Notice to Developers: You Could Be Entitled to Between a $250 and $30,000 Payment From Apple

Apple on Thursday evening announced it has reached a $100 million settlement that, pending court approval, will resolve a class action lawsuit from U.S. developers who alleged that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of iOS apps and in-app purchases.

app store gold banner
As part of the settlement, some U.S. developers would be entitled to receive a payment from Apple, so long as they meet certain requirements.

Who is eligible for a payment from Apple?

According to law firm Hagens Berman, which brought the lawsuit against Apple in 2019, the class includes any current or former U.S. developer of an iOS app that earned less than $1 million through the U.S. App Store in paid downloads and/or in-app purchases/subscriptions per calendar year between June 4, 2015 and April 26, 2021.

How can I submit a claim for a payment from Apple?

Eligible developers will be able to submit a claim through the website SmallAppDeveloperAssistance.com once the settlement has received court approval.

When can I submit a claim for a payment from Apple?

Developers can sign up on SmallAppDeveloperAssistance.com to be notified when the site launches. No specific timeframe has been provided, but in a court filing, law firm Hagens Berman proposed that the claims period begin within 45 days after court approval. Developers would then have a proposed 120 days to submit a claim.

How much will my payment be from Apple?

Eligible developers will be able to receive a payment between $250 and $30,000 from Apple depending on their total App Store earnings between June 4, 2015 and April 26, 2021, as outlined in the chart below from the settlement filing.

apple developer settlement chart
According to law firm Hagens Berman, a 100% claims rate is not likely, meaning that not all eligible developers will file for a payment from Apple. In that event, the law firm said the minimum payment amounts will increase proportionally, meaning that eligible developers may ultimately receive a larger payment from Apple.

Any leftover funds after payments to developers who submitted a claim would be sent to Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization that works to close the gender gap in computer science and programming, according to the settlement filing.

Why did Apple agree to this settlement?

According to the settlement filing, class members who do not opt out "expressly agree to the appropriateness of Apple's commission structure" for the App Store, including the Small Business Program. Class members also release their claims against Apple, including any claim that they were "overcharged" by virtue of Apple's commission on paid app downloads and/or in-app purchases/subscriptions through the App Store.

Can I opt out of the settlement?

Yes. Developers who opt out of the class action lawsuit will not be eligible for a payment from Apple but will retain their individual rights to sue Apple for the claims alleged in the complaint. Details on the opt-out process will likely be shared on the settlement website once it is live, or developers can contact law firm Hagens Berman.

Where can I get more details about the lawsuit?

The class action lawsuit, Cameron et al v. Apple Inc., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June 2019. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers presided over the case. The original complaint is available on CourtListener and more details are available on law firm Hagens Berman's website.

Top Rated Comments

jwcdis Avatar
4 weeks ago
Developers really sold themselves off short with only a 100 million dollar payout.

I mean come on, the highest earning tier at $1,000,000 a payout of $30,000 (3%).
The payouts are only really benefiting that 1 cent to 100 dollar tier.
If this new steering rule squashes the 30% Apple Tax fight, Apple will be laughing their way to the bank

Meanwhile Tim Cook gets a 750 million stock payout
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DesertDrummer Avatar
3 weeks ago

Apple's extortion racket is starting to crack. You can't shake down developers for 30% anymore by ARM twisting them into only selling through the Apple store.
An extortion racket that you have to willingly choose, sign up for, read an agreement about, and pay an annual subscription fee to participate in. Yeah, real mafia s**t here.

I'm an actual app developer. Are you? If you're not, maybe don't speak for us.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ruka.snow Avatar
4 weeks ago

Yes, because you had no choice and no alternative. Apple's won't allow anyone else to host an App Store on "their" phone (that you think you own).
I have lots of alternatives to sell apps. I can sell fully functional apps and games on Steam, Google Play, or directly in the browser so you and use and play directly in the browser. Steam is also 30%. Selling directly and via Epic is still the most expensive by far but you can do it.

If I am targeting iOS directly I can sell on the App Store knowing well in advance what fees I'll pay or I can sell a web app and work out ahead of time all the costs involved.

I am not beholden to Apple's rules and never have been. And at least I let my work stand on its own, these two developers failed and became millionaires from it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
carlsson Avatar
4 weeks ago
I still don't understand this.
1. I provide a platform that you can rent for 30% of your earnings on this platform.
2. It's optional.
3. You sue me because I'm too expensive?

