Apple to Introduce ‘App Store Small Business Programme’
By: Ashwathy Nair
The new initiative by Apple reduces commission on paid apps and in-apps to help multiple budding app developer start-ups that sell digital goods and services on Apple App Store. It is all set to go live on 1st January 2021.
However, this programme is limited to developers who in the previous calendar year (2020) earned up to $1 million in revenue. If earnings are below the cut-off range, as stated above, they will be authorized to pay 15 per cent for an additional year. However, if the earnings go more then $1 million, the company will have to pay the regular 30 per cent commission to Apple App Store.
The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook stated that “The backbone of our global economy are Small Businesses and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world. This programme is being launched to encourage the owners of small business to write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to form the kind of quality apps that are loved by the customers.”
He further added, “The App Store has turned out to be an economic growth engine like no other, generating millions of new jobs and a path to entrepreneurship that is open to anyone with a great idea. The new programme is moving in the right direction by helping developers fund their small businesses, taking chance on new ideas, expanding their teams and continuing to create apps that enhance the lives of people.”
This is considered as a welcome gesture by the Cupertino-based firm, as it would be helping small companies that are facing a financial crisis due to the early outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year that led to the worldwide shutdown of economic activities for several months.
An indie game developer with 20 titles in the App Store, Phillip Stollenmayer stated that “In order to become truly mobile, this is a big opportunity for the indie gaming spirit”. In June 2020, his latest game ‘Song of Bloom’ won an Apple Design Award. With this, only 15 per cent will have to be paid by Stollenmayer and other hardworking independent developers. Also, now they will be able to divert the savings in order to expand their workforce and develop new, innovative features for app users.
It was coincident that the news came out exactly months after the sanctions on Epic Games was initiated by Apple. In August, an in-app feature that was for all transactions are done on PCs and mobiles was launched as direct payment by latter’s gaming division Fortnite.
Apparently, this breached the policy of Apple and enabled customers a 20 per cent discount on in-game currency (V-bucks). Google has also taken objection to the Fortnite’s decision. On the respective Google Play and Apple App Store sites, both technology firms blocked Fortnite gaming.
In the battle at court, it has been pointed out by the Epic Games that the 30 per cent cut taken by Apple and Google were too hefty to run a successful business for application companies.
Now, the latest initiative by Apple seems to be a breakthrough to calm the critics who have been accusing the Cupertino-based company of too much gatekeeper charge for a long time.