I am pretty sure game consoles have been doing this basically since their existence. None of them allow you to make 'A' rated games for example. (Considering the topic of the article, it should be obvious I am referring to "restricted the ways they talk about their products and pricing" here)
Retail stores keep some amount of control over signage, I doubt Walmart would be particularly happy if a sign said you could buy X device cheaper directly from the manufacturer.
In reality Apple is continuing a trend that is normal for store fronts, digital or physical.
However, the "walled garden" of Apple is largely why I stick with iOS. I don't want to be forced to trust every company with my credit card information (a developer implementing their own payment system will be an immediate delete for me, with very few exception... like Amazon for obvious reasons).
Also lets not forget that we keep seeing reports that iOS users are more likely to spend money than Android users. I would argue that the increased income from users makes up for the 30% cut.
iOS in comparison is downright draconian.
Yes, console makers have monopoly stores on their platforms. Even if you include physical copies, because of the licensing platforms, it's still the same basic idea. (They're also criticized by some for these reasons.)
The difference is that those platforms are not using those quasi-monopolies as leverage to force developers to use their tools. Could they? Yes. But you can't use the capability someone has to do something to defend Apple actually doing the thing.
 - The down-voters seem only to disagree with you. That's not what a down-vote is for, and voting this way actively harms the discussion.
> Please don't comment about the voting on comments. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading.
So it's not that bad, you can do most of your everyday work on whatever OS you prefer.
Also, if you think developing in Xamarin or Unity can be done off platform with some last minute debugging and ship... then you're in a reality many of us wish existed.
I get it, Apple takes a 30% hit and it is a lot of money. But managing your own payment platform and sales is going to consume 15% already, so I don't want to hear about how outrageous this is. No one accounts for what they are getting for their 30% when they whine about how Apple is being unfair.
Apple is a boutique brand that has a vast customer base of people who don't mind spending money. Want access to that? Pay! This is not a unique formula, look at an NFL franchise.
Also note that it isn't all game consoles, there are various open game consoles, though since they are not made by huge companies with huge marketing budgets they are not as popular (perhaps Atari's new Linux powered console will change that, but we'll see). However their existence means that games consoles are not synonymous with locked down walled gardens.
I'm sure if the next Xbox had the ability to run Windows 10 it would sell like crazy.
Or even better if it was a true OS, like Windows 7.
An iPhone, by contrast, will be many people's primary or even they're only computer. What does it mean for our society if a single company has control over what that computer can display?
I see this issue as broader than just competition—I think it's analogous to free speech.
(And before someone comments about how this doesn't conflict with the 1st Amendment, you are obviously correct; but free speech is as much a societal value as a legal construct, and is not limited to the Bill of Rights as its sole champion.)
If all this competition that the article talked about was such a good thing, apps would be cheaper on Android, and I, as a consumer, would switch. Fact is, the fact that Tinder et al are now bypassing Google’s mechanisms isn’t a good thing to me at all. It’s more the reason to stay on iOS.
The article writer is pissed he can’t get access to me without paying Apple’s toll, but what he doesn’t understand is that I am like it like that.
However, I don't think that a link that says "Click here to start your Netflix subscription" threatens that experience in the slightest; it's only a threat to Apple's revenue model. (While there are legitimate concerns about fraud/phishing/etc, that can be reviewed on a content level by Apple, as they already do in other respects.)
There are perhaps arguments against allowing side-loading; even if the process is cumbersome for non-techies, there remains a "dancing bunnies"  problem that might lead to malware on Grandma's phone (or, just a very poor software experience).
But even there, I'm not convinced that there isn't a reasonable tradeoff. While the needs for macOS and iOS are clearly different, the former has a very reasonable default that allows unsigned executables, while discouraging them to non-technical users, and giving a great experience buying and installing software through the App Store. (Strictly speaking, one can pseudo-sideload on iOS via XCode if one has the source, but at the cost of $99!)
