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| 19. November 2020

Apple Cuts Down App Store Fees for Small Developers

Here’s a change we never thought would see the light of day: Apple cutting down its own developer fees. No, that wasn’t a typo, and yes, you’ve read that one correctly. Going forward, all developers making under $1 million through the App Store will pay a meager 15% in commission to Apple.

That’s 50% less than what it’s been for what feels like an eternity. This applies to paid app purchases, subscriptions, but also any in-app purchases as well. All in all, this is quite an incredible change and it’s of the “for the greater good” variety. That sort of vibe isn’t exactly what comes to mind when anyone thinks of Apple. Heck, not even close.

Small business are truly the backbone of Apple’s global economy, and while this definitely is a bit of PR talk, it doesn’t make it any less true. On the contrary. Getting your product on the Apple App Store has always been a thing of prestige and now it’ll be easier (and more lucrative) than ever. All developers who’ve earned less than $1 in revenue throughout 2020 will be able to qualify for the aforementioned reduced commission rate. New ones who’ll plan on joining the Apple ecosystem in 2021 (and onwards) will automatically qualify.

The point of this change is to ultimately empower small business and burgeoning developers. The times we find ourselves in are quite uncertain, and seeing Apple adapt and follow along is a sight no one truly expected.

Not Everyone’s Happy

Of course, you can never please everyone. Some of the biggest opponents of Apple’s approach quickly aired their disapproval. This list includes Spotify as well as Epic Games, the latter of which still hasn’t found a way to bring Fortnite back on iOS devices. The irony.

Now sure, Apple’s developer fees have long been somewhat astronomical, but it’s their ecosystem, and they’ve built it from the ground up. Of course they want to rake in as much revenue as humanly possible. These tech giants are by no means benevolent, and they’re always fighting for their own interest and well being.

This is why moments like these are so surprising and invaluable. They’re a positive shift towards the greater good, and they impact millions of people around the globe. Apple cutting down its developer fees will directly benefit those who need it most, and quite a wholesome development no one saw coming.

We can only hope that Google will follow suit and do the same, although that seems rather unlikely at this point.