Apple Drops App Store Fees to 15% for All Developers Making Under $1 Million From App Store

Apple today announced the launch of a new App Store Small Business Program that will see the Cupertino company lowering its App Store fees for small business owners and independent developers. Starting on January 1, 2021, all developers who earn less than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ will pay 15 percent in commission to Apple, down from the standard 30 percent.

app store 15 percent feature
The 15 percent commission rate applies to paid app purchases, in-app purchases, and subscription fees, with the lowered rate benefitting most developers on the ‌App Store‌.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world. We're launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea. Our new program carries that progress forward -- helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people's lives."

All developers who earned under $1 million in 2020 are able to qualify for the program and the reduced 15 percent commission rate. New developers who join the ‌App Store‌ and create apps in 2021 will also qualify. Going forward, developers who earn up to $1 million in the prior calendar year will be able to participate.

Developers who earn over $1 million will not be eligible, with the $1 million total calculated using post commission earnings that take into account total earnings after Apple's standard 30 percent cut. Developers earning more than the cutoff will continue to pay the standard 30 percent commission rate.

If a developer who participates exceeds $1 million in earnings, commissions will go back up to the 30 percent rate as well. For example, a developer who joins the program in 2021 and exceeds $1 million in earnings mid-year will need to pay out 30 percent commission going forward for the rest of the year. This will also apply in 2022, but if after that revenue falls below the $1 million threshold, the developer will be eligible for the program again in 2023.

As for subscriptions, developers who are eligible for the program will pay a 15 percent commission on subscriptions, even during the first year. Apple already has mixed ‌App Store‌ fees for subscriptions. During the first year a person subscribes, the standard commission rate is 30 percent, but it drops to 15 percent after that. That fee structure remains in place, but Small Business Program participants will pay 15 percent for all subscribers.

According to Apple, the reduced ‌App Store‌ fees are being implemented to help small business owners maintain their businesses and accelerate innovation during uncertain times. The fee drop is being implemented as developers try to work through economic challenges and more and more business are pivoting to digital as people continue to work and learn from home.

The fee changes will be a relief to many developers who have been unhappy with Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees. Apple has faced scrutiny from U.S. antitrust regulators in the United States, and investigations conducted by those regulators have surfaced complaints from developers who believe Apple's fees are too high.

Today's fee cut won't benefit some of the developers that have been the most vocal about Apple's commission rates, such as Epic Games, but it will relieve some of the pressure on the small business owners that need the most help.

There are more than 28 million developers from 227 regions who offer apps through the ‌App Store‌, and 1.8 million apps available worldwide. Apple says that the program will be available to the majority of developers, with those developers all receiving the same access to Apple's developer tools and programs. Apple expects the ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program to generate more digital commerce, support new jobs, and provide more funds for small businesses to invest back into their apps as they work to create innovative software for Apple users.

Top Rated Comments

Coconut Bean Avatar
43 months ago
EPIC!!!!

Or well, not for EPIC. LoL.
Score: 110 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Davehaslanded Avatar
43 months ago
Now let’s see if Epic drop their legal battle, considering they claim they were only doing it for the ‘little people’, and not themselves. I doubt it.
Score: 89 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
43 months ago
This is huge, and is targeted at exactly the size of devs that can use it most.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macropanda Avatar
43 months ago
This is great. I’m a dev that doesn’t earn even close to that limit so very nice indeed.
Imagine getting near the end of the year and sitting at 990k income. Surely it would be better to pull the app and lose a bit to get the next year at 15%?
Wouldn’t it make sense to make the first 1m 15% and 30% for everything earned over 1m?
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
berrymetal Avatar
43 months ago
That is freaking amazing!
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeeW Avatar
43 months ago
Let's be honest here, Apple is positioning this to fend off the various actions and criticism against them, doing it in a way that it will cost them less. But, having said that, it's a big deal for the smaller developer, so it's a win. But they are not doing it by choice, its a forced action.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPad Air 5

iPadOS 18 Rumored to Drop Support for These iPad Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:55 am PST by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. This means that iPadOS 18 would not be compatible with the first-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro or the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in 2017. It...