Former Apple employee talks about problems with Apple's service 'App Store'

In the 'App Store', a download service for apps offered by Apple on the iPhone, etc., the

high fees charged for paid apps are controversial. Ben Thompson, a former Apple employee analyst, talks about issues with the App Store.

Apple, Epic, and the App Store – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Apple: Steve Jobs introduces the App Store (2008 video) | Philip Elmer‑DeWitt

Apple has made a profit by selling its own device with its own OS such as macOS and iOS. Also, iPhones and iPads can only install apps from the App Store, so only Apple-approved apps can run on the device. Mr. Thompson commented on Apple's handling of apps, 'From the value chain perspective, it can be said that Apple integrates hardware and software to control apps.'

The strategy of integrating hardware and software has not only benefited Apple significantly, but also for its users. Since only Apple-approved apps are registered in the App Store, the user was able to get the peace of mind that 'the app will not break the smartphone or get infected by a virus.'

“The App Store's existence was also beneficial to developers when the App Store was just around the corner,” Thompson recalls. By registering the application in the App Store, developers do not need to advertise and distribute the application by creating a website themselves, and smartphones are expected to grow in market compared to PC It has become easier.

Since the App Store system had the same structure as iTunes, the App Store also adopted the same payment processing as in iTunes, which is 'prepayment only'. iTunes charged a 30% fee on all purchases to collect credit card processing fees for the purchase of $0.99 content. The same fees are applied to the App Store, and even after Apple introduced an in-app purchase system such as iTunes card that does not require a credit card, the same fee ratio is maintained.

Thompson pointed out that the complaints that many developers felt about the App Store were 'difficulty in building a sustainable business' and 'lack of relationships with users.' In the early days of the App Store, subscription methods such as subscription were not available, and apps without in-app purchase could not expect regular income. Also, the developers couldn't directly respond to complaints posted to the App Store and had no way to refund them to the user. The reason is that the App Store is an app for trading only, and was not created for the purpose of improving relationships with users and profits.

As Thompson said, “The problem with the App Store, which has been around for more than a decade, has grown.” Steve Jobs knew the problem with the App Store, but when Jobs was CEO. Apple wasn't a huge company, and developers weren't happy with the App Store, and it was well-received by users.Most of the issues surrounding the App Store were introduced by Apple. It became a much larger company than it was in 2008.”

Also, one of the problems is that Apple banned Amazon from selling books in the app after Amazon advertised that 'Kindle is available on all platforms'. Apple also prohibits sales of apps that purchase in-app content, such as Netflix and Spotify. 'Apple's thorough user management doesn't help anyone. Users are confused by the inability to purchase new Netflix or Spotify content from Apple's devices, which leads to less satisfaction. It's possible for users to leave the app,' Thompson argued.

And Thompson argues that what really loses is a small developer that Apple's 30% fee will hurt, and that its own advertisements will not make users aware. Many developers are dissatisfied with Apple's in-app billing system and long-standing fees, and Basecamp, which developed the email management app 'HEY', ran into Apple in an attempt to avoid the in-app billing system.

A mail application that was about to be deleted by providing a paid service without going through the App Store started ``searching for a loophole''-GIGAZINE

'The App Store was a great service, at least when it first appeared, in keeping with Jobs' promise to 'reach any iPhone on the planet, no matter how small a developer.' Unfortunately, 2020 For us, delivering apps on the App Store is a burden for most small developers,' said Thompson. In fact, some developers have complained that 'App Store app reviews are not in the user's interest.'

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by YunHo LEE

Epic Games, which had distributed the game “Fort Knight” on the App Store, is also one of the competitors to Apple. Epic Games is suing Apple against 'Fort Knight' being removed from the App Store due to a rule violation.

``Fort Knight'' developer Epic Games sued Apple-GIGAZINE

Regarding the conflict between the two companies, Thompson said, 'The lawsuit by Epic Games is likely to cause Apple to lose more, but the most likely outcome is Apple's victory. The result I want is that Apple installs the app on its own OS. Keeping control, I value the openness of the PC, but the iPhone is also a go-to device for those who are not tech-savvy.'

On the other hand, Thompson said, 'Some products and experiences should be allowed to be purchased outside the App Store.' For the future, Thompson said, 'In the short term, App Store sales may decline, but Apple will build better products to attract developers. After all. Locking out a business that could weigh on Apple's development costs, in two ways, with in-app purchases and maintaining a 30% fee, will reduce the benefits to anyone over profit. '.

in Mobile,   Web Service,   Web Application, Posted by darkhorse_log