Apple is facing a major antitrust case related to the App Store, involving whether the App Store operates as a monopoly, and now the company has launched a website in defense of its practices — in an attempt to prove that the App Store is not a monopoly.
According to the website, Apple has paid out $120 billion to developers on the App Store since it first launched. The company also says around 60 percent of the 100,000 apps and app updates that are reviewed every week are approved. The main reason an app wouldn’t be approved? Most of the time, it’s related to minor bugs, with privacy concerns a secondary reason.
Perhaps more interesting than the stats is the section related to how Apple believes it encourages competition. Apple’s argument is that while Apple develops its own apps, like Maps, Calendar, and iCloud, it still allows competing services, like Google Drive and Google Maps, to exist on the App Store.
Of course, that kind of misses the point a little — the plaintiffs in the case argue that Apple’s practices are monopolistic because the App Store is the only place you can get apps for the iPhone, yet Apple still charges a hefty fee to developers, who cannot reach Apple device owners without paying it. The argument has nothing to do with Apple allowing competing apps on the App Store.
Still, Apple seems to be suggesting that developers do have other options. For example, developers could build web apps that can be accessed through Safari and other web browsers.
The website also discusses the different types of apps that are available on the App Store. These include free apps, apps with advertising, apps with in-app purchases, and straight-up paid apps. One last category is the “Reader” category, which involves apps that allow users to access content from services like Netflix and Spotify, but that don’t allow users to manage subscriptions directly in the app. The advantage for developers here is that while Apple takes a 30-percent cut of in-app purchases, including subscriptions, enabling users to manage their subscription on the web or another device bypasses that fee. The problem with that argument, however, is that developers are barred from providing convenient links to the web for users to manage their subscriptions.
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