...and it's intentional. By having an app store, mobile OS distributors know that they have control over a massive revenue stream.
Against a backdrop of above-criminal-rates extortion, 30% must have looked like a bargain.
To put these numbers in context, very good agents get 15%.
It’s not indy developers trying to make a living.
The other types of apps that use to make Apple a lot of money are streaming services. But most of those are now not allowing you to do in app purchases.
I’m looking through all of my apps, and I only have two or three that I actually paid money via in app purchases and those were to turn off ads.
All of the rest I had to buy subscriptions on the app makers websites or buy content in the case of Amazon for Kindle books.
It’s probable that 30% is too much to pay for help with all of that, but people too often act like Apple’s just taxing them and providing no commensurate value at all.
Another aspect is that the App Store feels like a value-add for the actual marketed products — iPhones and iPads — and not something you are ever explicitly buying. It doesn’t show up on the receipt. People talk about buying a new iPhone, or getting then latest iPad. No one ever goes to the Apple store to buy the lates access to the App Store.
As such, Apple’s cut feels like it’s everything from cheeky to an abuse of their “monopoly” in the providers of iOS devices marketplace.
But what do you mean 'anyway'? If Apple suddenly said 'you know what, App Store is EoL, do your own distribution' (because of legal or whatever reason) surely there would be a spade or two of those competencies that were consequently redundant?
I don't imagine they're hiring people to work on say Apple Maps; who subsequently say 'cor, good thing I'm here, someone should take a look at that unstaffed app store project'!
I download any random crap on my iOS devices trusting that the sandbox and permissions model will keep the app from doing too many things I don’t expect. I’m not downloading a random app on my computer.
I can also pay a lot easier on my phone than digging out my credit card.
Just maybe it’s a product market fit issue?
There's so much money out there searching for an investment. It's a shame really.
It’s hard to make a living selling a niche app to price sensitive people.
Also if it is a niche app, with a small addressable market, how do you continue making money on it since their is no facility for upgrade pricing - especially since you have to keep releasing updates to support newer devices and new screen sizes?
when i say it is a niche market i mean it not only in terms of number of customers, but also in term of potential generated revenues. there are businesses , especially in artistic fields, where people simply aren't willing to spend a lot of money on accessories, even if they are useful to their job.
now i'm not saying i will never be able to be profitable enough. just that with my current marketshare ( which is very good on a local scale, but not yet worldwide), those 30% are what makes the difference.
ps : as for the revenue model, i had to invent some kind of pay per use model, based on in app purchases.
I'm not an app developer, I'm in the music industry (day job in IT infra), but it seems to me there are some people projecting their bad business sense onto Apple. As per my other comment in this thread, and the reply someone made for me, the commission drops on subscription based apps, could you not use a subscription, rather than your pay-per-use system (which sounds like a creative workaround, kudos) and then you'll get the benefit of the tax rolloff.
Trying to make your own way in this world is damn hard work, and if a business model falls apart because one needs to "pay taxes," Apple will not be the biggest problem for very long. I'm sure most here would agree that it stinks that Apple are demanding a 30% tax whilst paying ~0% to the U.S. Government, but that is the way of things for now.
But, a niche product where people aren’t willing to spend money is a business model problem.
The services provided by the App Store would have to be present for the business exist at all.
So without the 30% Apple charges those businesses would certainly not survive unless they paid someone else for the services.
But do you know how many businesses would die to be able to sell products that had a 70% gross profit margin?
The only fixed cost imposed by Apple is the $100 developer fee and whatever it cost to buy a Mac.
I've seen companies get around the upgrade pricing question by just releasing a new version of their app every year and deprecating the old one.
If Apple would care, it would be possible to charge a smaller commission based on the app category, and to vaive annual developer account fees for verified open source developers.
Hosting an app marketplace is not a free endeavour either. They host infrastructure to facilitate all of this, and they review app code in an attempt to prevent malware being distributed by underhanded developers. Maybe they could vary the price based on the use case, but why should they? No one is compelled to publish on the App Store, why complicate their business model to give themselves more work for less money.