I think a more reasonable policy might be requiring all apps to be code-signed (so malware and pirated apps can be shut down), but allow side-loading with a great number of scary warnings. Most people will still prefer the App Store experience, and as with the Mac App Store, the increased audience will usually be worth the 30% cut (which, by the way, if faced with "competition" from side-loading, may be pressured down into a more reasonable 10-20% range.)
Whether it's Apple, Nintendo, or Amazon, any platform that makes itself a mandatory middle-man between third-party buyers and sellers is rent-seeking extraction at best, and a net economic loss at worst (preventing value-creating relationships from existing at all). In my opinion, smart and reasonable regulations of such marketplace platforms would be a win for both economic growth and personal freedom.
Where, in the US, is the requirement that everyone has to let anyone say anything enshrined? AFAIK, it's not, and is (very) often confused with the Bill of Rights version.
One important distinction is that free expression is not limited to the "right to say anything"; it also includes the right to listen to the expression of others. See, for example, the rich history of librarians resisting turning over records of who reads what books, which could result in a chilling effect where people are scared to read controversial material.
this is literally every major OS right now.... Mac, iOS, Android, Chromium, Windows....
> I think it's analogous to free speech.
what? no it isn't. these are proprietary, private sector companies who fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders, not government entities.
No it's not! I can run whatever software I want on Windows, Mac, Android and Chromium.
> these are proprietary, private sector companies who fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders, not government entities.
I am not accusing Apple of literally breaking the first amendment. I do, however, think their actions have consequences for our society and democracy.
Imagine if side-loading books onto a Kindle was impossible, and Amazon implemented an App Store-style review process for everything sold on the Kindle store. Would you consider that a threat to free speech?
Well, consider what happened when someone made an iOS game about Apple factory workers in Foxconn: Apple killed it .
Now, it is absolutely Apple's prerogative to determine what is allowed on their storefront, just as any retailer can decide what to stock on its shelves. However, by completely blocking any form of side-loading, Apple is making decisions about what type of content their users are allowed to see on their devices. That's a problem if the iPhone is someone's primary computer, and perhaps their only computer.
Just as you can on Safari!
Web applications can't do peer to peer networking, period. Nor can they interact with arbitrary hardware devices you decide to connect.
Companies; S,C, LLC. They did not exist, and by request they were willed into 'personhood' at the signing of a government pen. They were not required to approve the incorporation request. So, I ask this:
Why do we not enforce incorporated entities to also abide by the Bill of Rights as being extensions of the government?
They certainly weren't born, and there's no corporate death penalty. So it tells me they're an extension of government, as they were willed into being with their explicit consent.
because they are extensions of the private citizens that own them
your extension is accomplished when government entities under the US Constitution are significant funders or owners of these entities
Barns & Noble should be able to decide what types of books to put on their selves. Hacker News's moderators should be able to make decisions about what types of content lead to intellectual curiosity. And while I strongly believe all software platforms should allow sideloading, I also think Apple's curated, "safe" App Store is a great (optional) service for consumers who want it.
If you're not, there's a lot of Android phones, varying from open to extremely open, for general purpose computing.
Console? When I ship a PS4 build, it is THE PS4 BUILD. It has optimizations designed to maximize the memory buses that ship with the PS4 and the PS4 only.
But why is that relevant to how one is a general purpose computer and the other isn’t?
And before you bring up an esoteric development scenario, I assure you that developers aren’t using their phone as their primary computer.
Look at the IP protection around John Deere equipment.
While none of this is especially good, it's hardly a unique problem.
App stores are vampiric parasites and need to be dismantled. Either that, or these companies need their phone monopolies taken away.
You can’t distribute a Switch, PS4, or Xbox One game without giving the respective companies a cut of your sale.
Windows and Mac are the only exceptions, but you won’t get far without publishing to a digital store unless you can afford to drum up a whole lot
of name recognition all on your own (also costs money unless you hit the lottery like Mojang did).
Gaming companies fight to win over gamers and developers. Not so for Apple and Google with their walled fiefdoms.
If you release a game on disc. The retailer + distributer get at least a 50% cut.
There's absolutely no restriction on game development machines except that the provided tools (probably) only run on Windows.
Apple intentionally restrict developers to only use Apple hardware and software to keep the ecosystem contained.
