App Store Criticism Up As Conference Begins


Apple’s App Store faces renewed criticism as the company hosts its annual conference for app developers. Due to the pandemic, the event is being held online for the second year.

In the conference that starts Monday (June 7), Apple CEO Tim Cook and company executives are addressing a key audience at a time the iPhone maker has been defending itself in court over its App Store practices. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference typically attracts thousands of app developers.

Reuters reported that Apple has been under fire from various quarters, including prominent developer and technology podcast host Marco Arment. Apple did not immediately return a Reuters request for comment.

In a blog post last week (June 3), Arment said Apple’s leaders need to acknowledge “two obvious truths” regarding developers. For one, he said, “our apps provide substantial value to iOS beyond the purchase commissions collected by Apple. In addition, he wrote, some customers come “to our apps from our own marketing or reputation, rather than the App Store.”

He added: “Without our apps, the iPhone has little value to most of its customers today.”

Apple’s App Store and services have been in the spotlight of late as the company has faced a recently concluded antitrust lawsuit brought by Fortnite creator Epic Games. A federal judge will rule on the case.

Under fire is Apple’s control over what apps make it onto its platform and what its commissions are. Those can run up to 30 percent.

For its part, the Big Tech company has highlighted that its App Store had $643 billion in billings and sales last year, marking a 24 percent year-over-year rise, per a Wednesday (June 2) press release. Apple said the independent study was performed by economists from the Analysis Group.

“Developers on the App Store prove every day that there is no more innovative, resilient or dynamic marketplace on earth than the app economy,” CEO Cook said in the release.



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