Apple Shares Praise From Developers Happy With 15% App Store Fee Cut

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Apple last week announced the launch of a new App Store Small Business Program that will see the company lowering its ‌App Store‌ fees for small business owners and independent developers. On January 1, 2021, all developers who earn less than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ will pay a 15 percent commission to Apple instead of the standard 30 percent.

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Apple today shared a press release that has a long list of quotes from app developers who are pleased with the changes. Apple has said that the new ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program will benefit the “vast majority” of developers, providing them with more revenue to grow their teams and improve their apps.

From Christian Selig, developer of the Apollo app for Reddit:

“This made my morning. This will legitimately help so much. It’ll make decisions like hiring on extra help, or acquiring better gear, going to conferences, doing more advertising, etc., much easier to justify, and it really means a lot to me that Apple is doing such an awesome thing! It’s going to help my business a ton.”

From Curtis Herbert, developer of Slopes Ski & Snowboard:

“I was very excited to wake up to the news. This translates to a 21 percent increase in revenue for us, which is huge. It lowers the bar for new developers trying to start a business. As COVID has hit many of us hard this year, this is a much-needed break that will help many of us weather the storm.”

The quotes from Apple heap praise on the ‌App Store‌ fee drop, but some developers who earn more than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ have been less pleased.

Spotify said that Apple’s fee change demonstrates that “‌App Store‌ policies are arbitrary and capricious,” while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple is “gerrymandering the community with a patchwork of special deals” with the program.

Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, known for his outspokenness over the “Hey” email app controversy, said that “Machiavelli would be proud” and that Apple was attempting to “paint any developer making more than $1m as greedy.”

All app developers who earned under $1 million in 2020 qualify to join the program and get the reduced 15 percent commission rate, as do developers who are new to the ‌App Store‌. Apple’s reduced commission applies to paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.

The fee changes don’t benefit major companies like ‌Epic Games‌ and Spotify that have railed against Apple’s ‌App Store‌ pricing, but it does provide relief for smaller app developers who have been struggling during the global health crisis.

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