It still is if one can't afford it. Apple could provide macOS and iOS VirtualBox images for developers to build and test their apps.
> why complicate their business model to give themselves more work for less money.
Because that's the right thing to do when you shut out indie developers using expensive equipment and annual developer fees.
Developers who aren't affluent or don't get into app development solely for profit may stay away from the Apple ecosystem, and that's a loss for everyone.
Apple is now also selling access to their user base on macOS. Apps distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized to run on macOS, which requires a developer account ($99/yr). Yes, workarounds do exist for now, but all of them are inconvenient enough that they seriously hurt the distribution of open source apps, unless maintainers pay up.
Also, you don’t have to buy a Mac. You could always pay Mac Mini Colo $80 a month and develop remotely.
In my country, one of the electronics stores has this thing where you pay about 35 USD per month, each month for 24 months, to have a MacBook Air in your possession, but which you don't own. So I guess in a way it is sort of rent/leasing. But the nice thing is that after the 24 months are up, you will be able to exchange it for a new model.
It's sort of like how mobile carriers do with mobile phones also sometimes. Except in this case of the MacBook Air that you are paying to have in your possession, there is no additional subscription to anything (unlike with the cellphones that mobile carriers charge you in a similar way for, but where in addition to paying for the phone you also need a to pay for subscription to a carrier plan).
I looked at the deal, considered it, and took it. My reasoning went that, over the span of 2 years battery life will probably degrade to the point that I want to replace the laptop after that. (Battery life was one of the major reasons I was looking to replace my previous laptop in the first place). And for the amount of money that you'd sell a two year old laptop, it will probably have lost about as much in value as what I am paying these guys to rent/lease the thing. (Obviously not quite the same, since they are making money from this deal. But close enough.)
So I went ahead and took the deal. They tried to sell me on insurance for it too. Guess that is one way for them to make a bit extra on the deal. I am generally careful with my stuff and I do have some home insurance plan already that should cover at least a bit of it if I do end up accidentally damaging the laptop.
I was very happy with that decision and continue to be so. It might not be for everyone, but for me it was a very suitable deal.
Interesting. That sounds like a so-called operating lease, which is quite common in my country for business technology purchases, and other operating assets that become outdated quickly and need to be rolled over every few years. It's similar to a regular financing arrangement (where a customer may spread the full cost of acquiring some asset over X months instead of paying in full up front), but the customer never actually owns the asset.
Instead of paying the full cost gradually via monthly payments, an operating lease is structured so that there will be a somewhat large residual payment due if the customer wants to keep the asset at the end, which allows for lower monthly payments. And, as you mentioned, encourages the usual situation where the customer returns the items at the end of the term, and immediately takes out a fresh lease on some new technology.
Since the customer taking out the lease never owns the asset, they needn't depreciate it or worry about other long-term asset concerns, and can treat the payments as deductible operating expenses rather than as the purchase of a fixed asset that would go on the balance sheet. Paying a predictable expense every month for your equipment can often be more manageable than making one big capital outlay every few years, and sometimes has tax advantages too.
And yes, a local PC can work out to lower prices due to specific tax arrangements, sourcing components straight from manufacturers and assembling them locally.
The current version of OS X runs on the 2012 Mac Mini. I see one on eBay for $145.
How much would a PC cost that could hypothetically run MscOS in a VM well enough to run XCode?
Is it also “appalling” that if I had a great idea for a PS4 game I would have to pay at least $2500 if Sony would even let me buy one?
It’s literally a default option on the safari “share” button: “Add to Home Screen”. I’m not sure how Apple could have made it easier.
It is absolutely intentional that iOS Safari on iPhones does not have support for fullscreen api, for example, whereas both WatchOS (somewhat) and iPadOS do. Apple is quite anti-competitive when it comes to letting web apps utilize the full potential of modern web standards.
And they often use "industry advocates" driven psy-op tactics to manoeuvre public opinion such as the following: