So they built a platform, where they take some cut for themselves, while allowing other people to sell some digital contents on their platform.
Apple built a platform, where they take some cut for themselves, while allowing other people to sell digital contents on their platform.
Other than the argument that this could be an anti-trust situation (i.e. in that case, the argument would be that Apple is abusing their market position), what differentiates these two cases ?
Why is a platform for monetizing artists any different than a platform for monetizing your car?
If Amazon, Uber and Lyft drop iPhone support, people will atop using iPhones and that's pretty much the only reason Apple doesn't charge them a commission.
Ever wonder what would happen to Uber and Lyft lost iPhone customers as a user base?
That could definitely put a hamper on new iPhone sales.
Meanwhile an app whose subscription model is “you get access to digital content” falls square within Apple’s IAP rules. I’m rather shocked Fanhouse got approved in the first place.
Every couple months Apple will reject us over it, but it always escalates and we always get approved.
Google at least allows us to link to our own website, but if you use our iOS app, you have to figure it out on your own if you want to subscribe.
Hey tried to use the exact same, but Apple said they MUST allow sign ups in the app, using in-app purchase API, and paying 30% to Apple. Apple was not going to allow Hey to do what Netflix/Spotify/etc have done for ages, until public sentiments and social media storm forced them to acquiesce.
Fanhouse can just let purchases happen on web
"3.1.3(a) “Reader” Apps: Apps may allow a user to access previously purchased content or content subscriptions (specifically: magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video). Reader apps may offer account creation for free tiers, and account management functionality for existing customers."
It isn't because Netflix or Amazon are "powerful" enough, but that they saw that these were traditional multiplatform services.
I disagree with the ridiculous Hey situation (and note that Apple backed down), however let's be accurate.
1. Apple has strong convictions about what it is entitled to proceeds from and what it is not. It is a coincidence that the things it believes it is not entitled to proceeds from are things that the powerful companies produce; things people would leave the platform for rather than live without, like Netflix.
2. Apple is throwing its weight when it can and acquiesce when it can's. That's why exceptions are carved for the likes of Amazon and Netflix without specifically naming them.
Apple's rules, as I have mentioned elsewhere , are too convoluted for the first explanation to make sense, at least to me. I fully understand if that explanation makes sense to other people, but I am convinced it is a matter of power.
I replied to someone specifically claiming that Apple made an exception for the all powerful Netflix, but that Hey was too small to get the same exception -- it's just big v small. In actuality Apple has a "gerrymandered" broad set of categories that are exempt (whether you are a garage company or a multinational), otherwise you have to provide basic functionality in your app without such a subscription. Hey didn't fit in the categories, and they didn't provide the functionality.
I may disagree with Apple on this -- and there should be an App label denoting that external subscriptions are necessary -- however phrasing and truth actually matters.
I just saw one of these guys sincerely claim that Safari was "notoriously outdated and incompatible with the modern web". It is beyond parody.
There was a thread the other day that seriously argued that Apple promised the App Store was "completely secure" (which apparently extends out to guaranteeing the honesty, security and operational practices of every business if they happen to have an app on the App Store). I took multiple -4 downvote sprees for pointing out actual fact and reality, and felt good that I at least wasted a bit of their time.
It's boring and below HN, but it's the reality we live with.
But you also cannot pay for Netflix in the iPhone app. You have to do it on their website.
The App Store explicitly rejects smaller apps that attempt to do this. See Hey, the email client that tried the exact same thing and got the cold-shoulder.
Now everything goes through your Smartphone. And the idea, to quote what Apple has been saying in court, they need to recoup those API cost. As they are using their API, they want a cut. Since the Apps for both Physical and Digital goods uses those API, and Digital Goods doesn't necessary use those API for creation. ( e.g I use Windows to create ), why are they only charging Digital Goods and not Physicals?
