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The App Stores...

garretharp profile image Garret ・2 min read

App Stores... we need to talk. Google and Apple both have monopolies in the world of app stores for mobile devices. Since they have this monopoly they charge an outrageous fee for in app purchases, 30%! On top of that Apple also has some extremely strange ruling on apps they decide to run down of their app store, unless you cave into paying them.

In App Purchases

Apple and Google, for years have been charging a 30% fee for all purchases made on their app stores. A fee which you would never see in credit processing from services such as Stripe, Braintree, or similar processors. Why? Apple and Google are the only two companies which have a monopoly in their markets. Apple even more so with the extremely strict regulations on their store. Not only does Apple take a fee for app purchases, they also charge $100/year. Google also charges $25, however as a one time fee.

Apples Regulations

There has been many cases where Apple will try to remove apps off of the app store who do not subject themselves to the Apple tax by only allowing charges through their own website. An example of this can be found in a recent Twitter thread which prompted me to write this. https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1272968382329942017

In that thread you will see one of the tweets included an email from Apple saying they will take down the Hey app if they do not offer in-app purchases.

Apple App Rejection

Yet there is also many apps that do the same thing, linking off to external webpage to purchase subscriptions that are still allowed on the app store.

Allowed Paid Apps

Why?

Apple is most likely targeting the Hey app, because Apple sells its own email service iCloud mail. Therefore Hey would be considered a direct competitor to Apple, and of course Apple wants to keep all the profits for services to themselves.

Things Need Change

Things need to change. Apple should not be allowed this monopolistic approach to the app store. If we keep allowing big tech companies like Apple and Google to go down this road, they will own everything about us, and there is almost nothing we can do to stop it unless we act now.

My question for you is, what do you think we need to do in order to make this change happen? Do you think anything will change anytime soon?

Discussion (3)

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scotttpirate profile image
ScottTpirate

Copyright and patent laws are the problems here, those would need to be fixed for anything to change, and that will never happen...

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garretharp profile image
Garret Author

This has nothing to do with those laws here. Not sure where you thought of bringing those laws up for this argument here. The only law that has to do with the argument here is the antitrust law Wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_State...

Which is a law that promotes there being a competition, such that Hey and Apple can both run their own email services. However, Apple being the big megacorp that it is with a monopoly in the iOS app market is trying to shutdown Hey on their stores because Apple cannot take 30% of the revenue from Hey. (Note this tweet: twitter.com/dhh/status/12729769017...)

Which according to the antitrust law what Apple is doing here is illegal technically, and therefore something needs to be done to stop Apple.

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ScottTpirate

it's a monopoly that only exists because copyright and patent laws allow it to exist.

The antitrust laws are nice in theory but wouldn't even be necessary if the iOS app market and phones weren't already protected under a government monopoly.

I see the root of the issue as an intellectual property issue even though the symptom does seem to be an antitrust issue.