re: Could Apple Be Forced to Reduce App Store Fees? VIEW POST


I just read the discussion on Tech Crunch and basically what Apple says is "you've been freeloading for 8 years, now grow up." I'm fine with that.


I love how they categorize paying $100 per year as, "freeloading". They just see Basecamp as just small enough to bully, yet big enough to juice for lots of money. 30% is crazy too. Especially when you consider how small of a cut most payment processers.


Basecamp is a 57 employees company that makes probably north of $10 millions a year. For them $100/year is the non edible shell part of one peanut. Even if you count 1 account for each employee. That's a rounding error on a rounding error. So, yes totally freeloading.


I think the main problem with this situation is beautifully illustrated here: youdownloadtheappanditdoesntwork.com

The problem is that Apple sets up rules that are applied differently from case to case, and no one knows why (well spoiler: it probably has to do with executives rubbing shoulders and coming up with a deal). Above link lists several examples of paywalled / digital subscription based iOS apps that manage to bypass Apple's hefty 30% fee. Why should Hey be treated any different, especially since they:

  1. Do not use IAP payment processing provided by Apple
  2. Do not use account management or DRM provided by Apple
  3. Set up and run their entire email infrastructure that does not need a single Apple service (except for App Store presence)

I would have no problem with Apple doing that to Hey, if they'd also force Netflix, GitHub, Google, DropBox etc. to pay their "fair share of 30%" or be banned from the App Store.


I'm not a Hey customer, so I really have no opinion on the issue as a stakeholder.

But, no, the main problem is not well illustrated up there. Hey could have a free tier and a free app, or a very cheap app, or whatever. This is not rent seeking by Apple on the $99 that the service costs.

And there are plenty of issues with the app store, which is also the reason why I don't buy apps there and try to only buy indies (or not) stuff that doesn't go through Apple filters on my mac, and also the reason why I try to stick as much as possible to software that I can build on my machine (regardless of whether I do or do not build it).

Also, genuine question, is the Hey web app not available on iPhone ?

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