And arguably, a big reason for this is trust. Users feel more comfortable spending money in iOS specifically because it’s a walled garden and Apple vouches for the trustworthiness of the developers in it.
It’s telling that stories about devs behaving badly within the App Store (like the weird VPNs and parental controls that are basically enterprise MDM tools) get way more traction than stories about this.
The sad difference is that we don't care much about 'A' rated game, but we do care about useless 30% surcharge and more trouble on how to pay.
If you do care about 'A' rated games, I will gladly push your campaign and not argue whether it's a legitimate concern or not.
> I doubt Walmart would be particularly happy if a sign said you could buy X device cheaper directly from the manufacturer.
I agree completely, which is why I wouldn't expect Apple to accept on the app store (the market) to let description or screenshot talk about how it can be cheaper somewhere else.
Outside of the app store though, on the apps themselves, they shouldn't have any control over what the app say over where you can or cannot buy something. They don't own the device, it's mine. they may own their app store, that's fine, they are hosting it, but they don't own the device.
> a developer implementing their own payment system will be an immediate delete for me
Same goes for me and I'm on Android. The difference is the liberty to make that choice.
App stores and retailers are different. There's almost no cost to list an app (for Apple, Google) and yet they charge a 30% fee. Apple, especially, is a text book anti competitive, monopoly in their terms and it's enforcement.
Also, the app store would be just as successful if not for their draconian rules, Mac is proof that ecosystems can thrive without Apple's stranglehold. The app store choke hold is all about the money
- Credit card processing fees
- Hosting the content (yes minimal but can't be ignored)
- Approval process (the people)
- "Editors" that create the curated lists every day
- Developer support hours (technically you get with the yearly subscription but I doubt that actually covers the cost of those hours).
- The engineers building the developer tools (Xcode, the developer portal, TestFlight, etc)
Around 1.5%. Probably even cheaper for the big fish.
> - Hosting the content (yes minimal but can't be ignored)
S3 charges $0.0007/GB and $0.00000004/request for downloads as their baseline. Assuming a typical app size of ~50MB, each download would cost $0.00003504. Updates would be even cheaper, since they are usually tiny delta packages.
> - Approval process (the people)
A problem that they imposed in the first place.
> - "Editors" that create the curated lists every day
> - Developer support hours (technically you get with the yearly subscription but I doubt that actually covers the cost of those hours).
Then charge the actual cost for support, or improve the documentation? It doesn't exactly seem fair to make the competent developers subsidize the people who bog down the support department. (Or, if it's actually common to use these, to use their monopoly to force devs to use a platform so awful that they actually need to call the support.)
> - The engineers building the developer tools (Xcode, the developer portal, TestFlight, etc)
Which are self-imposed problems and/or inferior to free third-party tools.
So, that 30% cost is really just the price of doing business in this ecosystem. It is entirely your choice as to whether or not you participate in this ecosystem.
That's wildly inaccurate. It's easily disprovable: Apple's costs aren't proportional to the pricing of software sold through it's stores. Does your refrigerator maker charge you as 30% premium on groceries stored in the fridge, or are there limitations on what groceries you can stock there?
The app store is wildly profitable, and Apple admits as much. While I have no objection to profits, we're all here discussing the issue because it's a tool used to unfairly thwart competition, impose monopolistic & unfair trade practices, which is why the EU and supreme Court, and possibly FTC are all involved in various complaints against Apple. If your fridge maker isn't allowed to regulate your groceries, Apple shouldn't be arbitrarily blocking and price gouging apps on their platform.
If Apple were like Safeway then you'd have to pay them a few hundred grand to even be in the store, AND you will pay the 30% markup, AND guarantee a certain level of marketing spend out of your pocket (a portion of which will go to vendors/services they specify), AND if you don't make certain sales numbers they simply delete your app.
The Mac software ecosystem isn’t exactly “thriving”. That’s most of the reason that Apple is trying to bring iOS developers to the Mac.
While I do think it's high for recurring revenue every retailer is in that 30% range or higher.
Can you be more specific? I know plenty of places to rent 'A' movie for example. I also know plenty of alternative to Steam on PC, yet none on iOS device.
If you talked about games on console that can't be 'A' rated. I would agree completely that it's wrong and I'm pretty sure that almost everybody would agree. We just don't care about not being to play 'A' game on console.
If you do care, believe me, I would gladly say that what you are doing is positive. I won't say, well what about X other place that doesn't allow something else.
My point is that all of these digital platforms are taking a percentage that is in that range. Apple probably gets called out the most because it's open to anyone, popular and it's fees are transparent but it's really the same across most digital platforms. I'm not saying the percentage isn't high but Apple isn't an outlier when it comes to the fees.
What about Barnes & Nobles? What about your local library? The difference is competition/choice.
I'm not even arguing about the 30% on the shop or even the existence of fees. Fees makes sense if they add something. They are well in their rights and it's fine that they do it in the app store.
What I'm arguing about is forcing them to use that as payment gateway IN the app. That's not value added, VISA does it for 2.5% (and less) already, Paypal too. That means that they directly remove choice to gains from you.
Buy a magazine over Amazon and see if inside there's an offer to subscribe using others means. Go on Uber on Android and check if you are forced to use Google Wallet.
> Apple probably gets called out the most because it's open to anyone, popular and it's fees are transparent but it's really the same across most digital platforms.
You are not calling out others, you didn't even named one in your comment. You are justifying their fees by the competition that does similar fees. You may want to change how you formulate your comment if your goal is really to call them out.
As you point out, they really don't make much in the way of profit on their software or services -- almost all their profit comes from selling the hardware.
So, 30% is just the cost of doing business in the ecosystem. If you don't like that, you don't have to participate in that ecosystem.
It is entirely your choice.
Unless you work in the finance department at Apple, you have no way of knowing this. And if you do, disclosing this is a fireable offense.
On the web you can trust someone like paypal for what thats worth instead of a million websites.
This problem is solved with Paypal.
Bed Bath and Beyond had done everything right to capture my purchase: They hosted the wedding registry, took care of the couple's address, and by not allowing me to select "I'm buying this somewhere else" kept me from leaving to where I could possibly get the item cheaper.
But BB&B requires Verified By Visa, and I require my credit card provider to not be stupid about security, so my card was declined. I turned right around and bought the item on Amazon.
I don’t use my debit card for online purchases at all however. If someone steals that and uses it, I’m out of pocket until the bank resolves it, which can take days.
With credit cards, and Amex especially, they’ll simply reverse the fraudulent transactions and overnight you a new card.
Someone skimmed my Amex when I was on a vacation in Japan, charged about ¥700k on it. One call to them, they froze the transactions and in roughly 16 hours I collected a new card in the hotel lobby.
But at least the worst is better than most everything else.
As a developer (though it has been a few years since I wrote code for mobile) Apple's tools, documentation and libraries were so much better than Google's, though that may say more about Google than Apple. And I approve of app store revenue supporting those tools.
But 30% is really, really high. I don't work for Apple, or Google for that matter, so I have no insight into what portion of the money goes to the services mentioned above, but it seems to me that even 20% would be pretty hard to swallow, and 30% seems unreasonable.
I would love to hear from someone with actual knowledge of this how much of that app store revenue is profit.
Sounds a bit irrational, but I don't think it is (at least at the moment).
There is at least one App (ProTube) that I can't use just because some Company (Google) got Apple to kick it out of the AppStore.
I also can't download Torrents or use Emulators. There's no justified reason - Apple just doesn't want me to.
And there's nothing I can do, because the alternatives are far inferior (at least for my use cases).
I can only hope for regulation.
This is still very much true IME, Android Studio has much more frequent random issues and is generally slower and harder to work with than Xcode (I use both every day)
Interestingly, that's about the average income tax rate. I wonder if Apple and Uncle Sam both independently came to the same conclusion that that's the highest amount that they can get away with without hitting the tipping point.
Basically a $10 product had better cost $3 to make, $6 for wholesale, and $10 MSRP. If you're outsourcing manufacture, then you're likely adding another layer in there for a 30/30/30 split.