The only reason why Apple charges 30% of Digital Goods is because they know Digital Goods have zero replication cost. The cost of an additional Digital Goods is essentially zero, they want 30% of it. And Physical goods have basic unit cost. So they are charging base on the product margin. And this was clear in the Wordpess case, once they look at domain name registration where the whole industry is basically operating with 0% margin. Apple decide to put an exemption on it.
Then became a question, how did we arrive at 30% in the first place? If you look at Amazon Web Store, they have different percentage rate for different product? Why? Because they is how the market have worked over the years. They are basing the commission on current market rate / margin. Just like your Super Market has different margin for different product.
Ever since Apple decided on their Doubling Services Revenue by 2020, they have chased down every single 30% services. It is sad how much good faith they have burned.
I actually wish they would do this. It just would go to show the power we are bestowing on these "gatekeepers" while governments keep pushing more and more vital services as "apps".
Digital products and services have near-zero marginal cost, so they pay.
I think what developers want is a fair price for what they get out of the App Store and a choice to not use it if they want. Selling a $5 digital good or a $100 dollar digital good costs the exact same to Apple (minus the 2% credit card fee).
This is all over the place.
Even with credit cards, it doesn’t cost 3% of something to process the fee. A $100 purchase yields $3 to the credit card and a $1000 purchase yields $30. It’s literally the same size data transfer. There’s some minimal additional cost for fraud/insurance but they don’t base their fees on direct costs.
Also, generally speaking, when there is some regulation forcing cost plus fees it makes things suck more (eg, water and power).
This is just the behaviour of a company that can change prices on a whim because they don't need to compete with other app stores after having established a large share in the market and controlling 100% of all third party app distribution.
The problem is the value is artifically high because it is basically extortion.
It is basically a protection racket: "you pay us and nothing bad happens to your app that you spent x years and y thousand dollars creating".
You can't easily use another delivery method for apps to iPhone users (that would require iPhone users to also buy and carry an Android device, which is a massive hassle).
There are a lot of anti-Apple arguments a passionate critic might leverage, but claiming that Safari is "notoriously outdated and incompatible with the modern web" is just foolish. It is laughable nonsense.
For some opinion pieces you can search for "Safari is the new Internet Explore"
It is whispering to a very specific audience.
And through all of this, the most remarkable thing is that Safari is hugely over represented among web visitors, both from iOS and Macs. It's almost like providing an extremely fast, light, energy efficient, feature rich browser encourages its use.
At the time, developers complained bitterly that Apple didn't provide a native SDK, nor did they support Flash or Java web apps.
In 2021, mobile Safari is good enough to run Amazon Luna game streaming, so you can actually stream fairly demanding games like Far Cry 6 to an iPhone. However, Safari (and, to a lesser extent, Firefox) is far behind in terms of feature parity with Chrome for implementing Google's vision of Progressive Web Apps. In particular, Apple has announced that they don't intend to support a number of web APIs (Bluetooth, NFC, etc.) for privacy and security (and presumably business) reasons.
1: Some kind of guarantee they're not going to randomly purge my assets/data to get some disk space back. I want to provide a good offline experience and not require a network connection.
2: Notifications, which has been requested for Safari every year for a decade. This is willful neglect and not esoteric new-in-chrome functionality or a security risk.
Apple did finally move WebRTC over from regular Safari to WebApp last year (Not every feature in mobile Safari is available as a WebApp). Finally! This opens up new potential. If they did the two above I'd be reasonably satisfied with the platform's capability.
I understand the critique about their app store policy. But if you don‘t like their policy, don‘t build a „business“ depending on it. Or find a way around it. But stop crying in public and play the victim. Be creative, just like the people who invented the things our businesses rely on.
Well I think you already explained it. One is a company large enough to effectively dictate the terms of the market and thereby practically tax every other company.
The other is a small tool among many others.
It’s a meaningless comparison because they are completely different kinds of platforms.
The vast majority of the world will never hear of Fanhouse and it’s competitors’ platforms. The vast majority of the world can literally not live their lives without Apple or Google’s platforms.
There is no comparison between the 2.
