Prior to Tim Cook’s testimony before US lawmakers on Wednesday at an antitrust hearing, senior vice president of global marketing, Phil Schiller, defended in an interview with the App Store guidelines Reuters.
Schiller explained that Apple’s “App Store” was initially seen as an experiment offering “mandatory low commissions” to attract developers. Small developers would otherwise have difficulty selling software in physical stores at this time.
“One of the things that we came up with is that we treat all apps in the” App Store “equally – a set of rules for everyone, no special offers, no special conditions, no special code, everything applies to all developers. That was with PC software not the case. Nobody thought so. It was a complete change in the way the entire system worked, “said Schiller.
He claimed that the verification process and “App Store” rules were necessary because apps were purchased from customers through Apple’s own billing system. According to Schiller, Apple executives at the launch of the “App Store” believed that users would feel more secure buying apps if they believed that their payment was secure and through a trusted provider. “We believe that our customers’ privacy is protected in this way. Imagine having to enter credit cards and payments for every app you have ever used,” he said.
Apple is known to make exceptions to its own “App Store” rules, such as 2018 at Microsoft, to allow users to log in to Minecraft accounts that were purchased externally.
“When we spoke to some of the biggest game developers, for example Minecraft, they said: ‘I totally understand why you want the user on the device to pay for it, but there are a lot of users who have bought their subscription or theirs Account somewhere else – on an Xbox, on a PC, on the Internet. And it’s a big obstacle to get into your business, “said Schiller. “So we made this exception to our own rule.”
Apple’s 30 percent commission for sales through the “App Store” has been criticized by developers. For example, Airbnb and ClassPass recently claimed that Apple’s request to cut all online sales through its apps was wrong. Schiller argued that Apple’s commission helps fund a large developer system, and that thousands of Apple engineers maintain secure servers to deploy apps and develop the tools to build and test them.
Apple has come under fire because of its “App Store” rules and commission rates, and there is growing concern that Apple and Google have now established a “duopoly” for mobile app stores. Apple’s “App Store” guidelines and commission for in-app purchases are now part of the ongoing investigation by the US antitrust authorities, and a similar investigation has been launched in the EU.