The Apple Store will charge a 15% fee for app developers with an annual revenue of less than a million dollars, instead of 30% as before.
On November 18, Apple announced one of the most important changes to the App Store for developers. The Small Business Policy allows any developer with an annual revenue of less than $ 1 million from all apps to get a 15% discount. “Apple tax” is still calculated based on all sales that users pay in app stores.
Apple says the “vast majority” of iOS app developers have access to the new policy. However, it does not give an exact percentage of the more than 28 million active app developers. Apple also declined to comment on how its revenue will be affected by the new commission policy. CNBC estimates that in 2019, Apple Store revenue is about $ 50 billion, which is one of Apple’s most important businesses. Tim Cook defines the app store as the company’s business future.
The Small Business Policy will take effect from 1 January 2021. Developers will register to participate, Apple will release the request form and join process, time in December. The company also did not specify why it did not automatically update the list of participating developers. policy. This can reduce the likelihood of fraud or problems with automatic registration.
In addition to the new developers, the applications that were previously active will be considered by Apple for the proceeds in 2020. If the app rakes in more than $ 1 million by 2021, the 15% discount will be cut off. Immediately, went back to the 30% rule. If a developer crosses the threshold in 2020 but drops to less than one million by 2021, they are still eligible to apply.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says the move is a way to support small businesses. Cook calls this group “the backbone of the global economy and the heart of innovation”.
This is not the first time Apple has reduced commission rates for a certain group of developers. The last change was in 2016, which was also the first time the company allowed developers to keep an additional 15% of revenue if a user signed up for a membership longer than 12 months via iOS. The new tax policy is expected to please many other app developers, indie game developers and other members of its ecosystem.
In 2020, Apple experienced a mild media crisis when it was repeatedly reported about the 30% fee and complicated conditions for developers wanting to bring apps to the Apple Store. Many major developers such as software maker Basecamp, Epic Games, Facebook, Microsoft, and WordPress all voiced their opposition to Apple’s commission policy.
Although seen as a way to support developers during the economic downturn caused by Covid-19, Apple’s small business policy is still seen as a move to reduce the stress from reports. forced antitrust. However, whether it intends to launch the policy before or after the pandemic, it also shows that the relationship between Apple and its developers is increasingly unstable.