Apple Updates App Store, Hopes to Combat Antitrust Claims

Apple is hoping that its new App Store website will help curb accusations regarding antitrust and anti-competition practices. Ahead of next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, the company launched a new App Store site with details about how apps are carefully reviewed and curated, and the different business models that are available to app developers. “We created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” the company detailed on the site.

“We also care about quality over quantity, and trust over transactions,” added Apple. “That’s why, even though other stores have more users and more app downloads, the App Store earns more money for developers. Our users trust Apple — and that trust is critical to how we operate a fair, competitive store for developer app distribution.”

The App Store site “features a section entitled ‘A Store that welcomes competition,” where Apple makes the case for a marketplace where its own apps live alongside those from third-party developers,” reports TechCrunch.

“For example, it showcases how Apple’s own Messages app competes with Messenger, Slack, Snapchat and Viber; Apple’s Mail competes with Gmail, Outlook, Spark and Yahoo Mail; Maps competes with Google Maps, Citymapper, MAPS.ME and Waze; and so on. Spotify, naturally, is listed among the competitors for both Apple’s Music and Podcasts apps.”

Spotify recently filed a complaint against Apple with the European Union, claiming the tech giant unfairly favored its own iOS operating system by demanding a 30 percent cut of revenue from apps that compete with its own on the App Store. This practice, referred to by some as the “Apple tax,” results in developers increasing the cost of their app or subscription specifically for iOS users.

Apple counters on the App Store by noting that “developers have earned more than $120 billion worldwide from selling digital goods and services in apps distributed by the App Store” and that “84 percent of apps are free, and developers pay nothing to Apple.”

Related:
Apps Purged by Apple Say It Holds the Key They Need to Get Back In, The New York Times, 5/30/19
Supreme Court: App Store Customers Can Now Sue Apple, ETCentric, 5/14/19