. After all, they are the ones that got the commission. Apple will only support the apps that are in the Apple App Store. Subscription services will not put up with their subscribers having trouble getting access to their paid subscription with a third party app store app.  

    Apple do not have to allow a third party app store to accept iTunes account as a form of payment. This alone will make most third party app store unprofitable, as every iOS user has an iTunes account. Most iOS users don't use their iTunes account to pay for purchases because it's the only way to pay. They use their  iTunes account to pay because it's the only way they want to pay. 

    Even Epic would not put their games in a third party app store. They want to have their games in their own app store. Where they don't have to pay a commission at all.  

    Let's face it. The only third party app store that will be profitable are the ones that big developers like Epic wants to open. And they are only interested in selling their own software in their app stores, to save on the 30% "tax".  They couldn't careless about small time developers selling $1.99 app. The big money for them is not having to pay the 30% "tax" on their own software, not making a maybe a 12% commission on some $1.99 fart app.    

    And here's why Epic is not trying to force Google to allow third party app stores on Android devices. And it's not because Google allows downloading app from the internet. 

    https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/74193/fortnite-mobile-data-pre-removal/

    And that's just the saving they could realize from not having to pay the Apple 30% 'tax" on just one game, Fortnight. 




    watto_cobra
  • Reply 58 of 79
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,308member
    rob53 said:
    crowley said:
    dewme said:
    "the tech giants would be forced to allow them in their digital storefronts"

    That's some very scary Big Brother massively intrusive sh**. Would Walmart, Target, Kroger, etc., allow the government to force them to stock certain products on their shelves even if the retailer did not want to carry such products? 
    Probably, yes.  I wouldn't be altogether surprised if some stores are obliged to sell some products that are unprofitable but socially beneficial as a condition of trading in some parts of the world.  It's won't be particularly onerous, these stores are very profitable.

    If it's forcing the stocking of a dumb shooting game that teenagers play, that's still not particularly scary, it's just a bit pathetic that lawmakers think this is worthwhile.
    I think some of you are missing the point. What Minnesota, Arizona, and others are wanting to do is to let developers (product suppliers) use the Apple Store (Walmart, Target, etc.) sell their applications using the entire infrastructure of the Apple App Store while forcing Apple (like Walmart, etc.) to give the developers 100% of the sale price to the developer. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. No store will let product suppliers use floor space and pocket 100% of the sale price. If they were forced to do this, these stores would go out of business in 5 minutes. The product suppliers (software developers) have to pay something for floor space, utilities, etc. (App Store), or you're looking at a charity and not a business. Apple, like other businesses, are not in business to give away things (maybe a few things they can write off but not what these developers are asking for). As others have said, time for politicians and judges to take a business class before making stupid decisions. If these laws go into effect, it wouldn't take long for stock holders to demand Apple do something because Apple would be giving away services they have historically been charging for. Apple giving away software is not the same thing as services.
    I agree with your post, but part of the issue is Apple already allows this ( outside the app store billing )  with some apps and not others. YouTube premium is an example of this. I pay Google directly rather than through App store subscription. By doing that I avoid the 30% up charge. Google wasn't eating the charge they were charging it back to me reflected in my monthly price. I was paying $12.99 through App store billing and $9.99 if I paid them directly. Same goes with Netflix and Disney+ and Shudder and others.. you can set your account up with payment info on their website and then grab the app for free from the app store.

  • Reply 59 of 79
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,500member
    davidw said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:

    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
    Are you aware that apps sold on the App Store use Apple's APIs like HomeKit, CloudKit, and 50 other "Kits"? Do you think that apps sold on third party store should still be allowed to use all these Kits? Basically, people on your side of the argument want apps to be able to use Apple's services without paying for them.

    By the way, that 60 billion figure you float refers to all Apple online services, not just app store revenue. And you're also talking revenue, not profit. By comparison, Walmart makes 500 billion revenue in its stores (ten times as much as all Apple's services combined) and I don't see you using that argument to set up third party stores inside Walmart.
    On App Store revenue. A quick Google returned this:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/apples-app-store-had-gross-sales-around-64-billion-in-2020.html

    No one knows for sure as Apple doesn't reveal that information. I'd guess there's a good reason for that and it's profit related. 

