Australia Takes on Apple and Google Apps Stores

Posted on April 28, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Apple, Google, iOS, iPadOS, Mobile, Mobile gaming with 55 Comments

It just keeps piling up, and now the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has joined the fight against the dominant app stores offered by Apple and Google on their respective mobile platforms.

“App developers need fair and reasonable terms when dealing with app stores and better processes for the approval of apps to help address the consequences of Google and Apple’s power in the app market, the ACCC has found,” the governmental organization announced. “Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have significant market power in the distribution of mobile apps in Australia, and measures are needed to address this.”

The argument here will be familiar to anyone who has been following the regulatory action being taken against Apple and Google around the world: Australia has found that these two firms act as gatekeepers to their respective dominant platforms and that their anti-competitive policies have harmed developers and consumers alike. The issues are many, but key among them is that Apple and Google both compete with third-party developers and give their own apps and services unfair advantages, especially in pricing.

“The ACCC is also concerned with restrictions imposed by Apple and Google which mean developers have no choice but to use Apple and Google’s own payment systems for any in-app purchases,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. “Further while Apple and Google have made efforts to remove malicious apps from the app stores, we believe they could do more to prevent and remove apps that feature, for example, subscription traps and other scams.”

The ACCC says that Apple and Google now have a “window of opportunity” during which they can proactively fix the many problems with their mobile app stores. This is possible: In the wake of developer outcry over Apple’s unfair 30 percent vig, the consumer electronics giant last year finally dropped the fees to just 15 percent for most developers.

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Comments (60)

60 responses to “Australia Takes on Apple and Google Apps Stores”

  1. toukale

    Let's say it for those in the back, its not a right to be listed on any Appstore. If you want to be listed in the Appstore, use its Api's, have access to its users then it will costs you (business 101). Like I said in the last post about this, everyone needs to stop dancing around the real issue, money (Are governments going to now set prices for private businesses). At the end of the day this is what this is about no matter how anybody wants to spin this.

    The amazing thing to me in all of this no one seems to care about what the actual users (those who actually chose to vote with their money). From everything I've read the users have not issues with those Appstore's in fact they love it. But somehow that's getting pushed to the side in trying to get governments to punished those two successful businesses. Business/commerce have always been about leverage its one of the first rule, those that have leverage gets better deals/terms but somehow the market can't fix it and governments need to step in, the hypocrisy of some folks is astounding here.

    • bluvg

      In reply to toukale:

      It's not a right to have insurance either, but governments try to regulate that to try to prevent people from getting screwed.

      • jbinaz

        In reply to bluvg:

        But insurance to "prevent people from getting screwed" is usually to protect you from other people's actions, like in car insurance. Or at worst, an accident you cause, but unintentionally. Or, alternatively, to protect you from unexpected events beyond your or anyone else's control, such as homeowner's insurance.

        I say the above, but I still think the whole thing warrants some investigation. If I understand it correctly (and I'm open to being corrected), one of the bigger issues for app store developers is that Apple (and presumably Google) controls the relationship with the customer, not you. And to me, that's not OK.

        And room for debate on what is a fair amount for Apple and Google to collect for their trouble of building and maintaining an app store.

    • Calibr21

      In reply to toukale:

      Apples App Store policies personally impact me. I want to play GamePass games on my iOS devices. I can’t because of Apple. There is no alternative to get gamepass on my phone because Apple won’t let you install anything on an iPhone not approved by them.

      Microsoft is having to implement a workaround because of Apple. It’s likely that the GamePass experience on iOS well lag behind Android because of their inability to make a native solution.

      Apples policies need to change. This is coming from a user perspective.

      • toukale

        In reply to Calibr21:

        You know the beautiful thing about it, you get to vote with your dollar, isn't that how it should work. If company A is doing something I don't like, I get to give them the finger and take my money elsewhere.

        • Paul Thurrott

          That's not true either. In fact, that's the problem: Consumers and developers have no choices, and thus can't "vote with their dollars." You don't understand this topic. At all.
    • RobertJasiek

      In reply to toukale:

      It is not "the actual users" but there are users using many apps, other users not / hardly using the app store because of its bad business practices and non-users completely avoiding Apple / Google for their business practices. Countrys' executives (should) care about the rights of all three types of people.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to toukale:

      That is not a solid argument. Consumers have no idea how they are being impacted; ignorance is bliss. Apple's anti competitive practices are hurting everyone in the ecosystem except Apple.

      • toukale

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        Consumers don't care because they are not being harm by anything. The Appstore have brough order to a chaotic world before it and with it an avalanche of users and commerce which took Apple years and hundreds of billions of cultivating trust. Now jealousy kicks in and everyone wants a cut. The Appstore brough in $72 billion dollars and everyone is looking at it with envy and want a piece or a free ride. You know what I say, no such thing as a free ride.

        • Paul Thurrott

          "Consumers don't care because they are not being harm by anything." That's wrong. Consumers that don't care have no idea how much they're being harmed. These antitrust cases are helping to educate those that don't understand that. You know, like you.
    • ommoran

      In reply to toukale:

      The issue is not just money, nor is it just surrounding a developer's commission payments to Apple or Google. Yes, it costs them to run an app store. But allow competition, and let's see what it really costs - if Apple is the premium app-store choice for most of their customers, great, but if there is choice for a low-cost store that perhaps charges $0.50 or $1.00 for each app they sell, rather than a sliding commission, that might be the ticket.

      Ultimately, this is like buying a car - gas or electric - and being forced to only fuel it at a specific location. Tesla nearly does this with their charging stations. But imagine if Ford only accepted Shell refueling nozzles. How does limiting choice benefit users? And if it does, how does Apple justify it on some of their products and not all (Mac)? How does Google justify allowing side-loading? How does Apple justify having to jail-break a phone or iPad, but not their computers, to download software from somewhere other than the store. Google, at least, does support multiple stores - even if they are by far the most used retailer for Android devices.

      Different stores can bring different pricing models, they can be specialists in certain lines of software - heck, developers could even run their own stores and cut down the middle men. That can benefit both the developers and the consumer. I don't see why this is even a debate - I don't believe government wants to set pricing, I believe government wants to level the playing field and force these two companies to compete.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to ommoran:

        Different stores can bring different pricing models, they can be specialists in certain lines of software - heck, developers could even run their own stores and cut down the middle men. 

        Ugh. A developer that forced me to install their own App Store in order to buy and download their app is a developer that won’t be getting my money.

        This sounds horrible.

        • nbplopes

          In reply to curtisspendlove:

          Ugh. A developer that forced me to install their own App Store in order to buy and download their app is a developer that won’t be getting my money.

          Except for Apple of course. I think you may be confusing your appreciation for Apple with the fairness or unfairness of their policies.

          One can appreciate Apple in many many ways. In my household I may have almost 15K of Apple devices and almost 0 Windows and Android devices, not to mention paying for Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscriptions. Yet I think it's necessary to split between the appreciation their products and their policies.

          • curtisspendlove

            In reply to nbplopes:

            Except for Apple of course. I think you may be confusing your appreciation for Apple with the fairness or unfairness of their policies.

            I’m not confusing anything. There are plenty of things Apple does that I don’t like.

            I even agree that non-Apple payment options would be better for developers in many ways.

            In a perfect world, Apple would compete on features. And they’d just build a better App Store.

            We will probably even see that as a result of all of these proceedings.

            But I don’t think it will be good for consumers. It will likely be far more complex and potentially error prone. Especially if there is a regulation to force multiple App Stores.

            And I guarantee you this little fantasy people seem to have that all App prices will magically become 20% lower overnight is unlikely.

            Developers will charge the same price and pocket more money. (This is good for my developer friends.)

            • nbplopes

              In reply to curtisspendlove:

              “But I don’t think it will be good for consumers. It will likely be far more complex and potentially error prone”

              Well more options in any system indeed increases complexity. For one, more choices require more awareness. Don’t think awareness is a bad thing. I’m not into arguing short terms wins/conveniences in favor of long term losses. The way I see it the way businesses are conducted in the Internet, including payment of course, the system works. Its not perfect, or maybe it is, but it works with amazing effects on $innovation$ with great benefit for consumers and suppliers.

              Users are already comfortable seeing multiple payment options, they find it even strange when they don’t see it … Visa, Mastercard, Apple Card, Apple Pay, PayPal …. I personally choose Pay Pal or Apple Pay when available. With exception of well known companies, like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Apple App Store, Apple Store, Microsoft and so on.

