Apple announced on Wednesday that it is extend the deadline again because they require in-app purchases for iOS apps that sell access to online classes and group events until December 31, 2021, which basically means it won’t impose its 30 percent off until next year on companies offering these services. Apple initially extended the deadline to June 30, 2021, but developers now have six months.
Apple cites the ongoing pandemic as the main justification for the change, but we have to wonder if it also has anything to do with Congressional antitrust hearings that have pondered whether Apple’s and Google’s app stores are monopolies. Helping small businesses by not taking the traditional 30 percent cut is an example Apple can now use to show how it encourages small businesses to thrive.
Wednesday “Antitrust Applied: Examining Competition in App Stores” hearing complaints from Tile, the lost property tracking company, with which Apple now competes directly with Apple’s new AirTags, and Match Group, whose Tinder dating app uses Apple’s in-app purchases for subscriptions.
Not every company pays 30 percent. Apple doesn’t apply the same in-app purchase requirement to individual lessons such as tutoring, so individuals can take other forms of payments and bypass Apple’s discount entirely. Apple has also been criticized for quietly making special deals for major companies such as Amazon, where subscriptions sold on the Prime Video app only pay a 15 percent fee. (Generally, Apple doesn’t slash the subscription cost reduction to 15 percent until users have subscribed for a full year.)
After Amazon’s apparent sweetheart deal came to light, Apple launched a new App Store Small Business program in January 2021, where developers who make less than $ 1 million in sales each year can apply to get Apple’s commission. down to 15 percent for purchases – but only with Apple’s approval.
Apple is also now launching podcast subscriptions, plans that podcasters can join by paying $ 19.99 per year plus 30 percent of each subscriber’s first year of revenue, and then 15 percent for subsequent years.