Pet peeve, but the appstore cut is 30% of app /revenue/, not app /profit/. It's a much higher cut of profit.
If your app is a high-risk large investment for a high revenue but lowish margin product, it swallows your entire margin. And then people wonder why AAA games studios mostly avoid the mobile platforms.
"We don't look at the appstore as a separate business, we look at it as an integrated part of our entire business" ... uh, yes, that's why the antitrust committee is looking at it
"we don't favor our own apps [like Apple music that comes preinstalled] over third party apps [like Spotify that doesn't] in the search via the appstore"
Amazing they get away with statements like this that are so incredibly, incredibly disingenuous
So if the numbers are right that Apple makes $15-$18bn for the appstore but costs $100m to run, that means they're making a 150x margin on the appstore. Or IOW, a 1% charge for exactly the same service would *still* net Apple just shy of a half-billion dollars in profit per year
And spare me the "but we put so much money into developer tools". iOS developer tools *suck*. Xcode is actual garbage compared with equiv tools on other platforms (like Visual Studio), and you already pay $99/yr for a dev cert for the "privilege" of being an iOS developer.
The bit that truly gets me tho is the idea that app stores are entitled to post-initial-sale sales that don't even involve the appstore. Just imagine how absurd that logic would sound if applied to other industries
"Thanks for getting internet provided through Comcast. It costs $300 for a router, $60/mo thereafter, oh, and also every time you make an internet purchase you have to hand over 30% to us. Because we provide the Internet platform"
"Thanks for buying our new Toyota car platform. Our cars run on normal gas, but to fill it up at any gas station you must sign up for an account, enroll your credit card into our app, and pay via us for a tiny tiny 30% markup. Y'know. For security or whatever."
Not to pick on this particular comment, but Steam is a great example of what appstore competition would look like in practice, and why it would be good for developers and consumers
Windows does have appstores! Steam is an appstore. So is Epic Games. So is GOG. So is Windows Intune. So is the Microsoft store. There's not just one, and they do subtly different things, compete on features, and cater to slightly different markets.
A while ago, I saw a game on Steam. It was something like $40. But the same game was on sale at Epic for like $10. So I got a better price. Doesn't come with Steam integration, but that's a choice I could make as a consumer.
Similarly, Epic fights like hell to get exclusive titles on their appstore. And that means taking a suitcase of cash to developers. That's cash that doesn't need to be offered if there's no choice in the market. So developers win too.
By having competition in the market, you give consumers extra value, you drive prices down, and you empower content developers over platform developers, and you force platform developers to look for niches and to compete on features. All of which ultimately benefits the ecosystem
It also kind of lays waste to the idea that only certain firms can run appstores safely. Is Steam riddled with scams and malware? I doubt it. The way they take new apps into the store isn't via generalized public submission, and that's their choice to make.
There's this trope that appstore competition is either nonsensical because appstores are some inherently meta-functionality that only the OS can provide or unsafe because it means no anti-malware checks. But a look at other platforms gives a reality check to both of those claims.
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