              I believe that in a regid system such as the current App Store … most certainly Apple would not exist … imagine an App Store like this back than yet on Windows with “everyone” cheering and giving them a pass? Apple would be gone in the first decade and Intel would rule, sustained on past merits not current ones. Everything is fine when ones tech is up, but when starting to stifle, without safeguards consumers and businesses would be stuck in a sea of jurisprudence. The only ones “safe” would be the shareholders of these mother like businesses with millions in their pockets.

              “Especially if there is a regulation to force multiple App Stores.”

              I don’t think regulation should force Apple to permit the ability to install Apps outside the “App Store/Repository”, in other words regulate how apps should be updated and installed. That for me would be nonsensical as per this context and at the moment.

              “Developers will charge the same price and pocket more money. (This is good for my developer friends.)“

              I’m a bit tired of the subliminal message that when it comes to third party businesses in this contexts, of being greedy and unsafe. Apple is a dev too and the App Store is a digital service business isn’t it? More to the point, and not falling into the trap of arguing that they also need to pay their customer service employees as much as Apple, the eventual money they get for sales is reinvested in growth, aka better product, service and sales, like any other business, including Apple. You see, one effect of large companies such the Apple, Google and Microsoft, is that people stop seeing them as companies but has something meta, supra businesses. That can be read in the language some people are using. The incredible thing about the App Store, is that its not only a business is a Meta Business, a Meta Store with one cash register. It’s one of kind. It’s a new thing … not even Google Play is comparable. To compete with this, you need to start building the devices at a mass scale … it’s absolutely incredible

              Concluding, I think Apple should take proactive steps to avoid this situation, even if it means reducing App Store revenues. Is bad breath. By doing so they would e able to do it with total control on their part … no to mention coming out as the great company they are … even better press. There is capital in that. Heck, maybe even increase revenue.

              Like you, I believe that Apple as a plan to do this. Speaking of Plans, they could easily offer non complex pallet of multiple plans to their App Store service to developers … App Hosting & Review & Apple Pay, H&R&AP + Marketing (Search, Editorial …), H&R&AP + Marketing + Universal Billing. Maybe the later at 30% revenue share, while one at least Pay Per usage no? You see, the problem is not the markup, but control. Each with their own policies/agreements. Catch my drift? This could have been in great part avoided by Apple.

              Don’t blame Apple at all for pursuing one option for all. Like any business they do what the market allows, like a few, they do it brilliantly. Regulation is a component of the market. But unlike other components of the market, where each seek only their own self interest, regulators seek the interests of all so they are constantly looking for balances of power, looking at conditioning practices. One option for in devices sales on 50% of Americans, Australians and others pockets only simplifies as much as it conditions.


              PS: Developers should know basic economics along with the business model to choose the best option for them and their customers. Otherwise … they should have no place in business.

              EDIT: Take note. Meta Store, the first in the planet. Comparing with game store in consoles, Epic, Xbox or whatever is futile. The App Store plays at an entirely new level … that is why most people get so confused, lost in casuistic and anecdotal comparisons. They all fall short of what it is.

      • toukale

        In reply to ommoran:

        The car example does not work because the users transaction does not stop with them buying the phone. Users expect Apple/Google to continue to support the software with constant updates for years after purchase those things are not free. My issues is how do we expect companies to continue to develop and maintained all those things and not get compensated for them? The appstores is not an issue for regular users precisely because Apple/Google shield them from most of those issues. I do not want to go back to the days where we had to hunt the web to look for applications and somehow find a way to get them onto our device.

        • bettyblue

          In reply to toukale:

          The car analogy does not work for many reasons. Can I go down the Ford dealership and tell them I want them to make is so I can buy my new F150 with a Doge Engine and Chevy radio?

          I personally like and want a locked down store. I DO NOT want to use anything Google. I do not care if anyone else does and its their right not use anything Apple either. I have choices and I like the choice of a walled garden.

          I quite PC gaming last year and I am exclusively a console gamer. The cheating in PC MP gaming is so ridculous at this point it has been runied for me for any MP game.

          Microsoft and Sony have app stores for their consoles. I buy in game content while on my console. I assume Microsoft and Sony get a cut. I do not want to have to go buy content for those consoles at other stores.

          Again this is a negative of PC gaming, with Steam, Origin, UbiSoft, Epic, Battlenet clients, with login for each and credit card info stored in each. If you let these clients setup for auto-start your PC can boot-up to an update storm of either those apps needing and update or games from multiple sources.

