Apple defends App Store against critics - Mobile World Live

Apple defends App Store against critics

30 MAY 2019

Apple launched a campaign to counter accusations its App Store is anti-competitive, unveiling a new website which details the inner workings of its marketplace.

On a page titled Principles and Practices, Apple said its App Store is “more vibrant and innovative than ever, offering equal opportunities to developers,” noting participants have earned more than $120 billion from its market to date.

While some apps rely on paid subscriptions and in-app purchases (from which Apple takes a 30 per cent cut), the company said 84 per cent of apps available in its store are free.

In a section dedicated to competition, Apple took pains to highlight apps available in the App Store which rival its own, listing third-party alternatives to its default browser, messaging, email, maps, music, podcast, calendar and camera offerings.

Spotify, which filed a complaint with the European Commission accusing Apple of stifling competition, was listed in both the music and podcast categories.

“We believe competition makes everything better and results in the best apps for our customers,” it wrote.

Approval processes
Apple also shed light on its approval process, noting its team reviews 100,000 apps per week. Of those, 60 per cent pass muster, while 40 per cent are rejected, primarily due to minor bugs and privacy concerns.

“All developers have the opportunity to have a rejection reviewed by the App Review Board,” it wrote, adding its review team fields 1,000 calls per week to help developers diagnose and resolve the issues which led to rejection so apps can gain approval.

The debut of the new website follows a decision from the US Supreme Court which cleared the path for iPhone owners to sue Apple for driving up prices in the app market.

However, the site glosses over a number of key issues developers face.

For instance, Apple said it only takes a share of revenue “if the developer chooses to sell digital services through the App Store”. But both TechCrunch and The Verge noted developers are prohibited from redirecting users to browser links so they can make purchases outside the App Store and circumvent Apple’s commission requirement.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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