?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ruka.snow Avatar
4 weeks ago

Further, Apple’s market power has allowed it to charge developers a supra- competitive 30% commission on the sale of paid apps and in-app products for almost 11 years now, despite the inevitable accrual of experience and economies of scale.
They should sue Valve next. They have also charged developers 30% since day one and never lowered the cut we agreed to after all this time even though they are the oldest one out there and why Apple too went for 30%.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ruka.snow Avatar
4 weeks ago

These got $100M … can now retire after paying the lawyers fees.
I guess if you can't earn from your own talent, you can just sue Apple for 'unfair' terms and come out on top.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

app store blue banner

Apple Pays $100 Million to Settle Developer Lawsuit and Agrees to Multiple App Store Changes

Thursday August 26, 2021 5:08 pm PDT by
Apple today announced plans to make several changes to the App Store in order to settle a class-action lawsuit that was brought against Apple by developers in the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Apple will let developers use communication methods like email to tell customers about payment methods available outside of iOS apps, and it will expand the price points that developers...
app store blue banner uk

UK Class Action Accuses Apple of Breaking Competition Law by Overcharging for Apps

Tuesday May 11, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
A new legal case filed with the U.K.'s Competition Appeal Tribunal has accused Apple of breaching competition law by overcharging nearly 20 million customers for App Store purchases. The collective action case alleges Apple's 30% commission on app sales and consumers' forced use of its own payment processing system generates "unlawfully excessive levels of profit," and calls for the company...
app store blue banner

Some Developers Say Apple Letting Apps Like Netflix and Spotify Share a Link to Web for Account Sign-Up Isn't Enough

Thursday September 2, 2021 9:12 am PDT by
Apple on Wednesday evening announced that, starting in early 2022, it will allow developers of "reader" apps to include an in-app link to their website for users to set up or manage an account. "Reader" apps allow a user to access previously purchased content or subscription-based content for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video, according to Apple, such as Netflix,...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games vs. Apple Judgment Allows App Store Developers to Link to Alternative Payment Methods

Friday September 10, 2021 8:43 am PDT by
A decision was reached today in the high-profile Epic Games v. Apple trial, with U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruling that Apple's anti-steering conduct is anti-competitive, and ruling in favor of Apple on all other counts. In a 185-page ruling, Judge Rogers said "the Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws," but...
app store blue banner

Apple Letting 'Reader' Apps Offer Links for Account Sign Ups Outside of the App Store to Close Japan Investigation

Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:09 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has agreed to close its App Store investigation in exchange for changes to how "reader" apps like Netflix operate. Reader apps allow users to browse previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video. Going forward, developers that create "reader" apps will...
app store vs developers

Apple's Planned App Store Changes Will Barely Affect the Company's Bottom Line, Says Analyst

Wednesday September 8, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
As a result of legal and regulatory pressures, Apple recently announced some upcoming changes to its App Store policies, such as letting developers email customers about payment options available outside of their iOS app and allowing "reader" apps like Spotify and Netflix to include an in-app link to their website for account signup. Apple said the changes "will help make the App Store an...
app store blue banner

Apple Could Face Investigation in India Over App Store In-App Purchase System

Thursday September 2, 2021 1:25 am PDT by
Apple could be facing a widespread investigation into the App Store in India, and more specifically, the company's in-app purchasing system, which grants it a 15% to 30% commission for all purchases made, reports Reuters. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), which oversees cases of possible anti-competitive and antitrust behavior, is reviewing an antitrust challenge case against Apple...
m1 macbook air 1

Apple Accused of False Marketing and Fraud Over M1 MacBook Display Issues

Wednesday September 15, 2021 1:37 pm PDT by
Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit in the United States that accuses it of false or deceptive marketing for the M1-powered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, fraudulent business practices, misconduct in customer support, and violation of consumer law. The lawsuit, filed this week in the Northern District of California, represents Apple customers across the United States who have faced...
iPhone 12 Pro Layout

Chinese AI Firm Wants Apple to Stop iPhone Production Over Patent Infringement Claims

Wednesday September 8, 2021 3:31 am PDT by
Ahead of next week's Apple event, which is expected to include the launch of the iPhone 13 lineup, a Chinese AI firm is asking a court to stop the production and sale of the iPhone in China, alleging that Siri infringes upon its patent, South China Morning Post reports. Apple last year was hit with a $1.4 billion lawsuit from the Chinese AI firm Xiao-i Robot, which claims Apple violated its...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games Pays Apple $6 Million as Ordered by Court

Monday September 13, 2021 3:31 pm PDT by
Epic Games today paid Apple $6,000,000 in royalties, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter. As part of the ruling in the ongoing Epic v. Apple legal battle, Epic was last week ordered by the court to pay 30 percent of the revenue that it collected from the Fortnite app using its illicit direct payment option. Back at the start of the dispute between Epic and Apple, Epic added a direct...