Time for Apple to reevaluate how the App Store does business
Macworld|December 2020
The App Store is the most contentious business Apple runs, and it needs some fixes.
DAN MOREN

If there’s a segment of Apple’s business that seems to fly in the face of the company’s philosophy—not just in terms of making a product that is substandard or lackluster—but in terms of actually being at odds with the way it otherwise does business, you couldn’t put forth a more prominent example than the App Store.

The discussion, always at a constant simmer in the Apple community, bubbled up once again last week even as Apple CEO Tim Cook was grilled by lawmakers over antitrust concerns. Developers, regularly dissatisfied with the company’s lack of transparency and equality over rules, took the opportunity to renew criticism of not only that, but the hefty 30 percent cut of proceeds.

The App Store has been a profitable business for both developers and Apple in the decade-plus since its launch, but there’s a strong argument that as much of its benefits have accrued to those making the apps that feed it, just as much—if not more—has found its way into the coffers of the platform owner. Enough so that the company has built an entire fast-growing segment of its income around Services, amongst which the App Store is undoubtedly the crown jewel.

Apple’s impetus to keep on keeping on isn’t hard to understand. But, as the App Store embarks upon its second decade of operation, it may at least be worthwhile to investigate what changes could be made to improve it.

THE UNKINDEST CUT

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MACWORLDView All

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PASSWORDS USING iCLOUD KEYCHAIN ON YOUR iPHONE, iPAD, & MAC

IT’S MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU THINK.

5 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

WINDOWS 10 ON M1 MACS: WHAT YOU CAN DO (VIRTUALIZATION, SORTA) AND CAN'T (BOOT CAMP)

VIRTUALIZATION IS KEY, BUT THE LACK OF A CONSUMER VERSION OF MICROSOFT’S M1 -COMPATIBLE OS KEEPS THE SITUATION IN DOUBT.

9 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

Mac 911

Solutions to your most vexing Mac problems.

7 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

AirVPN: Excellent service that power users will love

An excellent service with a known history, a solid network, and very good speeds.

7 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

AIRPODS MAX: OPULENT AUDIO THAT SHOULDN'T COST SO MUCH

APPLE’S HIGH-END HEADPHONES LOOK, SOUND, AND FEEL GREAT, BUT THE PRICE ISN’T RIGHT.

10+ mins read
Macworld
April 2021

Tribit XFree Go headphone: Amazing sound, great price, and one glaring flaw

These cans sound like headphones that cost three or four times as much, but the controls on not one but two review units locked up after an hour or so of sustained use.

4 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

INPUT DEVICE: LOGITECH MX MASTER 3 MOUSE: LOGITECH STICKS WITH A WINNING FORMULA

I have two desktop Mac setups, one at home and one at the Macworld office (ah, going to the office, those were the days).

5 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

Hot Stuff

What we’re raving about this month

1 min read
Macworld
April 2021

Bluesound Powernode 2i (with HDMI): Bodacious sound from a micro-sized box

This self-amplified multiroom music streamer delivers high-res audio experiences that Sonos won’t, but Bluesound’s user experience isn’t nearly as polished.

8 mins read
Macworld
April 2021

Aukey EP-N5: Entry-level ANC that gets it (mostly) right

Good sound and decent active noise canceling for a wallet-friendly price.

5 mins read
Macworld
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

women's health AT EVERY AGE

A woman’s health needs change dramatically over the years. Use this guide to find hormone-balancing tips and remedies based on your age.

8 mins read
Better Nutrition
May 2021

Instant Pot Lamb Stew

Celebrate spring with this quick-and-easy seasonal favorite.

1 min read
Better Nutrition
May 2021

AIRTAGS: NEXT-GENERATION TRACKING TECHNOLOGY HAS ARRIVED

Two years after they were first rumored, Apple finally lifted the lid on its tracking device AirTag at its Spring Loaded event in April, designed to help consumers keep track of items that matter most.

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #497

The Fortnite Fallout

Apple and Epic meet in court, making the collapse of a once-close relationship complete

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 10, 2021

Android loses a huge innovator as LG quits making phones

LG phones pushed the bleeding edge of innovation, but it wasn’t enough.

2 mins read
PCWorld
May 2021

APPLE MUSIC LAUNCHES MORE THAN 100 CITY-FOCUSED MUSIC CHARTS

Apple Music is coming to a city near you — the streaming service has launched daily music charts focused on particular cities around the world, including New York City, Tokyo and Lagos.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #496

APPLE'S iPHONE PRIVACY CLAMPDOWN ARRIVES AFTER 7-MONTH DELAY

Apple is following through on its pledge to crack down on Facebook and other snoopy apps that secretly shadow people on their iPhones in order to target more advertising at users.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #496

APPLE PROFIT SOARS IN LATEST QUARTER ON HIGHER iPHONE SALES

Demand for the iPhone and other Apple products drove profits to more than double in the January-March period as the tech giant continued to capitalize on smartphone addiction.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #496

iPAD PRO 2021: SUPERCHARGED WITH XDR DISPLAY, M1 CHIP, & THUNDERBOLT

The iPad Pro has become something of a workhorse in recent years, offering professionals an alternative to a laptop with cutting-edge capabilities and software.

6 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #496

APPLE ANNOUNCES 1ST EAST COAST CAMPUS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Apple is expanding spending in the U.S. and announced plans to build its first East Coast campus, in North Carolina.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #496