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It’s not any transaction. It’s any digital transaction. You can sell physical goods and services either without giving Apple any cut, or by using Apple Pay and Apple just gets your standard credit card processing fee.

Does Walmart let you sell your product in their store and say you can look at it there but get it cheaper from Amazon?






My app is not the App Store. The user has already paid to download my app from the App Store and Apple has gotten 30% of the cut. What users do on my App after that is none of Apple's business, though of course Apple would like to claim otherwise.

Similarly, once I have bought something from Walmart I can use it as I wish. Our business transaction ends there, so your analogy isn't really apt.

> Does Walmart let you sell your product in their store and say you can look at it there but get it cheaper from Amazon?

Funny you say that, because Walmart and many other brick-and-mortal retailers will happily price-match Amazon and each other. You know why? Because they are not a monopoly or pseudo-monopoly and so need to do good by their users to compete.

Of course you can justify Apple's behavior any way because you can claim that I am on an iPhone so I am on their property or something and so they are my overlords but that is precisely what users here are trying to argue against.

Or to be honest, you don't even need to justify it that way. The magical market justifies it because the fact that these apps are on the Apple ecosystem means that staying on it is better for them than staying off it. And no other justification is necessary. And you would not be wrong.

But people have a moral intuition about these things based on how they see the world work, and so they have an intuitive sense for when something seems 'off', even if the market seems like it's working. That's why they complain against things like exorbitant pay-day loans despite them too being an example of a market that seems to be working.

Last I checked, I did not get an iPhone on lease from Apple. This attitude where just because I am on an iPhone means I owe Apple in perpetuity needs to die.


> My app is not the App Store. The user has already paid to download my app from the App Store and Apple has gotten 30% of the cut. What users do on my App after that is none of Apple's business, though of course Apple would like to claim otherwise.

It seems like you are the one who would like to claim otherwise, since to get your app in the store you have already agreed both to the terms of the developer program and to follow Apple's guidelines.


Not agreeing with what are arbitrary rules on the App Store and with the percentage that Apple takes as a cut, but this paragraph opens up many issues with running a platform:

> The user has already paid to download my app from the App Store and Apple has gotten 30% of the cut. What users do on my App after that is none of Apple's business, though of course Apple would like to claim otherwise.

If the App Store runs the way you describe, then everybody would offer their apps for free to avoid the 30% cut and also not have any in-app purchases (since those also have a cut). The result would be the user installing the app and having to go to a website (even if it’s embedded in the app in a web view) to create yet another account, finish the signup process, go through a separate (and usually lengthy) payment process to actually buy the app and managing those payments in cases where those are subscriptions.

One can argue on the merits and demerits of Apple’s current system (which needs an overhaul, IMO), but the other option isn’t without demerits as far as users and user experience are concerned.


> once I have bought something from Walmart I can use it as I wish.

Not if it's a movie, music, or video game. I.e. anything with digital content.


Providers of digital content seem to be absolutely all over the place with this stuff

Comcast of all people offers the ability to buy movies on demand. Not just rent but outright purchase. If you leave Comcast as a customer, you can have every purchase mailed to you as either a DVD (SD) or Blu Ray (HD) purchase

Steam has provisions in place that if its service ever gets terminated to allow users to continue to use games they've purchased on the platform. They also allow users to continue to download and play games either removed from the store or no longer sold (Alan Wake and Deadpool being two examples in my own library)

Conversely Microsoft's Xbox will de-list titles and make them excruciatingly hard to download, such as Marble Blast Ultra. Requiring you to find the game in your account history and then use that to navigate to a download page

Sony's Playstation is downright malicious with their digital store. Konami's "P.T" was offered as a free download as a teaser for an upcoming Silent Hill game

Once Konami changed their mind however, the game was not only removed from the store but actively wiped from the users console! If you connected to Playstation Network the game would be forcefully deleted from your device


You don’t own any of these things, you own a license to the content and the physical disc.

It’s completely different to owning something.

Steams provisions are helpful in practice but ultimately meaningless because you don’t own any of the actual games, you merely have a license to run the code under their terms.


Funny you say that, because Walmart and many other brick-and-mortal retailers will happily price-match Amazon and each other. You know why? Because they are not a monopoly or pseudo-monopoly and so need to do good by their users to compete.

Many stores get around that by having special SKUs that are only available in their store.

Also, Android has a slightly larger share in the US and a much larger share worldwide. Apple is no more of a “monopoly” than the console makers.


Actually, you're free to add "check out our online store" in the packaging of the product sold at Walmart or Amazon.

So Apple is being extra controlling here. They consider all Apple users property of Apple, so they take a cut off all digital transactions.


I have never seen a product at Walmart advertising that you should buy the product online at another retailer to avoid the “Walmart tax”.



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