Original title: official propaganda! Apple gave in
Wu Yu, reporter of China Foundation news
Apple finally gave in!
On the evening of November 18, Beijing time, Apple announced a new policy: the commission rate of small enterprises or independent developers with annual income less than $1 million will be reduced from 30% to 15%.
Annual revenue is less than $1 million
Apple tax reduced to 15%
Apple announced a new developer program on the evening of November 18. Small businesses or independent developers with an annual income of less than $1 million are eligible to participate in the program and receive a 15% commission reduction. The commission rate in the Apple App Store app store is reduced from 30% to 15%.
The plan will be launched on January 1, 2021. Apple said the main reason is that small and independent developers want to encourage them to continue their commitment to innovation and prosperity at a time of unprecedented challenges in the global economy.
The participation criteria for halving the “Apple tax” are straightforward and simple:
1. Existing developers will earn less than $1 million in 2020 for all applications;
2. New developers of app store;
3. After halving, if the developer’s annual income exceeds the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate (30%) will apply to the rest of the year.
4. If the developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in the next year, they can regain the 15% commission qualification in the next year.
28 million developers and 1.8 million apps
“Apple tax” has brought hundreds of billions of revenue to apple
The app store was founded in 2008. At present, the app store ecosystem of Apple has 28 million developers, providing 1.8 million apps and 1 billion patrons a week.
The so-called Apple tax means that when your app is to be put on the app store of Apple store, Apple users need to pay 30% of the transaction commission to apple when downloading the app, if it involves payment or consumption within the app. This part of the draw is also known as “Apple tax” by the market image.
In February 2011, in the third year of launching the app store, Apple announced that the app store would launch subscription functions for magazines, video and audio content, and charge a 30% draw fee. In 2017, apple required 30% tax to be paid to apple for the purchase of virtual goods and services in the app store. For years, the 30% Apple tax has been attacked by developers and regulators.
According to CNBC, the app store’s annual “Apple tax” revenue is as high as $15 billion, or nearly 100 billion yuan. (CNBC estimates that the app store’s sales volume will be $50 billion in 2019. Assuming that developers account for 70%, Apple will be able to collect $15 billion in commission).
“Tax reduction” is conducive to increase the income of small and medium-sized developers
Although the income threshold of $1 million is strictly restricted, for most small enterprises and developers, Apple’s policy is obviously a good thing. It will increase their income and have the incentive to launch more and better applications.
In Greater China, by the end of 2018, Apple’s developers in Greater China had exceeded 2.5 million, including small and medium-sized enterprises and individual entrepreneurs with an annual income of less than $1 million. In 2018, the revenue of developers in Greater China will reach 60 billion yuan. Based on this, the average income per developer is about 24000. That is to say, there are not a few companies and individuals who meet this policy.
In this regard, many netizens said, apple this conscience, directly reduced by half. Others point out that this is “Apple version of poverty alleviation”.
However, it has also been pointed out that this has something to do with the fight between game companies epic and apple.
Well known game enterprises are hard at the end
The first shot against “Apple tax”
Some analysts also point out that apple flavor small and medium-sized developers have to make concessions in the face of lawsuits from well-known game R & D enterprises.
Back in August, one of the hottest games in the world, fortress night, was removed from Apple’s shelves. The reason is that the game’s developer, Epic Games, fired the first shot against the “Apple tax.”.
In early August, epic game company launched a disaster on apple, selling its product fortrite (Fortress night) directly to users, publicly violating the payment rules of the app store.
Apple responded by removing the offending app from the app store.
Epic also sued apple. According to foreign analysts. Since January 2012, epic’s mobile games have been downloaded more than 159 million times in App Store app stores around the world, with consumer spending as high as $1.2 billion. According to the 30% Apple tax, about $360 million of that $1.2 billion goes to apple.
In other words, Apple got 360 million dollars from epic’s transaction with consumers without any need to do anything
Apple has also repeatedly stuck to the bottom line of 30% of the deal, claiming that as long as epic is willing to follow the rule, it can still return to the app store. As a result, Fort nite was taken off the shelves.
Now the litigation between the two sides is still ongoing. Even though Apple said it would “cut taxes” for small and medium-sized developers, epic said on the same day: “today, we took legal action in the Australian federal court to end Apple’s monopoly on the app store and make the digital platform fairer.” “We are expanding the fight to Australia, where Apple’s anti competitive policy has the biggest impact in the world.”
Not only by a number of technology companies litigation
It has also been investigated by many countries
There is no denying that apple is now under pressure from a number of technology companies.
On September 24, 13 companies, including spotify, Basecamp, epic game and match group, formed a coalition for app fairness to promote app store reform and protect app economy.
The alliance also published a list of 10 principles on its website, including more transparent application approval process, the right to communicate directly with users, and developers should not be required to use the payment system of app store owners exclusively.
In addition, Facebook has previously stated that “Apple’s app store policy is harmful to small businesses suffering from the recession caused by the epidemic.”
“Apple is the only common platform that denies consumers access to cloud game and game subscription services such as Xbox game pass,” Microsoft said in announcing it would launch its game streaming service in September Fidji Simo, head of Facebook’s app, said earlier that Apple had been asked for a cut or permission to use Facebook pay, but the request was rejected, leaving small and medium-sized businesses plagued by the epidemic to receive only 70% of their hard-earned income.
In addition to pressure from a number of technology companies, Apple has also been subject to multi-national antitrust investigations.
Apple is the most questioned “Apple tax” on the accusation of monopoly.
On September 3, German antitrust regulators were closely monitoring the legal dispute over the payment terms of Apple’s app store and said that a nationwide investigation might be launched in principle.
In August, Apple was again targeted by EU antitrust authorities, which have officially opened two investigations to assess whether Apple pay and app store violate EU competition law.
In June this year, the U.S. Department of justice launched an investigation into Apple’s App Store payment policy. It has been pointed out that Apple does not have to pay 30% commission for its own software and services, which constitutes unfair competition and an excessively high income share of 30%.
In response, Apple CEO Cook said in his speech that Apple’s Commission was at the same level or lower than that charged by most of its competitors. Before Apple launched the app store, software developers had to pay 50% – 70% of the fees for publishing their works. Apple’s Commission was far lower than that.
It is reported that the fixed proportion of Apple App store and Google play is 30%, and that of most other mobile phone brand app stores and third-party app stores in China is generally 50%. However, the bargaining power of each game distribution company is different, and the proportion can be reduced to 20% or even lower. Take Tencent mobile game platform as an example. According to the official website of Tencent open platform, 60% of developers and 40% of Tencent share the mode of online game intermodal cooperation.
“In the more than a decade since the app store was launched, Apple has never raised commissions or increased single fees. As a matter of fact, Apple has cut down the revenue sharing from subscription, providing share exemption for more types of applications. The app store keeps pace with the times, and each change is based on the guideline of providing better experience for users and providing attractive business opportunities for developers. ” Cook stressed.
Notably, Cook said in a July statement that an investigation into antitrust practices was necessary, but reiterated that Apple would not make any concessions and questioned the claim that “Apple has anti competitive practices.”.
Analysis: less than 5% impact on App Store
Apple shares fell more than 1%
Now, Apple has finally given in. According to many analyses, this concession has the best of both worlds. The change will affect about 98% of the companies that pay Apple commissions, according to application analyst sensor tower. But sensor tower says these developers accounted for less than 5% of app store revenue last year.
Apple said the new rate would affect a “vast majority” of its developers, but declined to provide specific figures.
But this is also interpreted by the outside world as apple wants to make peace under the pressure of antitrust. After the announcement of the policy, Apple’s share price fell only 1.14%.