I got an amazing service to offer you, it's a debit card with 30% fees that will prevent fraud and insecure transactions!
2017 the App store revenue was ~50 billion, which means Apple made 15 billions from fees.
Their net income was ~50 billion, too, which means 0 App store fees would reduce their profits by 30%.
Not sure if all numbers are correct, but I guess this should give us a ballpark feeling of what we are talking about.
The profit margin is a number that includes everything. I compare this to the revenue they make from app store fees. If they stop taking that revenue, their revenue decreases by exactly that amount, their expenses stay the same, so their profit also decreases by exactly that amount.
Why does macOS keep getting offhandedly roped into these discussions? Not only is the Mac App Store not a requirement, it's rarely used.
Maybe Apple intends to change that some day, but that's speculation, not reality. And frankly, from where I sit, people have been predicting the demise of macOS sideloading for nearly a decade now, and they're still waiting.
I'd say it's pretty obvious that this is a desired outcome on Apple's part. You can either wait until it's too late or bring it up before it's happening.
Over the years, Mac's defaults have changed to protect inexperienced users via restrictions like Gatekeeper and SIP. Apple has never attempted to make any of these systems mandatory. All it takes is a few terminal commands to gain complete kernel-level access to my system.
Because companies never lie or say that "we're not going to do XYZ" until next week/month/year where they go "XYZ is the new awesome". Expecting companies to be honest is like placing a cat near a canary and expecting them to be BFFs, especially when the topic is something that people have negative concerns about.
It is MUCH better to be explicit and loud about what you do not want to see before it happens, than try to reverse a situation after it has already happened. You lose nothing by doing the former, even if there were never plans to do what you fear might happen.
100% of the projections I've seen about MacOS becoming a walled garden have been from people that don't actually have any real familiarity with Apple's ecosystem as developers.
macOS is a more open platform because Apple has decided to leave it that way, not because the property is literally essential for development.
(That's actually the funniest part about all this, now that I think about it. While everyone is wailing and gnashing their teeth about some speculative possibility that macOS ends up locked down like iOS, Apple has been making iOS more open.)
Is there a significant number of power users who are resigning their apps every seven days? I find this somewhat hard to believe, given just how annoying it is, combined with the three-app limit.
They are also not going to allow any Electron apps?
No, I don't, double check which commenter you're replying to. :)
I'm just arguing Apple could lock down macOS if they wanted to, without making iOS development impossible.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. You're using bad or outdated second or third-hand info with no regard for the game of telephone involved in getting it to you, nor the anti-Apple zealots obfuscating the truth on its way.
What I do know is: if you try to use more intensive emulators like PPSSPP on a non-Jailbroken iOS device (via a developer account, enterprise cert, or similar), you will not get acceptable performance, because the emulator is forced to fall back into an interpreter mode.
Even on Jailbroken devices, the hacks required to make JIT work cause weird issues: https://github.com/hrydgard/ppsspp/issues/9186
I’m not even going to try and address whatever weird issues a console emulator might have, those always have problems being ported to non-x86 platforms, especially when they include a JIT. As it happens, dynamic recompilation of machine code not designed for that purpose can be pretty damn hard. Take a look at the posts the Dolphin emulator team make about the fun they encounter.
This isn't that! The JIT works when you remove iOS's sandbox (by Jaibreaking). And this applies to every iOS console emulator.
I don’t see that. Why do you think it will happen?
I like where Apple is going and I like the iOS model. Most of all, I know that people like my parents will be better protected from malware and spyware and crypto extortion.
Are you saying that if they were applying the same walled market as what they do with iOS, the Zoom issue wouldn't have happened? That seems doubtful to me.
Even if they installed a malicious app on iOS, the damage is still limited because of the security model of iOS.
I definitely understand the concern of centralizing everything around one provider, but I’m just pointing out that these systems win because, on the whole, they are a better experience for users. It’s why Facebook wins, and it’s why closed systems continue to crush open ones.
There's a bit too much going on in your response, so...I greatly disagree on many levels and I feel this statement is a good lead as to why.