Why does she get to keep 10%? It’s arbitrary. What if I want to start an app that helps creators manage their Fanhouse content? Should I ask Fanhouse for a cut of their fees so that I can pass on 90% of gross earnings to creator?
Knowing the situation is not the same as accepting it. Just because I know a couple of large actors control the market does not mean I have to accept the situation.
You can't meaningfully accept terms when they are a requirement to enter the market.
Ok, so I can just ignore all regulations because I don’t like them? I can sell unsafe food in my restaurant because I don’t want to agree to the terms the government says I must adhere to?
And contracts aren't the same as laws and regulations, so throw that strawman out. Laws and regulations are enacted through a process designed to serve the greater good.
There are literally more users on Android - If I were in that position, I could just switch platforms.
If I'm a radio manufacturer, I can't cry foul that Lamborghini won't allow me to sell my radio in their cars by calling them a monopolist over the "market of Lamborghini drivers."
If I then decide to still make an exclusive Lamborghini radio, I own that responsibility for my failed business model.
Businesses can't business anymore. It is beyond unhealthy for startups.
It's all a scam. All a ruse. And we're all victims.
Computing was never like this before Steve Jobs decided to ban literally everything and force people to live within his death star.
I can't believe how many folks within our industry are fine with this! You owe your career to free and open computing. As does Apple. They've just managed to gaslight us for so long that we're apologizing for the horrible things they do.
Break up Apple or allow people to install directly from the web. Don't let Apple enforce their payment rails.
They have enough goddamned money.
I am guilty of helping perpetuating this situation by acquiescing and buying my wife/mother Apple gear.
I won't do this anymore.
OTOH, App developers don't get a choice for iOS. They must use Apple's payment system. They don't have a variety of payment processors to choose from. There is no market determining whether 30% is fair, and that is why antitrust regulations may apply.
What if I want to start an app that helps creators manage their Fanhouse content? Should I ask Fanhouse for a cut of their fees so that I can pass on 90% of gross earnings to creator?
That is how many B2B relationships actually work; you've described a referral arrangement in which one company refers a paying customer to another company and in exchange for their referral they get paid a percent of the revenue derived from it.
The choice is to not use iOS. You’re argument is predicated on using iOS, which is a false equivalency.
If she is using the app store payments, then fine. But if she is not using it, then that is a problem.
> Apple and Amazon very, very quietly unveiled a monumental app deal this week, without fanfare or, sadly, much in the way of transparency. Out of nowhere, buttons to buy or rent movies appeared in the Amazon Prime Video app. It’s difficult to express how strange this is: for over a decade, Apple has stuck to the rule that all digital goods sold in iOS apps must use Apple’s payment methods, including Apple’s 30 percent cut.
I've been working on hardware that we've been trying to ship using open technology for the protocols so it doesn't need apps. So focusing on things like WebBT and WebUSB which is almost magic, a user can unbox your device go to a website and then do anything you'd possibly want with. But yeah all falls apart the second it needs to work on an iPhone and you're back in the world of having to build an app.
Whole thing works flawlessly with just a webdev team on computers and android devices but because of Apple to ship this vision we need to build a solitary iOS app too.
I say this as an iPhone user too, unfortunately I feel too locked into their platform to leave now.
I know a lot of HN users don't like them because they see it as a gateway to fingerprinting, not sure how much truth there is to that but for me I see there is a huge benefit to devices being able to communicate with our computers over open and understandable protocols.
Currently today, say you buy an IOT device you have to download a smartphone app. On a long enough timeline that smartphone app will stop being updated and then eventually it will stop working after an OS update, especially if its iOS and then at that point the device basically becomes landfill fodder.
If it were WebUSB or WebBT you just need to ship a web page, there is a greater chance that web page will still work down the line with newer browsers, if it doesn't rely on a server you could even archive that web page and at least it's easier to reverse engineer. Not to mention the web app will work on Linux too, no need to ship platform specific executables.
For me WebUSB and WebBT are great moves towards more sustainable and maintainable hardware.
