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The App Store Model

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

The dispute between Apple and Epic Games went to another round this week, after the latter announced on Monday that Apple had threatened to “terminate all of its developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools.” Apple didn’t take long to reply, saying that they “very much want to keep the company [Epic] as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store,” in a statement published by The Verge. Apple goes on to say that “the problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied,” while stressing that the company isn’t willing to make an exception for Epic at the expense of its customers.

Last week, Epic had released a Fortnite update that was designed to circumvent Apple and Google’s in-app payment rules, which would require the mobile games maker to pay a 30-percent commission on every purchase made within the hugely popular game. The move was accompanied by a social media campaign and two separate lawsuits against Apple and Google after both companies had temporarily pulled Fortnite from their app stores, indicating that last week’s events were part of a long-planned challenge of app store practices on Epic’s part.

As the following chart sums up, Apple and Google have the same commission structure in place in their respective app stores, which sees both companies take a 30-percent cut on app sales, in-app purchases and subscriptions made within apps, while not charging a commission on in-app advertising or purchases of physical goods through an app. The practice, while industry standard, has drawn more and more vocal criticism in recent years, with Spotify also filing an official complaint with EU regulators over Apple’s unfair treatment of the music streaming app, which happens to be a direct competitor to Apple Music.

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