Apple has been under pressure from regulators, lawmakers, and developers to make its App Store more open and fair. The company has faced antitrust investigations, lawsuits, and criticism for its tight control over the distribution and monetization of apps on its platform. Apple has recently announced some changes to its App Store policies that aim to address some of these concerns and improve the experience for both developers and users.
One of the major changes is that Apple will allow developers to communicate with their customers outside of the App Store and offer alternative payment methods. This means that developers can avoid paying Apple’s 15% or 30% commission on in-app purchases and subscriptions, which has been a source of contention for many app makers. Apple will also let developers appeal its decisions on app rejections and suggest changes to its guidelines.
Another change is that Apple will reduce its commission rate to 15% for news publishers who participate in its Apple News service. This is part of a broader effort by Apple to support quality journalism and combat misinformation on its platform. Apple will also provide more transparency and data on how its editorial team selects and features stories on Apple News.
These changes are significant for Apple, which has historically been reluctant to loosen its grip on its App Store ecosystem. They are also a response to the changing market dynamics and consumer preferences, as more people use multiple devices and platforms, and as more services move to the cloud and web. Apple is trying to balance its interests as a platform owner, a service provider, and a device maker, while also maintaining its reputation for quality, security, and privacy.
Apple’s App Store is still one of the most lucrative and influential platforms in the tech industry, with over 1.8 million apps and over $64 billion in revenue in 2020. By opening up its App Store, Apple is hoping to foster more innovation, competition, and trust among its developers and users, and to ensure its long-term success in the digital economy.