I am an app developer that would love to move to a mobile web app but those are the problems that I am running into at least. If web assembly can accomplish all of that then I just am not well educated enough to use it instead.
I wont be a customer because I don’t care enough about my looks or fitness to get into daily photos. But, really, what does your app offer over the photo gallery and folders already on my phone?
Things like processes that are running, RAM, battery life, and more.
Jitsi and Kickstarter have quite competent streaming systems. I remember being amazed by the incredibly low latency the Kickstarter streaming system has (always sub 100ms between camera and my screen across the Atlantic with good quality!).
An app for uploading images and videos, writing text posts, receiving payment and streaming video doesn't need a native app. If there is a choice between giving an absurd percentage to Apple or building a web version, the web version makes a lot more sense.
However, even if they build out a web version right now, Apple will refuse any update pointing users towards the web version of any app because that goes against their TOS. That will make any switch quite difficult.
Developers will optimize for what feels natural to the user, i.e. installing an "app" which doesn't require typing an address in the browser or scrolling through bookmarks
Also some companies from the developer side will want that extra user control that you don't have in the browser, for example to track them more, play unskippable ads, or access to some native features on the phone which are not available in web apps
There is no web push notification support on ios - only on desktop safari.
An App button on your home screen is zillion times better for 95% of user than a web address.
If Apple allowed one click installation of Web App. ( Not clicking on Safari settings and add Site to Home Screen button ). Or Scanning a QRCode to download a Web App.
Along with adding all the missing Web App features to Safari that could be enabled only for Web App and not Web browser.
That would have been fine by me. This is borderline as good as side loading.
I can create a button on my home screen that will take me right to a web page with one click (on android, I'm assuming you can also do this on ios)
Current day because they've neglected Macs so much over the past few years your Mac is now mostly just a shell to run a jumble of electron apps (I used to love Mac Cocoa apps but can't even name one that has launched in the past 2 years) but if you follow what they're doing they'd prefer it if it was a selection of iPadOS apps instead.
What incentive to does Apple have to make people use apps less and the web more?
Weather, headline news, sports scores, non-urgent messaging could really use silent push to get data synced whenever you want to use it, but clearly not with Safari on an iPhone, and I don't think you can do it on Android without an app either.
Google, being Google, have developed a Background Sync API  that can achieve background sync without notifying the user. This also extends to Edge and Opera and such because they share an engine.
I can see the use in a system where you sync data to a device that has intermittent connectivity, but I've honestly never seen such a system work for native apps when I've had intermittent connectivity myself. Even Google's automatic weather notifications don't show the right weather until I tap then and a web search loads.
Your background sync requirement is a nice to have and it'd certainly be a reason to use the app instead of the web version of a service for users with limited connectivity, but they're not really strict requirements for most applications. The applications we use today mostly consist of scrolling and connected browsing, with some data management and sync in between. For example, I browse twitter through the web app and outside the "fleets", whatever they are, that Twitter simply decided not to port, I'm not missing anything. I get notifications, I can browse, I can compose, there's really nothing more I need.
In the end, Apple's (intentional, probably) nerfing of Safari is what primarily stands in the way of proper mobile app support on the web. Notifications are a feature that I'd say most apps would require these days and Apple simply refuses to allow them. There's plenty of other WebKit gripes that developers have to overcome to program for iOS, but the complete lack of certain features is absolutely the worst.
That said, you're right that most apps dont truly take advantage of background processing. What you have to understand is that the lack of background processing is what keeps notifications unsupported on iOS. Not only can you not support push messaging natively, but you can't _replicate_ a push messaging system either because there's no way to run code when your webpage/PWA isn't in the foreground.
It's exactly this kind of wasteful resource usage and the accompanying notification spam that drives me to avoid native apps in the first place.
