Ahead of next week’s annual Apple WWDC Developer conference, the tech giant has hit back at app developers who have accused it of using the store to gain a competitive edge over its rivals.
Last March the music-streaming service Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming Apple had changed the Store rules to ‘purposely limit choice and stifle innovation.’ This followed on from last year’s decision by Netflix to stop including iTunes as an option for new users for the video streaming service.
We’re always learning and trying to make the App Store experience better for customers and developers by offering the best apps. And this commitment has never wavered.- Apple: press release
In its defence Apple boasted that in the ten years since the Apple Store was launched app developers had made more than $120 billion worldwide through the Store and had created over a million jobs in Europe alone. Alongside a further million and half jobs in the US.
Apple insists its App Store is ‘fair’ and allows developers to set their own ‘price tiers’ with Apple only collecting commissions once an app is delivered to users. Generally, both Apple and Google take a 15% cut of in-app subscription purchases, but Apple insisted ‘84% of apps are free’ and many ‘developers pay nothing to Apple.’
Apple’s comments were a response to recent criticisms made by Phillip Shoemaker, the former head of Apple’s third-party app reviews and now an executive director of the blockchain firm Identity.com.
Given my experience, I completely understand the complaints from companies like Tidal, Spotify and Netflix. For each category of the App Store, I am certain that there are hundreds of these types of Apple competitors in the store, and they are rightfully worried about fair treatment.- Blog Post: Phillip Shoemaker, Identity.com
In response Apple also highlighted the number of iOS apps available in the Store that compete with apps included in their iPhone. These include alternatives to Apple Calendar such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.
While Snapchat, Moment and Instagram are rivals to the Apple Camera app. And iCloud competitors include Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive. Finally, Apple highlights the competition between Apple Music and Amazon, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube. All, Apple insisted, examples of healthy competition and the broad scope available in the Store.