          So yes LOTS of us want the walled garden. Lots do not. You have options. Forcing Microsoft, Sony, Apple or Google to open up their products is a bunch of BS. If they have done something illegal then yes they should get in trouble.

          If Apple is forced to let in apps from other stores, I for one will never buy a app if its not in Apple's store. Same for the Xbox or the PS.

          • shark47

            In reply to bettyblue:

            This is what the mafia says as well: if you stop giving me protection money, there'll be no one to protect you from outside threats. Apple and Google's walled gardens may benefit customers, but no one benefits more than Apple and Google themselves. The argument against them is valid. These companies, first and foremost, have shareholders' interests at heart, which is why they push their own products over those of competitors and their own payment systems. Customers don't care, but it affects competition. One solution could be to force Apple and Google to spin off their app stores. That will still keep your walled garden, but it just won't be controlled by these companies. Obviously, Apple and Google have both indicated that this is not possible given the tight integration between the OS and the app store. I think that's BS. This was also Microsoft's argument against removing IE from Windows, until they did remove IE for the most part.

            Edit: In an ideal world, a non profit should run the app store or the Play store, given the lack of competition.
    • jgraebner

      In reply to toukale:

      You can yell your opinion to "those in the back" all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that anti-trust laws exist and there is enough evidence that Apple and Google are in violation of them that many different governments have now opened investigations. When there is this much smoke the chances of fire are pretty high.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to toukale:

      I think Govs should learn from Apple.

      They should do an US State In App purchase device and for every business owner to use it, including Bricks and Mortar. Money would go to the US State, they would take 30% of everyone, including Apple App Store, rich or poor, justice, and a month or two later transfer the money to the business, no tax differentiation between regions. Businesses could of course set whatever price … freedom. So not setting any prices as you claim they seam to be trying to do.

      This will be about citizens and business privacy, security and making sure the state gets the taxes, no tax invasion.

      I’m sure there would be trillions in revenue.

      Lets see how far would economy and competition go with such measure. The rules would be equal to everyone … go go.

      EDIT: Why do you think Buffet is Apple's best friend? Condition the money flow, condition the market ... even if its just a little ... but in this case is in 50% of Americans pockets.

  2. anoldamigauser

    The ACCC says that Apple and Google now have a “window of opportunity” during which they can proactively fix the many problems with their mobile app stores.

    Nah, Apple and Google are going to die on that hill.

  3. IanYates82

    Our ACCC has usually been pretty good. If nothing else it will get the issue more in the public mind here.

  4. curtisspendlove

    In reply to lvthunder:

    What about every other free app Amazon has in the store? Apple shouldn't be forced to run the app store at a loss.

    Yup! And unless this regulation is stated very clearly I’m willing to put money down on them saying you can’t host your App on Apple’s delivery network if you don’t use their payment system.

    So, now you have to DIY the following:



    Download Transfer Costs

    Version Checking

    Apple is pretty malicious when they are forced to do stuff they don’t want to.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to curtisspendlove:


      If regulation comes down to the fact that App Store such as Apple can only charge for what the App Store serves, Apps, the thing called of “App” (like Web Site is a thing) it will be good for everyone, including Apple.

      On the issue of “Free” Apps. Apple could charge for hosting the App, regardless if the developer gives it away for free. It could charge for hosting add-ons (binaries), like it happens say on games console. Hosting files, websites etc etc is pretty standard technology. Apps is little different.

      On the DIY,

      In this scenario Apple can still offer the bundle with the 30% markup, including throwing free App hosting. Its their choice, why not? It would be up for developers to decide has now they would have options.

      I don’t think Apple would be willing to open app hosting and review to services out of the App Store and I don’t think they will or should be forced to. That is the only thing that can hurt customer experience.

      Yet using this as leverage to manipulate developers and starting a war against devs and digital services would pretty dumb. Microsoft out of their egomania (I think Apple now suffers from it also) kind of did it that in 2000’s, lead to Windows Phone and Windows Tablets to be dead in the water as no developer felt safe that the mothership wouldn't come in and eat their lunch if they saw fit. Meaning that the next innovation they would come up with … I wonder if devs would then be in such a good will. No devices are useful without third party software. Take HomePod recent demise. But hey, who knows right?

      Payment: Apple Pay along with others? A lot of developer are already offering Apple Pay.

      Hosting: Honestly? Check WebSite and Files hosting around the net. Heck check cloud services such as Amazon and Azure for that matter. The theory that is otherwise a hosting mess is not based on facts.