Given where I live, my big one is ferries. When I get on the ferry, it's a nice time to see what's going on in the world, and what the weather will be like, and maybe check work email (before I retired), but I can't do any of those in an online only world because cell coverage is very spotty. For the small handful of apps that manage a data store on the device, I can use those and catch up on things and queue outgoing messages. I'd like to make some more things for me, but native Android development is beyond my patience, and PWA doesn't have the capabilities, and some horrible blend of the two is what's wrong with today's world :p
I think Zuckerberg was right when he said Apple’s practices have ultimately benefited Facebook in eliminating any competition.
Besides, look at how much they're earning gross to begin with. A whole $0.99 per app, and $0.04 per click on advertisements! These people are rolling in it.
But what about mid-sized companies? I pay a yearly subscription fee to Headspace. If Apple is actually taking 30% of their revenue because people access it via an iPhone? That... just doesn't seem sustainable.
I know Spotify stopped supporting in-app purchases when Apple Music came out, because even though both services are priced similarly, from within the Apple ecosystem it seemed that Spotify costs 30% more. And of course because of the anti-steering provisions for Apps, Spotify couldn't even tell iOS users that Spotify is cheaper when you visit their site.
The Netflix exemption should be available to all apps - that point is what the Epic lawsuit should be about (they've confused the issue too by talking about having their own app store). Apple could then fight for developers to use Apple Pay on its merits in the marketplace.
In the case of Fanhouse, the rules were well known (and disliked) when they started. They should have created their product as a web app - their particular use case is one where the technical limitations of a web app wouldn't have been much of an issue.
If they felt so strongly that their product had to be in the Apple App store to succeed, they are justifying Apple's 30% cut.
Apple should have been pulling every trick in the book to help this young female entrepreneur build a digital platform — she’s exactly the sort of person we need in a leadership role in that industry. Instead, they’re killing her business — what? This goes beyond “the rules” ... It’s time for their culture to evolve.
Does anyone find this reasoning disingenuous? "Will you think of the [children or other unprivileged group]?" Is Apple morally obligated to give money to people with harder lives? It weakens her whole argument. Jasmine knows this. She used to be on OnlyFans which has no app, and is an Ivy League (UPenn) grad. She's trying to keep her cash while making an emotional appeal.
Hell of a position to find yourself in as a business.
I'd like a straight-forward explanation of why Patreon is allowed to avoid in-app payments. It seems like a straight-forward violation of apple's rules. Apple having its rules is one thing, but applying them unevenly seems like a problem too, since it protects a whole host of 'grandfathered' businesses from competition.
1. Why would creators using fanhouse get to bypass Apple’s tax?
2. Why is this being treated differently from Kindle, which allows creators to distribute content via an app offered in the App Store without paying 30% of ebook price?
> We pay creators 90% of earnings. Now, Apple is threatening to remove Fanhouse from the app store unless we give them 30% of creator earnings.
Apple doesn't know anything about how much Fanhouse gives to creators. They just want their 30% (15% up to a million) for digital content transactions made within the app.
If someone pays $10 in the Fanhouse app then Apple is going to ask for $3 (or $1.50 if they haven't made $1 million so far this year or last year).
I understand that Fanhouse wants to give $9 of those dollars to the creator. They can, but they still owe their fee to Apple. Unfortunately that ends up being more money than the whole transaction so the economics just don't work.
What amount is fair for Apple to charge for payment processing and the infrastructure to actually make the purchases?
They can charge whatever they want as long as they give developers the alternative to use a different payment provider. See Discussions around exemptions for Netflix for instance.
Netflix is exempted from mandatory usage of Apple's payment platform. OP stated that Apple is threatening to pull the app if she does the same thing that Netflix gets away with: avoid using Apple's payment platform, and set up payments outside of the app. For a company that loves demanding its partners adopt Most-Favored Nation clauses, Apple sure does hate treating its app developers the same.
They are allowed to take payment on their website for a subscription, but so is any other developer.
No, they are not. That was what the whole Hey debacle was about. Netflix and Spotify have special privileges there.
the replies to your comments are literally telling you the true story, at least do your own homework
I did however download the Hey app and try to sign up for a paid account, which you can't do.
