Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Criticizes Apple Over App Store Price Increases
Apple is today beginning to implement App Store pricing increases across all territories and countries that use the euro, with the hike attributed to the euro's weakness against the U.S. dollar. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Apple, spoke up on the price update and said Apple had no justification for it.
In a statement, Sweeney likened Apple to a landlord with tenants that have nowhere else to go as there is no alternative App Store for developers to use.
Imagine if a landlord told their small business tenant they had to increase their prices without any say in the matter or anywhere else to go. That is what Apple is doing to developers for no other reason than to pad Apple's bottom line. They are unilaterally imposing a price increase on developers across multiple countries without any justification. Developers don't have a choice but to comply because the App Store is the only way they can reach over a billion iOS users.
Apple first announced the price increases last month, giving developers about three weeks notice. App Store pricing works on a tiered basis, and what Apple is doing is raising the cost of all preset tiers. The minimum €0.99 tier, for example, has jumped to to €1.19, while the maximum tier has increased from €999 to €1,199. Full pricing tiers are listed on Apple's website.
Along with countries that use the euro, Apple is also increasing prices in Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam.
Developers who sell apps in countries that use the euro can lower their App Store prices or pass the higher cost along to consumers, but as Sweeney points out, there is no alternate method for developers to provide apps to customers on iPhones and iPads without using Apple's App Store.
Epic Games and Apple have been engaged in a long legal battle over Apple's App Store policies. Sweeney and his company deliberately broke the App Store rules and then filed a lawsuit against Apple with the hope that the court would order Apple to allow third-party app stores to operate on iOS devices.
The lawsuit did not go in Epic Games' favor and Apple was not ordered to support alternate app stores. The two companies are now engaged in a lengthy appeals process, and Apple is also facing legislation in multiple countries that could ultimately require it to make some changes to allow for sideloading.