Apple launched an interesting "Principles and Practice" page on their site today that reads as a defense for their often-seemingly unfair App Store practices. And in view of the Supreme Court's recent ruling that now allows plaintiffs to sue for antitrust laws, it's hard to assume that Apple wants to claim the case in court – perhaps ahead of next week's WWDC19. As the acronym implies, there may be some developers who are present.
Dedicated to the best store experience for everyone.
That's the headline. And if consumers and developers believe this to be true or not, the App Store is still the only place where users can download apps for their iOS devices. Apple lays out several reasons why the App Store is what it is (exclusively) and operates it (exclusively).
- They take responsibility for the App Store by covering "security, performance, business, design and legal."
- They provide developers with a platform that makes it easy and convincing for developers to develop apps for the one billion App Store Customers around the world. "
- The App Store is one that wants competition because" they believe in competition makes everything better and results in the best applications for their customers. "
This last point is starting to sound a bit self-explanatory. They go through trouble pointing out 12 native apps that apparently have a lot of competition in the App Store, but they do not indicate how good the options are in comparison, now they get a dozen free, pre-installed Apple apps like Calendar, Mail and Maps, so they don't want download or revenue statistics to share, but consider over 1 billion active Apple Units, it is doubtful that there is much "competing" to be had, at least when it comes to pure old-fashioned everyday use.
Apple wants to make it very clear that they are committed to competition. % the cuts they take from the developers, they are still quick to mark the requirement that 84% of the apps are free, and developers pay nothing for Apple, but they do not specify what percentage of 84% never generate in income with purchase or subscription in the app.
The article ends with a final thought. "We always learn and try to make the App Store experience better for customers and developers by offering the best apps. And this commitment has never failed." Even though it almost sounds like a recording or apology, the argument is to be made that this can only happen if Apple is in control.
Trust in antitrust
One thing that interestingly jumped out was that the word "trust" is mentioned five times in this relatively short post. Twice in the beginning and three times in the end. It's a strategic trick that authors use all the time – plant the seed at the beginning and reinforce it in the end, so it's the last thing that is remembered and the first thing that is related to the content. Maybe Apple hopes that trust will trump antitrust?
If you choose to give it a read, let us know what you think!