I downloaded Fanhouse and tried to view some profiles. It says "Follow to see more" but there's no way to follow anyone in the iOS app. I can see this running afoul of some App Store guidelines since you're advertising a feature with no way to use it.
This could be Apple being unreasonable, but it could also just be a misunderstanding of how the App Store review process works. I don't know how long they've been going back and forth with Apple on this.
Just that? Probably about 3%.
If they're not stacking more fees on top then even 5% wouldn't be an offensive number for payment processing and would give them tons of profit.
It's the same reason why Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc can get away with it, despite clearly having accessible NSFW content.
Loudness of users
Can confirm it does. Functions just like a normal app (user side) and since it doenst have any offline features there’s not any friction I can see a see as user.
I wonder if there’s a way for Safari to display a Add to Home Screen Option App Banner.
Don't give Apple any ideas. Next thing you know, they start charging you 30% of each transaction and are working on a way to send you an invoice for 30% of any transactions you do in real life.
I'm kind of exasperated with all of these apps / developers who know what they're getting into when they create developer accounts with Apple, go through all of the hard work and expense of developing apps for the App Store only to whine and tweet histrionics about how they don't like the rules after the fact.
If you want total freedom to do whatever the hell you want, there's a platform for that called Android or Windows.
However, I'm only going to do it through Apple's platform, for a variety of reasons. If you don't want to build on Apple's platform, that's completely fine. I won't be a customer. And maybe that will change the system, I really don't know.
Let’s be clear, I don’t do any of this based on how much Apple gets. I have had a lot of bad experiences with developers abusing my information (too many emails, unsubscribe doesn’t work, selling email address) that it’s simply a game I’m not going to play anymore. This isn’t something I worry about with someone like Netflix. But the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent with small developers won’t happen otherwise.
On top of it, ever try to cancel a subscription? Wall Street Journal is one that I’ve had twice in the last 10 years. Once was through their website. When I cancelled, I had to call and got a sales pitch… through 3 reps.
The next was through Apple. Cancelling was one click.
I get why developers and people like these. As a customer I hate them. And I’m just not going to do it anymore.
Many people wouldn't bother. The whole point of Apple handling this is that you trust Apple to have more clue than your average startup full of monkeys.
* Pay with Apple Pay ($13.00)
* Pay with Stripe ($10.50)
If their value-add is as strong as you say then surely they'd still make plenty of money. If not, well maybe they need to start adding more value or dropping their prices, just like anyone in a competitive market.
IIRC, Credit card companies used to disallow different pricing for cash and CC.
IIRC, Progressive Insurance? had car insurance ads where they said that they'd show insurance rates for similar coverage from the competitors next to their quote.
The justification of "We put all the hard work into building the hardware, the OS and the stack so deserve a cut" still stands if a website is opened using the Safari engine. If it doesn't stand then neither does the App Store cut.
They would if they knew how. Which is probably why they block features on the web so that they can't compete with native apps.
They're blatantly holding back web tech to maintain their entrenched interests
- Automatically erasing all script-writeable storage after 7 days, crippling local PWAs and preventing them from competing with native apps
- dragging their feet on Service Worker support for ages, another PWA issue
- blocking the standardization of numerous web hardware APIs:
- Web Bluetooth
- Web MIDI API
- Magnetometer API
- Web NFC API
- Device Memory API
- Network Information API
- Battery Status API
- Ambient Light Sensor
- HDCP Policy Check extension for EME
- Proximity Sensor
- Serial API
- Web USB
- Geolocation Sensor (background geolocation)
- User Idle Detection
Some new APIs proposed by Google is bad, so declining by Apple is fair. Mozilla also decline some APIs.
What's the greater evil? Some APIs that have to be approved by the user that give greater access to hardware.
Or developers having to write platform specific native apps if they want to reach the gigantic iOS audience, oh and because it's then through the App Store, then pay Apple for the privilege and pay App Store tax on any income from the app.
I know some would argue both are bad, but I know which world I'd rather live in.
