05 June 2019
Apple has once again found itself at the receiving end of a new lawsuit as it has been the case in the past few years. This particular lawsuit has been filed by a few iOS developers who have accused Apple of maintaining an App Store monopoly. They are also seeking to have the suit status converted into a class-action suit.
The developers in question here are related to two iOS apps where is a baby naming app and another is a basketball workout app. They have argued that Apple maintains full control over what iOS developers can and can not do about their apps. It is mentioned that Apple not only takes an annual $99 developer account fee but also takes a 30% cut from the sales made via the store. It also forces developers to price their apps or in-app purchases in a way that they end in .99.
While these are basically pointers from devs to back their claims about Apple ruling iOS app devs, their biggest point of the argument is that the App Store is the only place for iOS devs to sell their apps. It means they are at the mercy of Apple regarding their app's selection. If the app gets rejected for any reason, they have no other medium for selling it. Even if the app gets selected, it still has to compete with millions of other apps to get users' attention which is another obstacle. All in all, the whole combination of paying an annual fee, paying cut to Apple, and competing with many other apps means that most devs can hardly make any profit.
In the lawsuit, they have suggested that Apple should allow third-party app stores where iOS apps can be sold. They say that this would mean more options for users to find apps they might have missed on the App Store. Additionally, it will mean some competition for Apple which will result in new innovations for the store.
If you are thinking that this lawsuit sounds familiar, then it is probably because even the world's leading music streaming service provider Spotify filed a similar lawsuit against Apple. It also accused Apple of being a monopolist and dictating terms. Apple has also been accused of having a preferential treatment for its own apps as compared to third-party apps.