      Data Transfer: Not much more than regular websites. The bulk of data transfer in digital services is while executing this service, not the size of the apps binaries. Take Netflix, take an email client ... the bulk of data transfer is not the App. In fact, an App imposes far less data transfer demands than a Website, much less a audio, video streams, ... Digital content.

      Version Checking: Pretty trivial matter.

      I understand that someone starting a business, learning to code etc, can imagine this being BIG issue, they aren't really. Once you are in the game and learn, once you reach say 1 or 2 Million in revenue, you should have engineering capability to fully understand this matters, including understanding that 300k/600k to deal with this is way way overpriced, several orders of magnitude.

      The fact is that are the small payed businesses in this model that are subsidising the delivery of Apps such as FB, Google, Meeting so on and so forth! This model subsidises the Big businesses that have the market presence to diver the in app purchase through marketing and awareness. Its totally unfair to the small devs with technical expertise. Totally. I fail to see one Big payed business within this model. Take for instance Flipboard, amazing and innovative system when it appeared, they stuck with iOS only for a very long time, not even Android they supported, only years after ... still tiny ... were surpassed by others that went multi, including direct payment.

      Flipboard in 2010. Way ahead of anything that was being done.

      • toukale

        In reply to nbplopes:

        Except now it will costs people like me quite a bit of money I did not have to spend before. My brother and I have a simple app in the appstore our family members use to plan, schedule and share family reunions and get together. It does not costs us a dime outside of the yearly dev fee. Family members from six countries on three continents uses it. I will be one upset individual if things changes that will cost me more out of pocket.

        • nbplopes

          In reply to toukale:

          Why? Family Share is currently not a mandatory policy in the App Store. Meaning that if you can now share certain apps or subscriptions its a benefit enabled by the third parties. In fact some services and apps have different prices depending if you opt for being able to share between multiple people in the household or just a single person.

          PS: Your use of Family Share is in breach of current Apple policy. The scenario you describe, multiple people aren't part of the same household. Apple does not control that of course, who stands to loose in this scenario is not them.

          An household is a number of people sharing the same residence.

          This is one of many features that Apple advertises as theirs, yet are being paid by third parties while the App Store and "iDevices" collect its benefits, meaning, credit is not given to the ones that are due to it. They participate not even in a reduction in the markup. Which helps some App Store users to be on their side in this dispute like you so well explained why ... smoke screens

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to nbplopes:

        I understand that someone starting a business, learning to code etc, can imagine this being BIG issue, they aren't really.

        Again, I’m not saying developers *can’t* do this.

        Ive seen it so many times (I’ve put steak on the table teaching dev ships how to implement commerce systems).

        It really is far more complex than it seems.

        Even with a *good* payment gateway like Stripe, there are still some gotchas.

        Im sure some service would come along that made it easier and had some sort of PaymentKit library to help with all the edge cases.

        But again, most developers consider this “boring” and “complex” (excuses I’ve heard countless times for not doing it right) and they don’t spend the needed time on it.

        Also, I think a lot of people underrepresent the cost of hosting a popular App or website.

        I’ve seen the AWS bills of plenty of SaaS web apps. The monthly bill is a little stunning in “consumer dollars”. (I’ve seen it range from thousands to tens of thousands per month.)

        • nbplopes

          In reply to curtisspendlove:

          “I’ve seen the AWS bills of plenty of SaaS web apps. The monthly bill is a little stunning in “consumer dollars”. (I’ve seen it range from thousands to tens of thousands per month.)”

          That is not bad at all. If are spending tenths of thousands in website / web app hosting you are already in the millions revenue. But take the case of App Store … you are at 1M revenue, you are already in the hundreds of thousands (300K exactly). Just for hosting and the pleasure to bringing them customers to the App Store and selling for them in app. In the current model, if you sell in app you are selling for Apple, they have the cash register. You than need to invest even more in Marketing to eventually divert and compete with this practice towards a more cost effective option … just to get around the conditioning … so its just added cost to the tenths of thousands you mentioned. It’s crazy, it’s brilliant for Apple, dumb for digital businesses if they think its ok. Never mind right? Investors have deep pockets … or they don’t really.

  5. red.radar

    I have to hand it to Australia they are preempting the empty rhetoric about security and calling baloney and challenging them that they can do better.

    as a consumer I think it’s great.

