App Store 30% Cut

I have little doubt that Apple is within the law in asking for a 30% cut of sales of anything that’s sold through apps in the app store. But that’s not really the point.

Folks who create content or services that people subscribe to are putting a lot of work into it. They’re building businesses around the value they’re providing, and working hard to earn your money.

Apple has inserted themselves between iPhone users and these content and service creators, and is demanding 30% of the money that they’ve earned, without doing any work to earn it.

That’s the part that burns me.

If I subscribe to Home Theater Magazine using Zinio, I’m using software created by Zinio and talking to Zinio servers. The content is coming from Home Theater Magazine. Where is Apple in this?

I don’t buy that this is in the best interest of the users. Users would be better served by having the people who create the content they choose to purchase receive all the money the users are spending. This is in the best interest of Apple.

I’d be okay with a reasonable fee for acting as a middleman, in cases where they were actually doing that. But they’re just extracting money from the transaction because they can.

Apple allows you to keep the money you earn provided you don’t have a link in your app to where users can go to actually buy the content or service. I guess you could have text like “Go to our website to subscribe. You can find it with Google.” For a company doing a million dollars a year in business, changing that text into a link would cost $300,000.

We used to like Apple because they opened up the walled gardens that the carriers had created. And now they’ve locked us into their own walled garden. At least this garden has a gate you can use to get out: Android.