Mobile Safari is the Internet Explorer of the modern web.
A buyer gives $x because they are betting they cannot buy at $x-1 at whatever scale they want to buy at.
Fanhouse can still pass IaP revenues onto their customers ("creators"), but they're going to end up giving them 63% of their IaP revenue (90% of 70%) instead of 90%.
This is a business problem disguised as a justice issue.
And we're discussing it because the monopoly known as Apple is continuing to gaslight and extort our industry.
Apple cannot be the single point of entry into a device that is responsible for 50% of American computing-related commerce. That might have worked if Apple was a small device used by 5% of consumers, but let's be real. Apple is the face of modern computing.
What the question really should be is, "why should Apple get to enjoy all commerce and freedoms linked to computing?" Through marketing and developing a good product, they've brought themselves into a market leader position. The choice to lock down their device may have made sense at 5%, but now it suffocates our entire industry under their gargantuan weight.
Apple isn't a device maker anymore. They're the fabric of computing itself. They have all the customers, they control all the software, and they make all the choices. You don't get ingress without going through them. They've been transformed into an analog of a common carrier, and the law now needs to treat them as such.
The only path forward is to force Apple to allow web-based downloads of apps, no longer allow them to force Apple payment rails, and to enable non-Safari based browsers to be installed.
Simple fix that will restore balance and health to the industry.
After this change happens, Apple will remain a 2 Trillion dollar company. This has negligible impact on their revenue - all it does is force them to work harder and gives the rest of us much-needed breathing room.
(Nevermind the right to repair and compute arguments.)
The fact that 50% of Americans freely choose to entrench themselves in an ecosystem with draconian rules and high fees does not imply that creating or operating such as system should be illegal. Apple would argue that the fees are necessary to fund creation of the system in the first place.
Do they get 30% of what the end user pays or 30% of the revenue the app maker keeps (30% of Fanhouses 10% is 3%)?
If you can't run a self-sustaining business with the remaining 70%, then you have two choices at the moment: (1) find a new business to be in, or (2) do what similarly situated businesses do, and use a different mechanism for collecting revenue than IaP.
I get where you're coming from. I think Fanhouse is a bad example case. I won't die on this hill. But if that's the best reason for something, we are admitting there is no good reason for it.
But the fact that it’s been this way for over 10 years and the app ecosystem has been very healthy is a pretty good existence proof that it’s not as big a deal as some vociferous people (who, in the end, usually just want more money for themselves) make it out to be.
In a free market, the rates would be set by market forces and we generally think those are right. But Apple set 30% and has never even reviewed it as far as we know.
I won't pretend there is a sure fire way of defining exactly the correct rate. There isn't. But that doesn't mean letting Apple set it is correct either. This is why we have utility boards: someone who isn't bias should set rates to make them fair and efficient and make sure the system is working as well as possible.
Your electricity price needs to be low enough you're not being fleeced, but high enough to allow investment in improved infrastructure. If you set the price it might be too low, if the local monopoly set the price it would be too high.
The app store is no different. Someone disinterested should be setting a price that maximises benefit for consumers.
That price might actually be higher? I don't know. I'm just saying that Apple shouldn't be permitted to set it alone and that "30%" was never carved I to stone by god as the right number. If anything, the fact it has stayed at 30% proves its wrong. What other price has remained exactly the same for over a decade?
The 30% in-app purchase tax can't be compared to a utility price because it isn't mandatory. As a business, if you don't want to pay it, you are free to target a different platform with a similar user base.
If high-quality apps stopped supporting iOS because of the high IaP fees, eventually Apple will be incentivized to reduce those fees. If apps elect to stay, the platform is clearly worth the cost.
Interestingly, last time I checked 80% of iPhone users would not consider switching when surveyed (well done Apple).
I wonder if forcing an open market and even cross compatability would be a better semi-solution...
And remember, users aren't the customers in this market, they're the product. The customer is the company being asked to fork over 30% just to access those users (who already paid for the phone and the data to connect it...).