  6. jimchamplin

    I’m not interested in using a bunch of Balkanized payment systems. If “consumer choice” is part of the issue, then I will continue to choose to let my platform vendor handle my secure payments for the software I run on their systems.

    That’s one of the issues with the way things are going. I prefer iOS because of its tighter control, not in spite of it. To me it’s a positive. There’s a better guarantee of quality and security.

    I don’t want to lose that.

    I also understand that devs have to eat and pay the rent. But honest question here… how does Google and Apple’s cut compare to how individual devs sold software in the 80s? One would have to find a publisher who could handle disk or cassette duplication, distribution, and marketing. What was the revenue split in those agreements? I’d be curious to see the comparisons.

    I think some kind of sliding scale would be the best way to deal with it. Start at 10% and go up to 25%. At the same time, take steps that help devs sell their products for more. There are many apps which are simply annoying because they’re freemium, and have multiple IAPs to make the damn thing worth using. I’d much rather pay $10 for a quality piece of software that does one thing very well than get nickel and dimed for something that doesn’t do anything very well. Games are especially bad. Just let me buy it and play as much as I want! It’s why I like how Nintendo handled the Mario Run game. You buy it. Have the whole game. As they release new stuff, you can buy it too. Don’t need any of it to play the core game.

    What I mean is that this is a more nuanced issue than it seems government regulators can see. But then…

    ”I’m the government. I’m the government. I’m the reason nothing works.”

  7. scovious

    Hopefully this leads to more open platforms and alternative App stores on the two only mobile operating systems on earth, which happen to outnumber traditional PCs. Obviously Android allows alternatives, but then Google takes it's Play Store and all their Google apps and holds them hostage, so it's not really an open platform is it?

  8. eric_rasmussen

    I don't have a problem with the 30% / 15% / whatever %. As an app developer it's nice that they handle downloads, updates, payments, etc. There is an infrastructure cost there and while I do think 30% is a bit excessive I don't think it's unwarranted. The new 15% pricing from Apple is a lot more reasonable, but it's not like they're charging this and the devs get nothing in return.

    I really hope we don't get a multitude of stores, payment processors, and the need to handle our own downloads and updates. As of now I can publish something and get paid directly.

    What I DO have a problem with is Apple / Google charging Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, etc. 30% for in-app purchases while Apple's / Google's competing apps don't spend a penny for doing the same thing. It creates a clearly unfair playing ground that has forced these other companies to come up with ways to work around it. I think if Apple or Google want to compete, they should spin off new companies that are financially distinct from the company that makes and maintains the platform.

  9. stylishitalian

    Hi ??‍♂️, My name is Paolo and I have two expenditial scale applications and believe even scaling fees down is not enough I believe I have an argument that goes as far as insider trading I believe apps are held back depending on their quality because if they taint the business of other major apps it would be known they are worth major money hence becoming a major problem to large American tech companies bottom line because they attract customers away from American apps , Its not impossible to start a third and popular App Store in my view particularly I could be proficient in even denouncing the ability of such a large player like China but these things are much easier said then done . Happy developing ??‍♂️

  10. rm

    All API's that Google or Apple use in their own store apps or apps that come preinstalled on the OS must be made available to all apps for free. Otherwise they have unfair market advantages. Those API's need to be treated as an extension of the OS operating environment.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to RM:

      Dont agree access to iOS APIs should be free. Either licensed or free, at Apple discretion.

      It would be doing the same as a Apple is doing at the moment. Devs giving sales to the App Store … and pay for it.

      The App is devs technology. IOS is Apples technology. The App Store in app purchase policy muddies the waters.

  11. curtisspendlove

    Here’s a consideration I don’t see brought up a lot.

    *IF* every dev were to use their own payment system and now people have to repeatedly enter credit card numbers in to buy every app they purchase, how many potential sales might those developers loose.

    Personally, I trust Apple with the payment systems more than I do random software developers.

    Payment is a difficult issue to solve. I know. I’ve worked on plenty of payment systems in my decades of development.

    Another curiosity of mine. If both Apple and third-party were offered; how many users would pick the Apple method anyway?

    I would. It’s just smarter than randomly trusting that developers are properly securing payment info.

    (I have spent years telling my family members to not enter any payment info into their phones, tablets, or computers unless they can’t with me first. There are so many scams out there.)

