Apple halved its commission rate for some App Store developers, apparently in response to criticism and regulatory scrutiny of its practices.

From 1 January 2021, developers earning $1 million or less from their apps in a given year will qualify for a 15 per cent commission rate rather than the standard 30 per cent as part of a new App Store Small Business Programme.

If a developer’s revenue exceeds the $1 million mark, the standard commission rate will be reinstated for the remainder of the year. Higher-earning developers whose revenue drops below the threshold during the calendar year will qualify for the reduced commission in the next 12 month period.

Apple pitched the changes as a boon for small businesses, stating the lower rate will allow developers to “invest in their businesses, expand their workforce, and develop new, innovative features for app users”.

While it also labelled the move as an aid to developers “during a period of unprecedented global economic challenge”, the change comes after intense scrutiny of Apple’s App Store policies and competitive practices from regulators in Europe, the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Apple is also embroiled in a vitriolic legal battle with Epic Games over its terms and conditions.