Apple Shares Praise From Developers Happy With 15% App Store Fee Cut

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

app store 15 percent feature
Apple today shared a press release that has a long list of quotes from app developers who are pleased with the changes. Apple has said that the new ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program will benefit the "vast majority" of developers, providing them with more revenue to grow their teams and improve their apps.

From Christian Selig, developer of the Apollo app for Reddit:

"This made my morning. This will legitimately help so much. It'll make decisions like hiring on extra help, or acquiring better gear, going to conferences, doing more advertising, etc., much easier to justify, and it really means a lot to me that Apple is doing such an awesome thing! It's going to help my business a ton."

From Curtis Herbert, developer of Slopes Ski & Snowboard:

"I was very excited to wake up to the news. This translates to a 21 percent increase in revenue for us, which is huge. It lowers the bar for new developers trying to start a business. As COVID has hit many of us hard this year, this is a much-needed break that will help many of us weather the storm."

The quotes from Apple heap praise on the ‌App Store‌ fee drop, but some developers who earn more than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ have been less pleased.

Spotify said that Apple's fee change demonstrates that "‌App Store‌ policies are arbitrary and capricious," while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple is "gerrymandering the community with a patchwork of special deals" with the program.

Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, known for his outspokenness over the "Hey" email app controversy, said that "Machiavelli would be proud" and that Apple was attempting to "paint any developer making more than $1m as greedy."

All app developers who earned under $1 million in 2020 qualify to join the program and get the reduced 15 percent commission rate, as do developers who are new to the ‌App Store‌. Apple's reduced commission applies to paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.

The fee changes don't benefit major companies like ‌Epic Games‌ and Spotify that have railed against Apple's ‌App Store‌ pricing, but it does provide relief for smaller app developers who have been struggling during the global health crisis.

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Top Rated Comments

progx Avatar
47 months ago
While Apple isn't close to Epic's store rate, I think helping out the smaller companies is good win in this situation.

Of course, Epic will bellyache since it isn't helping them. They think Apple should be paying them, along with other software makers, they believe people are buying iPhones and iPad because of them. Yeah, I buy an iPhone just to play Fortnite and use ProtonMail ?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
szw-mapple fan Avatar
47 months ago

In my opinion prices won't get any cheaper though. They will take the extra profit.
That's... the whole point. It's about getting developer goodwill at the expense of a minor hit on Apple's profits. Nobody promised better prices.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChristianSelig Avatar
47 months ago
Hey I'm mentioned! Like legitimately, the 15% increase will make a massive difference in my life and in being able to do more things, so I really do appreciate that. It makes me excited for my other indie friends too who haven't been able to go full-time yet, who might now be able to, or at least be able to sooner.

(Also it's really cool to be in a press release haha)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wiesenlooser Avatar
47 months ago
This is a genius move by them. Only cutting to 15% for small developers. Essentially now it is just large corporates like Epic vs Apple, which is a morally much harder case who to side with in the public eye, alleviating pressure from them regarding regulatory intervention.

Part of why so many people sided with Epic was not because they liked Epic, but because of the feeling like Apple was nickle and dim-ing even small developer who just want to make a living.

Meanwhile, they are not losing that much revenue.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vipergts2207 Avatar
47 months ago

Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
I believe it’s only 30% on the sales over $1M. The first $1M is still only 15%.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
47 months ago

Earn less than $1,000,000.00? Pay 15 percent commission.

Earn $1,000,000.00 or $1,000,000.01? Pay 30 percent commission.


Tim Cook was lying to Congress when he told Representative Henry Johnson, "We treat every developer the same."

This is clearly not the case when developers are paying different commission rates.
Are you saying Tim perjured himself? You understand how time works rights? One direction and all...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)