    The different 'kits' are in iOS. 

    Apps are made using Apple's IDE. Developers pay for that. 
    It has nothing to do with the App Store per se. 
    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 


    The $64B in your link is the App store gross sales for 2020, not gross revenue. That number came from Apple reporting that they generated $45B for developers. So Apple estimated gross revenue from the App store is only 30% of that $64B gross sales number.  Apple do not count the 70% they pay to developers as their revenue. It's the developer that pays Apple a commission, not the other way around. 

    So Apple gross revenue from the App store comes in at $19B for fiscal 2020, using these numbers.

    To put $19B in perspective. Apple total revenue for fiscal 2020 was $275B.  So the App store generated about 6% of Apple's total revenue with that number. Still not too shabby. But no where near $60B. At $60B, the App Store revenue would be about 25% of Apple 2020 revenue.That is totally unrealistic.

    Even the $19B estimate seems too high. Apple services revenue, that Apple do report and includes the revenue from the App Store, is about 17% of Apple total revenue. That would be about $47B in 2020. And the Apple App Store is not the service that generate the most revenue in Apple services. Apple Care generate the most and Apple Music alone generate over $6B a year now. Apple services includes iTunes Music Store, e-books, Apple TV+ subscriptions, Apple TV movie rentals and sales and licensing. Tough to imagine that if at $19B, Apple App Store revenue accounts for 40% of Apple services revenue. 

    There's no competition for the 70% ($45B)  developers got. No third party store is going to survive by giving developers less than 70%. So $45B of Apple App Store gross sales is off the table when it comes to a third party app store competing for some of Apple App Store gross sales. 

    So the only money a third party app store would be competing for is a piece of the 30% commission Apple charges. 

    Here's a break down of the app store revenue generated by Google and Apple app stores. 


    There's no doubt that Apple App Store generate more revenue than Google Play Store. There's no doubt that the Apple App Store generate much more revenue for developers than the Google Play Store. How much revenue developers generate using Android is an unknown. But developers are are their own when they sell their Android software outside of the Google Play Store. And Google neither get or claim any credit for it.   

    Notice that subscriptions and games with in-app purchases are by far the biggest revenue generators for Apple in their App Store. Without them, I doubt that even the Apple App Store would be profitable. 

    All Apple has to do is to not offer any support to subscription services that put their free apps in a third party store. If a third party app store app runs into trouble, it's up to the third party store owner to fix it. After all, they are the ones that got the commission. Apple will only support the apps that are in the Apple App Store. Subscription services will not put up with their subscribers having trouble getting access to their paid subscription with a third party app store app.  

    Apple do not have to allow a third party app store to accept iTunes account as a form of payment. This alone will make most third party app store unprofitable, as every iOS user has an iTunes account. Most iOS users don't use their iTunes account to pay for purchases because it's the only way to pay. They use their  iTunes account to pay because it's the only way they want to pay. 

    Even Epic would not put their games in a third party app store. They want to have their games in their own app store. Where they don't have to pay a commission at all.  

    Let's face it. The only third party app store that will be profitable are the ones that big developers like Epic wants to open. And they are only interested in selling their own software in their app stores, to save on the 30% "tax".  They couldn't careless about small time developers selling $1.99 app. The big money for them is not having to pay the 30% "tax" on their own software, not making a maybe a 12% commission on some $1.99 fart app.    

    And here's why Epic is not trying to force Google to allow third party app stores on Android devices. And it's not because Google allows downloading app from the internet. 

    https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/74193/fortnite-mobile-data-pre-removal/

    And that's just the saving they could realize from not having to pay the Apple 30% 'tax" on just one game, Fortnight. 




    I think you lost track of the point along the way. 

    Apple is making billions running the app store. Put the actual numbers aside for a moment. Do you doubt that a competing store would be able to offer the same infrastructure to developers for far less and still make a huge profit?

    You put a lot speculation in there, too. 

    It would be nice to see alternative stores on iDevices. A Play Store, an AppGallery or a new entry into the field. Competition is a must unless the purchaser wilfully accepts the limitations involved in a single Apple App Store model - and at the time of purchase.