I had to switch the region to Netherlands to install the (free) RyanAir app (why?!) which was rather annoying since then it started offering Dutch suggestions for stuff (which I don't want).
I can't add my UK CC to my account though as it's not a Dutch one, so I switched to the UK region, and then it errors out with "your account is not valid for use in the UK store. You must switch to the Dutch store before purchasing". Why ...? I don't know.
I had a similar problem with the RyanAir app: I switched to Dutch store and then got "your account is not valid for use in the Dutch store. You must switch to the New Zealand store". I forgot how I fixed that.
The reason they have all these restrictions is presumably so I can't use a cheaper store to but stuff.
While this isn't the sort of "broken" that the article talks about, effectively, the iOS store is broken for me. That's always the problems with these kind of restrictions: they also block legitimate use for people who don't fall neatly in your expected audience. I had similar problems ordering a new charger for my ThinkPad in NZ, as I had to use a NZ-based CC to get it delivered to a NZ address :-/
I find this kind of bullshit a super annoying way to waste my time. I never had these kind of problems with the Android store, and as soon as there's an updated Android phone that's not larger than some TVs I've owned (iPhone SE is good size) I'm getting an Android phone again (not that I have a particular love for Android, it's just "less bad").
Because content licensed for a particular geographic region.
I mix regions, too. It's not rocket surgery. You just have multiple iTunes accounts, which are as easy to create as buying an iTunes card while you're in that country and loading it into a new account.
I have US, UK, French, and Japanese iTunes accounts, and have no problems making purchases from any of them because each has an independent country-specific payment source.
You can have up to five on a device. It's something Apple has supported from the beginning.
Here's how everything else works: I see a price for something, I decide I want it, I fill in my CC number, and I have it. No need to go to a physical store and juggle accounts and credit cards and whatnot.
1: Scroll to bottom of iTunes screen. 2: Click the flag. 3: Choose new country. Doesn't sound that dramatic to me.
I don't even use iTunes; do I have an account?
If you don't have an Apple account, then what is it that you're complaining that you can't make a purchase from? iTunes and Apple accounts are the same thing.
I can't add my UK CC to my account
The account that you say you don't know you have? You're going to have to make up your mind when you rant.
Which doesn't fix anything since then it errors and says I need to use the Dutch store.
> If you don't have an Apple account, then what is it that you're complaining that you can't make a purchase from? iTunes and Apple accounts are the same thing.
I creates an Apple account; so that an iTunes account? iTunes is for buying music, no? I don't even have iTunes on my phone. You seem to think that it's normal that people know all this stuff like "Apple account is also your iTunes account", but that doesn't follow at all.
> The account that you say you don't know you have? You're going to have to make up your mind when you rant.
I can't add it if it's in the Dutch region, so I switch to UK region, add it, and then it says my account is only valid for the Dutch region when I actually try to make a purchase.
The purchase I wanted to make were Irish ordinance survey maps for hiking, which is not tied to the Netherlands at all, so you tell me...
This problem is the same. How can Spotify compete with Apple in a completely separate industry like Music when Apple takes a 15-30% cut? How can Netflix compete? Apple is using their position to expand into other areas of business.
This is bad for competition, and what is bad for competition is generally bad for people.
Sure, Apple has a great, safe experience with the store and in-app purchases, but that is no reason to prevent other flows. Why can I not decide for myself whether to use an App’s “alternative” payment system?
Can I sideload music and integrate it with my Spotify library like I can with Apple Music? Can an artist get included in the Spotify library without giving them a 30% cut?
Apple is introducing cellular streaming in WatchOS 5 and music intents with Siri in iOS 13.
This problem is the same. How can Spotify compete with Apple in a completely separate industry like Music when Apple takes a 15-30% cut? How can Netflix compete?
Netflix also stopped allowing in app subscriptions recently.
Seeing that Spotify still grew steadily after not allowing in app subscriptions. It doesn’t seem like their growth was harmed.
We’re you unaware of that before you bought your device? If you buy a vacuum cleaner and discovered it doesn’t toast bread, are you blaming the vacuum maker?
