Apple’s latest App Store changes amid antitrust pressure will help small developers in a big way

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Apple’s latest App Store changes amid antitrust pressure will help small developers in a big way
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  • Apple has announced changes to its App Store that may benefit small developers.
  • The company has agreed to create a $100million fund to assist developers who earn less than $1million annually.
  • The announcement comes in order to settle a lawsuit filed by US developers against the company.
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In order to settle a developer lawsuit, Apple announced an agreement to make changes to its App Store which may benefit small developers. The company made the announcement in a blog post that it said will resolve a class-action suit from US developers. The company has also agreed to create $100million funds that can benefit small developers who earned less than $1million annually from the App Store.

The changes were submitted to the judge presiding over the case after reaching an agreement with developers. These changes will benefit the small developers in numerous ways. As per Apple, 99% of the developers creating apps on its App Store earn less than $1million annually and will benefit from the changes.

Here’s how the App Store changes will affect developers.
  • Developers can communicate regarding payment methods with their users outside of the iOS app, via email or other channels. If the users agree to it, the developers don’t have to pay a commission to Apple.
  • App developers earning less than $1 million annually will continue to pay a 15% reduced commission on app purchases and in-app payments for at least the next three years.
  • The Apple search will continue to be based on characteristics like downloads, star ratings, text relevance, and user behaviour signals, benefitting developers who create user-friendly apps having higher downloads and ratings.
  • Developers will get to choose from more price points as Apple plans to expand from having less than 100 price points to over 500. The developers will continue to set their own prices.
  • Developers will continue to appeal the rejection of an app based on perceived unfair treatment. Apple will update its App Review website with more information on how the developers can appeal.
  • With Apple agreeing to create an annual transparency report, developers can gather information regarding rejected apps, the number of customer and developer accounts deactivated, objective data regarding search queries and results, and the number of apps removed from the App Store.
  • Small developers can take assistance from the Small Developer Assistance Fund. Developers who have earned less than $1million for all their apps between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021, can claim between $250 to $30,000 from the $100 million funds.
These announcements were made amidst criticism of Apple’s high commission rates on iOS apps having in-app purchases and other payment systems. The changes will need to be signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is presiding over the case before they come into effect.
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