back to article Apple owes Brit iOS app devs millions from excessively high commission, lawsuit claims

Apple is facing a legal challenge over the "creator tax," or the commission it charges developers who write the apps that populate its digital walled garden. Sean Ennis, professor of competition policy who has worked as an economist at the OECD, US Department of Justice and the European Commission, claims Apple has engineered …

  1. Mishak Silver badge

    As a small developer

    I would be happy to pay 15% for my sales, marketing and distribution.

    Not so happy about 15% for in-app payments though, and I really don't understand why the percentage needs to go up when the volumes are high.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As a small developer

      In-app payment percentages have to be the same as initial purchases as otherwise everything would just be no charge, followed by a block to pay.

      In any case, who cares about developers who use in-app purchases? They should be charged 80% IMO

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: As a small developer

      Hardly any apps cost money up front anymore, everything is free but most apps make you pay to actually use the app after a trial period. If Apple & Google didn't charge for in-app payments they would be operating their massive stores for free.

      1. James R Grinter

        Re: As a small developer

        Not to mention developer tools, libraries, operating system updates.

        There’s a prevailing attitude (possibly because so much software *is* free at the point of access) that it must cost nothing to provide it.

        Which is ironic when application developers are complaining about sharing any of their income with the app store providers.

        I would expect to see any “third-party” app stores being obliged to pay royalties to the platform developers/owners, or else the app developers having to agree financial terms with same. Be careful what you wish for, etc.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does Google get a pass?

    All these companies that have set themselves up as market gateways are at it. Google charges this too, and if you've ever wanted to put a book on Amazon you'd discover that Google and Apple are actually generous by only taking 30%.

    They're *all* royally taking the mick - because they can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why does AMAZON get a pass?

      Amazon takes either 70% or 30%. Most authors I know suck up and go for the 70% to AMZN and 30% to the author who then probably has to pay income tax at 20% (or thereabouts) on that.

      If Apple is ripping devs off then Amazon are raping authors which is why I refuse to put my work on Kindle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why does Google get a pass?

      20% was common for bricks-and-mortar shops. Originally the argument was the other way around: "Waah... Apple/Google/Amazon are undercutting us".

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Why does Google get a pass?

      With Google, and Amazon, you can go elsewhere.

      Google, you can use, Amazon, your phone makers marketplace, and the likes of F-Droid.

      Books, we'll take your pick

      Apple! Good luck.

      I'm not defending their marketing tactics and abuse of power, but at least you have some choice.

      1. goldcd

        Re: Why does Google get a pass?

        You don't even have to use an alternative market place - nothing stopping you sticking your APK on your website (or even email it to your users).

        They might have to click through a couple of warnings - but absolutely no reason you'd have to pay anybody else to distribute your Android app.

        Similar to PC where you might choose to give Valve a heft % for them to host it on Steam and enable you to use their services - but entirely optional.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They might have to click through a couple of warnings ...

          Just yesterday I was trying to install f-droid on a Samsmug Galaxy Tab A7 Lite for someone, and despite doing the usual stuff (allowing install-from, &etc), it (or rather google play protect, iirc) refused anyway. So at least in one case, it has been made unsimple.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

            Re: They might have to click through a couple of warnings ...

            Skip The Dishes (& it's ilk) takes a chunk of about 20% on every order.

            During the pandemic, I delivered food for one specific restaurent @ $5 per order, that was far cheaper than what Skip used to fleece off the owners.

          2. Paul Kinsler

            Re: f-droid install refused

            FWIW, the alternate fdroid install, i.e. f-droid-basic, targets android 13, and might help...


  3. MJI Silver badge

    It is a pain

    Android is easy, side loading is trivial, play store easy to get into.

    Apple - aghh, costs us a lot, need a store, and a mac, and to find an apple phone.

    Then the app ony worked properly on a Motorola and not on a Samsmug.

    Why did our customer buy a ton of Ipads?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is a pain

      Apple and Google have practically identical side-loading features. Actually, I found all of the stores/packaging tools from both Apple and Google to be pretty straightforward.

      Why do I always get the feeling that people posting this haven't ever packaged anything?

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Why do I always get the feeling?


        Simply because 99.9999% of us are not phone/tablet app developers.

        I spent almost all my working life writing software (started 51 years ago with Fortran) and have packaged up software for many different OS's in my time but I have never had the slightest interest in writing a phone app.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: It is a pain

        Because a customer wants a phone app and the developer uses an Android phone, like everyone else at work, apart from one person.

        None of use are specialists in telephone applications, but Android was easy.

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: It is a pain

        "Apple and Google have practically identical side-loading features."

        Let me guess. When you say "side-loading", you're referring to taking the app you just wrote and installing it on your phone from XCode or Android Studio? Yes, those are similarly easy. That is also irrelevant to the discussion and to basically everybody. Developers can figure out how to load their test version.

        The side-loading that others are talking about is when you've finished developing your app and someone who doesn't have the code wants to install it. On Android, you can get a file containing the app and install it on any device, with two to five security screens in your way. For an iPhone, you can ... well you can get a device-specific package by collecting an identifier the device tries to hide from you, individually made by the developer. Or you could get a corporate profile installed on your phone, assuming you don't already have one which will make it difficult to add others, and that also has to be maintained by the developers and will break should they shut any part of it down. So the part that we're talking about is not identical in any way.

  4. J. R. Hartley

    The title is no longer required.

    The day the fruity foxconn-rebrander replies to a request from Vulture Central will be the day this site dies on its arse. Or ass, since it's gone all yank of late.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The title is no longer required.

      "Or ass, since it's gone all yank of late."

      This +1

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    professor of competition policy

    Wait, that's an actual thing?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: professor of competition policy

      Sure, why not? There are both legal and economic facets to competition, and it's something that students might focus on if they're looking to work at a regulator, a company that either is or looks like a monopolist, or a place that wants to fight against monopolists. Is it that different from a professor of cryptography, even though they'd be organized under the mathematics or computer science areas, or a professor of copyright law?

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