Apple’s App Store isn’t evil, the headline above a Bloomberg News Editorial states flatly, as Apple squares off in court with Epic Games, “it’s worth remembering what’s really at stake,” Bloomberg News’ Editorial Board writes.
Epic doesn’t like that Apple takes a 30% cut of its in-app sales on its devices. To avoid the fee, and in violation of the store’s rules, Epic introduced a payment system that would allow users to purchase items from it directly. Apple and Google (which has a similar arrangement) both yanked “Fortnite” from their mobile stores in response. A lawsuit followed.
This whole chain of events was something of a stunt. Epic immediately unveiled a prepackaged PR crusade, including a video parody and hashtag campaign. An ongoing advertising push paints the dispute as a David-and-Goliath battle on behalf of lowly appmakers, who, in this telling, are being coerced into paying Apple’s punitive fees. On Thursday, a group of likeminded companies announced they had formed an alliance to protest the rules.
This framing has things backward. The App Store has in fact been hugely useful for consumers, stimulated competition and — not least — offered immense benefits to smaller companies…
The consumer benefits are plain. Thanks to the standards that Apple imposes, iPhone users know that whatever apps they select won’t come loaded with spyware, viruses or battery-draining excesses. Buyers have a safe and seamless way to pay, and need no technical aptitude to install their purchases…
It’s true that 30% sounds like a hefty fee. But it’s entirely in line with what other platforms and marketplaces charge for distributing digital content to their users. Fees for software sales at brick-and-mortar shops frequently exceeded 60% before the iPhone came along. And the vast majority of developers pay nothing at all —only those that acquire customers or deliver goods and services through the app are subject to the fee.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously.
As we wrote earlier today: “Spotify, Epic Games, Match, and the other whiners want all of the benefits afforded to them by Apple’s App Store for free. How much did it cost developers to have their applications burned onto CDs, boxed, shipped, and displayed on store shelves prior to Apple remaking the world for the better for umpteenth time?”