    • geoff

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      The problem with all advertising is that the advertisers aren't sure if it works or not. Newspapers, billboards, radio, TV, on-line and whatever: they spend a huge amount of money and then they *hope* that it works.

      The Google and the Apple payment engines close that loop. They know what ad they served you and they know which store you purchased from and they know how much you paid. They can join the dots, and work out which ads caused you to buy stuff.

      The battle for the payment system is huge, and extremely important.

      Obviously, "abuse of market power" is, by definition, a company exploiting dominance in one arena to expand into another arena with an advantage that rivals don't have. Google and Apple are doing exactly that: exploiting market dominance in App Stores to gain dominance in payment systems.

      The ACCC is right to call that out.

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      They could use PayPal, or Square...I am sure there are other payment systems.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      “*IF* every dev were to use their own payment system and now people have to repeatedly enter credit card numbers in to buy every app they purchase, how many potential sales might those developers loose.”

      Apple Pay, PayPal and many others remove that inconvenience. Don’t they? If you are reaching a revenue of 1M a year why would you want to pay 300K for such mater along with a hosting service? You know as I that a non leveraged market prices (Leveraged market price is what Apple does, leveraged by keeping customer ransom), is a fraction of that.

      So How many customer would you loose, tell me? How many you wouldn’t loose to the competition, say you have a rival service to Apple Music? Its pure speculation.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to nbplopes:

        “So How many customer would you loose, tell me? How many you wouldn’t loose to the competition, say you have a rival service to Apple Music? Its pure speculation.”

        One very important distinction I think most people miss here: Everyone is assuming there will be a search with all Apps.

        But guess what. Apple has spent some time preparing for this. They have their App Store Editorials and a few other “spotlight” kind of things.

        And I bet anyone that doesn’t use Apple’s AppStoreKit (or whatever it would be called) are unlikely to be listed in Apple’s App Store (which will be the default App Store).

        So, if Apple spends no time or effort advertising for you. And people have to go out of their way to even know that your app exists, how many customers might you lose then?

        • nbplopes

          In reply to curtisspendlove:

          I think that is fair enough. Meaning, Apple editorials are marketing assets of Apple and should be payed by businesses if they ever so which to be in them. Including search. That is an App Store service that brings them leads.

          But sure there will be competition in that field. I can imagine apps appearing providing that search

          The core problem in my view is the requirement of an mandatory in-app-purchase device, silencing developers regarding other means of communicating value to their customers within the confounds of their property. Even in shopping malls, in mall stores, say an Apple Store can point to other stores of their own … and still pay their fixed monthly rent.

    • Paul Thurrott

      What. Let's not have choices because choices are ... messy? Every developer won't have their own payment system. There will be competition in payment systems on mobile. That's a good thing.
    • jgraebner

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      Would you still pick Apple's payment service if the cost was 10% higher than using the developer's own payment service?

      I do see the point, but at the same time I wouldn't consider Apple to be more trustworthy for payments than Microsoft, Amazon, Paypal, Square, Epic, Google, etc. If developers can shop around for the best terms on a payment processor, at least in theory it should result in better pricing being passed down to the consumer.

      Also, I'll add that Apple's policy really isn't all that user-friendly right now since there are a number of apps (such as Kindle) that require that purchasing be done outside of the app and those developers aren't even allowed to tell the customers how to do that in the app.

    • bob_shutts

      In reply to curtisspendlove: I agree but change is coming. Hopefully when the dust settles those who choose Apple Store and Android Store with their respective payment methods will still be able to do so.

    • ommoran

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      There would be nothing stopping a developer from using a trusted system like Paypal. Outside the US, developers can use direct payments through debit, such as using Canada's Interac system that is operated by our chartered banks.

      Heck, they could even use Apple Pay... which would alleviate your concern.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to ommoran:

        There would be nothing stopping a developer from using a trusted system like Paypal.

        Of course they can. In fact I would recommend to all of them to use Stripe.

        My point isn’t that they can’t. My point is that many of them will do it wrong.

        It isn’t as easy as most people think it is. And also, they have to take into consideration GDRP and all sorts of global regulations.

        Apple handles all of that and currency conversions when you use their gateway.

    • bettyblue

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      I 100% agree. I do not want multiple acounts to multiple apps stores. Just like PC gaming with Steam, Origin, Eipic, Battlenet, Ubisoft.....NO THANKS. I like the single apps store Apple provides, just like the Xbox as well.

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