You know what you get when you buy Apple, there are hardly surprises.
Not as instant/universally approved as Google's system but there is a process.
The App Store should not be the only way to get software on an iPhone, sans literally hacking the device.
I want to Apple to be the benevolent dictator of what software is on my phone, And I am willing to pay higher up prices, and put up with missing features in order to protect their revenue stream in exchange for that.
You could still exercise that preference even if Apple opened its platform to (easy) side-loading or other app-stores: you'd just choose to use only Apple's route for software installation.
If the Apple App Store is only one of many ways to install apps on an iOS device, then there's no issue with Apple charging whatever fees it wants. The problem here is the anti-competitive nature, since all roads lead through that same App Store -- you have to choose another phone entirely to avoid the Apple tax.
You seem to be objecting to the manner in which they compete.
Users are not free to use other software on Apple hardware.
The operative question is how we define the market. Is the operative market "all smartphones," or are iOS devices distinct enough to qualify as a market of their own?
The answer isn't clear to me, especially because there are a variety of soft barriers. Even if "all smartphones" is the relevant market, phones are expensive; it takes on the order of $1k to walk away from an iPhone X in favour of an equivalent Android device.
I absolutely am! There is such a thing as unfair competition. As I see it, Apple is using their existing dominance to create barriers to entry for new players.
I'm free to avoid Amazon too, but as increasing amounts of society move to Amazon as the de-facto web store for everything, how reasonable is it to fully boycott them? Sure it's possible, but it would be a substantial life commitment.
The number one phone manufacturer is Samsung, not Apple. Huawei is number two.
Maybe you're not objecting because you don't know how much better the alternative could be?
I'm making my iOS walled garden choice with open eyes.
I'm happy to sideload apps if they're worth it; so far the only one i found that I cared enough about to do this with was Blink, and i wound up buying it on the app store afterwards so the developers could get their cut.
The problem here is that they also charge 100 or $50 just to start developing on their platform...
Why would that matter in the slightest? If I'm a developer and I figure I need to make $4 off every sale, I just price my app at $6. It will make apps cost more to the end-user, of course; the end-user can then decide whether they want to pay in cash to Apple (via app purchases) to develop iOS, or pay in lack of privacy to Google to develop Android.
What makes me angry about this sort of post is that _right now I have a choice_ -- if I want to pay with money instead of privacy, I choose Apple; if I want to pay with privacy instead of money, I choose Android. Articles like this are clearly meant to _take away my choice_, leaving "pay by privacy" the only option available to me.
Do you realize that it costs thousands of dollars to develop for either the Playstation or Nintendo and you have to sign an NDA? Do you buy console games?
This isn't skimming. This is a business agreement. The developer should understand the business agreements they enter into.
I did not intend to make a statement about the submission fee.
There is zero chance that I would send personal info or payment data to some no-name app and even most of the other well known apps.
Friday AM, I threw caution to the wind and used it at a smaller retailer site and software vendor. Within an hour I had a notice from my bank that my cc information had been exposed and a new card was being sent to me.
I don’t like a world where I have to be paranoid and minimize the vendors who get my sacred numbers/business, but from the headlines and experience not many others are willing to be paranoid enough about security for me.
It never stopped me from giving my credit card number to Amazon. I gained quite a bit from that and never had to give 30% to Apple to gain from it. I did have to give 2.5% to Visa though, but they did provide a pretty good service to justify that 2.5%.
What the App Store provides is not valueless, quite the opposite in fact. It's an entire system of distribution management.
Is it monopolistic? By definition, no, because Android is the #1 smartphone platform in the world.
Is it great that Apple has provided no alternative way of downloading software to the iPhone and iPad? No, that's not great either, but users knew that from day one (when the iPhone had no App Store at all).
In reality, iOS is no different than a game console like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, and yet we consider those closed marketplaces completely functional and normal.
If Apple was the only company making smartphones or if they even made a plurality of them, perhaps this would be a problem.