    That is the only way I see Apple getting through this unscathed (especially with EU investigations) and even that might be unacceptable to some government bodies. 
    edited March 2021 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 60 of 79
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,739member
    avon b7 said:
    davidw said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:

    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 
    Are you aware that apps sold on the App Store use Apple's APIs like HomeKit, CloudKit, and 50 other "Kits"? Do you think that apps sold on third party store should still be allowed to use all these Kits? Basically, people on your side of the argument want apps to be able to use Apple's services without paying for them.

    By the way, that 60 billion figure you float refers to all Apple online services, not just app store revenue. And you're also talking revenue, not profit. By comparison, Walmart makes 500 billion revenue in its stores (ten times as much as all Apple's services combined) and I don't see you using that argument to set up third party stores inside Walmart.
    On App Store revenue. A quick Google returned this:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/08/apples-app-store-had-gross-sales-around-64-billion-in-2020.html

    No one knows for sure as Apple doesn't reveal that information. I'd guess there's a good reason for that and it's profit related. 

    The different 'kits' are in iOS. 

    Apps are made using Apple's IDE. Developers pay for that. 
    It has nothing to do with the App Store per se. 
    Maybe Android is already more profitable but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the costs involved in running an App Store. 

    If Apple is generating billions for App developers, it's part of the pie is surely in the billions too. Some estimates put 2020 App Store revenue at over 60 billion dollars. I'd say there is plenty of margin there for competition. 


    The $64B in your link is the App store gross sales for 2020, not gross revenue. That number came from Apple reporting that they generated $45B for developers. So Apple estimated gross revenue from the App store is only 30% of that $64B gross sales number.  Apple do not count the 70% they pay to developers as their revenue. It's the developer that pays Apple a commission, not the other way around. 

    So Apple gross revenue from the App store comes in at $19B for fiscal 2020, using these numbers.

    To put $19B in perspective. Apple total revenue for fiscal 2020 was $275B.  So the App store generated about 6% of Apple's total revenue with that number. Still not too shabby. But no where near $60B. At $60B, the App Store revenue would be about 25% of Apple 2020 revenue.That is totally unrealistic.

    Even the $19B estimate seems too high. Apple services revenue, that Apple do report and includes the revenue from the App Store, is about 17% of Apple total revenue. That would be about $47B in 2020. And the Apple App Store is not the service that generate the most revenue in Apple services. Apple Care generate the most and Apple Music alone generate over $6B a year now. Apple services includes iTunes Music Store, e-books, Apple TV+ subscriptions, Apple TV movie rentals and sales and licensing. Tough to imagine that if at $19B, Apple App Store revenue accounts for 40% of Apple services revenue. 

    There's no competition for the 70% ($45B)  developers got. No third party store is going to survive by giving developers less than 70%. So $45B of Apple App Store gross sales is off the table when it comes to a third party app store competing for some of Apple App Store gross sales. 

    So the only money a third party app store would be competing for is a piece of the 30% commission Apple charges. 

    Here's a break down of the app store revenue generated by Google and Apple app stores. 


    There's no doubt that Apple App Store generate more revenue than Google Play Store. There's no doubt that the Apple App Store generate much more revenue for developers than the Google Play Store. How much revenue developers generate using Android is an unknown. But developers are are their own when they sell their Android software outside of the Google Play Store. And Google neither get or claim any credit for it.   

    Notice that subscriptions and games with in-app purchases are by far the biggest revenue generators for Apple in their App Store. Without them, I doubt that even the Apple App Store would be profitable. 

    All Apple has to do is to not offer any support to subscription services that put their free apps in a third party store. If a third party app store app runs into trouble, it's up to the third party store owner to fix it. After all, they are the ones that got the commission. Apple will only support the apps that are in the Apple App Store. Subscription services will not put up with their subscribers having trouble getting access to their paid subscription with a third party app store app.  

    Apple do not have to allow a third party app store to accept iTunes account as a form of payment. This alone will make most third party app store unprofitable, as every iOS user has an iTunes account. Most iOS users don't use their iTunes account to pay for purchases because it's the only way to pay. They use their  iTunes account to pay because it's the only way they want to pay. 

