Apple, condemned to grow
Apple has decided to give developers more freedom to set their prices on the App Store to reconcile the fact that many companies and authorities have accused the Californian giant of abusing its dominant mobile application market.
Content creators can offer their products at $0.29 (instead of $0.49 for subscriptions and $0.99 to buy an application), and go up to $10,000 in some cases (instead of $999.99). Apple says in a statement that it has added some 700 price points.
Also, they will have more options to set their prices in different countries and currencies.
“For example, a Japanese video game studio that does most of its business in Japan will be able to have a fixed price for its Japanese storefront and let prices fluctuate abroad based on exchange rates,” Apple said.
The creator of the iPhone thus adds flexibility to a system widely criticized for its rigidity by many publishers, notably Spotify and Epic Games (Fortnite), or, more recently, by Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter.
They are mainly against Apple taking a commission (up to 30%) on all revenues made via the App Store, the essential application shop on iPhones for third-party application developers.
The authorities in various countries have been trying for several years to combat the duopoly that Apple and Google (Android) formed in this market, where they are both judges and juries.
In the United States, a law is in the pipeline, and in Europe, the Digital Markets Regulation (DMA) will come into force in May 2023.
It will force Apple to open up iOS, its mobile operating system, to alternative payment methods and app shops.
In June 2021, Apple boss Tim Cook warned that this would “destroy the security of the iPhone and many of the privacy initiatives we’ve developed in the App Store.”
Apple has won battles, including a lawsuit against Epic Games. But it has already had to make concessions.
Last year, Apple ended lawsuits with a promise to pay USD 100 million to small American developers.
Above all, the company has since allowed publishers to offer their customers’ payment methods outside the App Store, via their website, for example.