This depends on how you describe the market. Is the market smartphone users or is it iOS apps? If you are in the market to buy an iOS app, you must go through apple, which would suggest it is a monopoly. IANAL but this has precedence - think of the “windows browser market” that Microsoft was raked over the coals about. The fact that you could buy a Mac or run Linux didn’t appease the courts IIRC.
I find a lot of value in the iOS App Store and think it is just like a game console, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be viewed as a monopoly _for iOS apps_
In 2002 Internet Explorer had a 96.6% browser marketshare. 
In 1999 Microsoft Windows made up around 95% of desktop operating systems in use. 
In terms of antitrust law, IANAL but, I think you'd have a harder time convincing a court that the App Store is a monopoly of any sort. I don't think you can just break down markets into sections like that and claim they have a monopoly on that section.
Apple's < 20% global marketshare isn't anywhere near enough to make the assertion that customers don't have alternatives.
It's not perfect but it appears to be much, much better than Google version.
What I don't like is the limited app discovery, and the bad rules in terms of apps just taking names and causing a lot of confusion so that I'm not sure if that's the app I really want to install.
30% might be high, and there's certainly a case to be made for conflict of interest in the Netflix/Spotify arena, but the App Store is solving a lot of problems: it's a single, universal way to get an app out to every iThing, it manages updates, and there's no nickel-and-diming in terms of processing fees or hosting or anything like that.
I thought it was in that keynote but maybe not: I remember someone comparing a 30% cut to the costs associated with getting a physical copy onto retail shelf, and if I recall correctly it was in the same universe.
The irony here is palpable ಠ_ಠ
Further this is all very hand-wavy about abuse without mentioning the benefits that very same platform provides. It makes the whole discussion around it completely specious because it's inventing a victimization.
My understanding is that credit card processors, Stripe for example, charge $0.30 + 2.9% of the transaction amount. So for an $0.99 purchase that is roughly 33 cents. On large purchases your statement is true, but in-app purchases average $0.99.
From this side, the App Store fee can be justified. Whether it is reasonable or to high depends on many parameters. A fair solution would be to have the fee start at 30% and decline with sales numbers, as the review process doesn't increase. Of course, large commercial entities, who do have their own servers/payment processors and don't need a trusted site to host their apps are less happy with the policies.
But beyond the discussion about the fee, there is the aspect that Apple prevents all software installations from outside the app store. This is something which has to change as Apple isn't only protecting against malware, but also limits a lot of benign applications from being available on iOS. The first thing coming to my mind is Termux, which would instantly make an iPad much more usable. And extending that, a whole range of development tools could run way better on the iPad than it is allowed on the App Store. Just imagine a Linux VM running on the iPad...
Apple should (or should be forced by regulators) to offer a Gatekeeper-like solution on the iPad/iPhone which gives the users a reasonable amount of control about their devices.
And there is of course the content question. Apple tries to enforce their idea of "morale" onto the users. This is fine for their storefront, so to say, but there should be a section in the App Store for adult content. Especially the safe payment process would make this a very attractive service. If Apple wants to keep the "service" story alive for the App Store, they should craft their services according to the user demands, not to their ideas of what users should consume and install.
Also I am sure if the roles were switched, Spotify would no way in hell allow Apple Music to be priced the same way on their App Store for their ecosystem users. It's hypocrisy.
I agree 30% might be too much, but it's their App Store, their users, their infrastructure, their public trust at stake, their rules.
It feels extremely risky to develop high-budget new apps in this environment as there is a real chance the app will be rejected in order to comply with hard to understand limitations or end up not being allowed to be published at all.
Compare that to the alternatives and you'll find it marginally better
It didn't exist before, it doesn't need to exist, and its purpose of existence is not to be fair to you.
this country is turning into a bunch of bitches
Do they get a cut? I'm not even sure of price, but just see a screen that lets me know I've hit the end of my "Member Preview".
As an iOS Developer I think that's 30% cut is fair and it works. Just look at sales numbers on iOS vs Android. Most of sales comes from iOS.
As a user I hate then devs decide to skip MacOS store. For me it means I have to use some 3rd party payment and license management solution so they can save some money.
Something something "... should..." something something "... should..."
That's not a solution. That's not even hope. That's dreaming.