Refusal to apply for app update ‘Apple tax’ sparks developer protests

On June 19, Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of marketing, said in an interview that the company would not change the App Store rules to accommodate the Hey app, TechCrunch reported. “We haven’t considered making any changes to the rules, and there are a lot of things they can do to make the application work under the rules we make.” Phil said.

Journalist Wu Yangyu

Apple had earlier rejected a software update request for the app, citing violations of the App Store’s in-house purchase rules. The reason is that Hey requires users to sign up for an account outside the app and not accept in-app subscriptions, which avoids being charged a 30 percent split by Apple. Apple said the Hey team needed to offer an in-app subscription option.

Refusal to apply for app update 'Apple tax' sparks developer protests

Apple’s response to the Hey team (pictured from the web)

It is understood that Hey is a mail service application, launched by project management software company Basecamp. In February, Basecamp announced via Twitter that it had acquired the boutique three-letter domain name hey.com and would launch its messaging-related service in April, Domaininvesting reported.

“I’m really shocked,” Said Heinemeier Hansson, author of Ruby On Rails and founder of Basecamp, tweeted about Apple’s rejection of Hey’s request for a software update. He said Apple is doing more to stop them from fixing bugs and adding new features unless the company accepts Apple’s request to draw 15 to 30 percent.

“To make matters worse, we were told that unless we complied with the rules, they would delete the app. He wrote.

Refusal to apply for app update 'Apple tax' sparks developer protests

Photo from Weibo

In-house purchases or memberships of iOS apps offered by the App Store require an iTunes payment system, and Apple will take 15 to 30 percent of the transaction fee, known as the Apple Tax.

According to interface journalists, the outside world’s views on the “Apple Tax” are divided into two factions.

In the view of one faction, such a rule is “justified”. One game app developer told Interface News that he didn’t particularly understand what Hey meant by doing so, “it didn’t feel too necessary, after all, it’s going to be in the App Store by its rules.” Another software app developer also told interface journalists that Apple’s response was expected, “Which useful platform to distribute, it doesn’t give people the benefit of the truth.” “

They all agree that Apple provides an efficient global distribution tool that doesn’t get much traffic if it’s not online in the App Store, and that’s complementary to pumping. And most developer platforms have similar rules.

The software app developer also said that Apple has helped developers screen a group of high-paying users from hardware (with a high price threshold), “and that’s worth it.” He said, “You know, you want to do high-value user screening, the cost is very high.” “

In fact, some merchants put this part of the “loss” on the user’s head, the iOS platform’s service pricing higher, so that different platforms balance the returns. For example, on the Android side and iOS side to buy Baidu online disk members on the price difference of nearly 100 yuan, “Love Youteng” three video apps in Apple and Android terminal selling prices are also different.

The other side thinks it is a tougher approach, with a higher proportion of the draw. In fact, this perception has continued to trouble Apple.

David Cicilline, chairman of the U.S. House Of Retrust Subcommittee, said in a talk show on The Verge that Apple’s App Store fee policy is similar to “blocking robbery,”media reported Thursday. According to Cicilline, Apple’s market power has allowed it to charge “high rents” and crush small developers.

The antitrust subcommittee has been consulting developers since November and has spoken to people affected by the App Store’s decisions. Cicilline also said the antitrust investigation was “nearing completion” and that a final hearing would be held in July. He is pushing for four CEOs, and all three CEOs of Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have agreed to attend, except for Tim Cook, whose current refusal.