    Even Epic would not put their games in a third party app store. They want to have their games in their own app store. Where they don't have to pay a commission at all.  

    Let's face it. The only third party app store that will be profitable are the ones that big developers like Epic wants to open. And they are only interested in selling their own software in their app stores, to save on the 30% "tax".  They couldn't careless about small time developers selling $1.99 app. The big money for them is not having to pay the 30% "tax" on their own software, not making a maybe a 12% commission on some $1.99 fart app.    

    And here's why Epic is not trying to force Google to allow third party app stores on Android devices. And it's not because Google allows downloading app from the internet. 

    https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/74193/fortnite-mobile-data-pre-removal/

    And that's just the saving they could realize from not having to pay the Apple 30% 'tax" on just one game, Fortnight. 




    I think you lost track of the point along the way. 

    Apple is making billions running the app store. Put the actual numbers aside for a moment. Do you doubt that a competing store would be able to offer the same infrastructure to developers for far less and still make a huge profit?

    You put a lot speculation in there, too. 

    It would be nice to see alternative stores on iDevices. A Play Store, an AppGallery or a new entry into the field. Competition is a must unless the purchaser wilfully accepts the limitations involved in a single Apple App Store model - and at the time of purchase.

    That is the only way I see Apple getting through this unscathed (especially with EU investigations) and even that might be unacceptable to some government bodies. 
    Apple is already only charging 15% commission for ongoing subscription after the first year and to developers that sells less than $1M in apps. No third party app store is going to be highly profitable with subscription services in their app store. Remember, the only money up for grab is the commission Apple charges. So how low can a third party go with their commission rate for a big developer like Netflix or Spotify or Hulu or HBO and small developers, when they are already paying only a 15% commission for a significant portion of their subscribers paying in-app or for the sale of an app, in order still to make a huge profit? Would big subscription services even care to save 5% on the commission, to be in a third party app store that's charging only a 10% commission? Without iTunes payment, a lot of developer that don't already have a payment system in place, are not going to put their app in a third party app store and lose customers that wants to pay with iTunes. And the third party store will incur at least a 3-5% charge for processing CC payment.

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/18/21572302/apple-app-store-small-business-program-commission-cut-15-percent-reduction

    Apple is already responding to possible completion by maybe being forced to allow third party app stores in iOS and they are making it very unlikely that any third party app store will be hugely profitable. Unless the big developer like Epic can open one, to save the 30% commission on their sales. Don't believe Sweeney when he say that he's looking after the small developers. Why would Sweeney sell his highly profitable apps in a third party app store with even 15% commission , when he can open his own and pay 0%? And this goes for nearly all the highly profitable subscription services. You don't think Amazon will open their own third party store, just to avoid the 15% -30% "tax" on digital goods sale in the Apple App Store? 

    This remind me of when ATT was broken up to the "Baby Bells", that took control of local calls from ATT. The average consumers ended paying a lot more for phone services because ATT retained their long distance services. And ATT was charging less for local calls when they had control of those because the money they made with from long distance calls subsidized the cost of the local calls. Without being able to rely on highly profitable long distance calls, the "Baby Bells" had to raise the price of local calls for the consumers. 

    I remember not only was my local phone service more expensive, i had to contract separately with ATT, or MCI or Sprint, if I wanted long distance as part of my phone service. And this would cost about an extra $5 a month, even if I never made a long distance call. Otherwise, I would need to dial some 10 to 16 digital code of one of dozens of long distance providers, in front of the long distance number, to make a long distance call. Plus long distance calls was now any where over 100 miles(?), not out of State. Competition is always great for the consumers...right? Most of the "Baby Bells" were never highly profitable, even when the infrastructure was already in place for them.  

    Expect the developers that offer free apps or depend on free apps to make money and the iOS users that uses a lot of free apps (that makes up 75% of the apps in the App Store), to be tossed under the bus, like the consumers with local calls in the ATT breakup, if third party app stores were to be allowed and they don't have to pay Apple anything to support iDevices and the iOS infrastructure. 
      
    edited March 2021 watto_cobra
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