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Apple Has a Major Developer-Relations Problem

Friday June 4, 2021. 09:50 PM , from Slashdot/Apple
Apple Has a Major Developer-Relations Problem
Marco Arment, a widely respected programmer, app developer and commentator on Apple, has analyzed Apple's arguments and its thinking as officially portrayed in its lawsuit against Epic. He writes: Apple's leaders continue to

deny developers of two obvious truths: 1. That our apps provide substantial value to iOS beyond the purchase commissions collected by Apple.
2. That any portion of our customers came to our apps from our own marketing or reputation, rather than the App Store.

For Apple to continue to deny these is dishonest, factually wrong, and extremely insulting -- not only to our efforts, but to the intelligence of all Apple developers and customers. This isn't about the 30%, or the 15%, or the prohibition of other payment systems, or the rules against telling our customers about our websites, or Apple's many other restrictions. (Not today, at least.) It's about what Apple's leadership thinks of us and our work. It isn't the App Store's responsibility to the rest of Apple to 'pay its way' by leveraging hefty fees on certain types of transactions. Modern society has come to rely so heavily on mobile apps that any phone manufacturer must ensure that such a healthy ecosystem exists as table stakes for anyone to buy their phones. Without our apps, the iPhone has little value to most of its customers today.

If Apple wishes to continue advancing bizarre corporate-accounting arguments, the massive profits from the hardware business are what therefore truly 'pay the way' of the App Store, public APIs, developer tools, and other app-development resources, just as the hardware profits must fund the development of Apple's own hardware, software, and services that make the iPhone appeal to customers. The forced App Store commissions, annual developer fees, and App Store Search Ads income are all just gravy. The 'way' is already paid by the hardware -- but Apple uses their position of power to double-dip. And that's just business. Apple's a lot of things, and 'generous' isn't one. But to bully and gaslight developers into thinking that we need to be kissing Apple's feet for permitting us to add billions of dollars of value to their platform is not only greedy, stingy, and morally reprehensible, but deeply insulting.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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