Tech

How have the App Store policies changed in recent years


The App Store is one of the most important sources of income for Apple. As the company’s profit from its store available for all its devices amounts to 19 billion US dollars per month. In recent years, the store has gone through many events, and its policies have changed dramatically.

The App Store has gone through a lot of developments in the recent period. Specifically, after the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games on the one hand, and South Korea’s decision to force Apple to allow the addition of additional payment methods within applications on the other hand.

The latest legal battle resulted in a US court ruling by Judge Gonzalez Rogerge that also forced Apple to allow developers to add third-party payment methods, just like the Korean decision, and there is no doubt that Apple is now in an unenviable light.

Apple will undoubtedly appeal the latest court decision, but the company has come out badly, as it is only fighting to preserve its profits and not trying to support app developers in any way.

Read also: Possible effects of making external payment methods available through the App Store

App Store Policies Change

Changing App Store policies is not new, as Apple has changed its store policies dozens of times previously. Sometimes these changes come from the company’s free will, or are forced upon it, but the main objective, as mentioned above, is to maintain its share of the profits.

There is no doubt that Apple needs to stand with the developers for once. Especially since the store is worthless without them. However, the company understands that it is the developers who need it and not the other way around.

Read also: Steps that may help Apple prove its interest in App Store users

In the following points, we present to you a summary of the most important changes that occurred in the App Store from 2007 to 2021, which also includes the statements made by Apple about the Store:

June 11, 2007

Steve Jobs stated at WWDC that Apple will not allow developers to develop custom applications for the system. Instead, the applications will be web applications. That is, the applications will display the content of personalized Internet pages.

October 17, 2007

Apple changed its mind about the quality of apps. It also confirmed that it will release a dedicated SDK for iPhones. This allows the development of custom mobile applications (Native).

August 7, 2008

In an interview with Nick Wingfield, Steve Jobs stated that the App Store would not be a major source of profit. This is described by the situation that Apple does not expect the store to be a large provider of revenue.

The beginning of the payment problem

June 8, 2009

2009 is a pivotal year for the app market. As Apple announced for the first time that it will allow developers to add payments within apps and games. And that’s with 30% of the app’s revenue. But this update was only for paid apps and games.

Read also: 5 ways to help you organize apps on your iPhone

October 15, 2009

Apple has changed its mind by making in-app payments and games available for the free versions as well.

February 1, 2011

This year is also a pivotal year for Apple’s problem with payments. Because the company has started rejecting apps that don’t rely on its own payments system. The company refused the Sony e-book reader application, which included Sony’s payment methods.

February 15, 2011

This year, Apple began offering subscriptions to its News and Magazine apps. The percentage remained the same, 30%.

July 28, 2011

A member of the board of directors suggested reducing Apple’s percentage in an internal correspondence, but – and apparently – the company did not respond.

Read also: Apple and Epic Games lost the legal battle

November 9, 2014

Apple changed the name of the download button from “Free” to “Get”, indicating that apps and games may have payments inside them.

Big changes

June 16, 2014

Apple revealed one of the biggest changes in the history of the App Store at this time. It allowed a new approach to subscription-based applications. The company announced a reduction in the percentage to 15% after the first year of subscriptions.

Apple revealed a new classification of apps, “Reader Apps”, which are applications that provide paid content based on subscriptions such as Netflix and Kindle.

This update also included Apple’s announcement of starting to display ads within search results on its store.

November 1, 2016

Apple made a secret agreement with Amazon to reduce its share of sales and subscriptions. However, this matter was not revealed until the year 2020 as part of an investigation conducted by one of the subcommittees.

Also Read: Android Users Not Interested in Upgrading to iPhone 13

June 5, 2018

Apple made it possible to display the content of other applications on the iPhone via cloud broadcasts, for example, the Steam Link application, but this update did not provide users with an integrated cloud gaming experience, but only content broadcasting.

April 28, 2019

Apple began banning applications that provide the feature to follow and monitor children, and this behavior has been considered a monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior, since Apple has its own system for following children. The company responded to the allegations, explaining that these applications may be used for tracking or hacking.

July 12, 2019

Apple has started to reverse its decision and restore the deleted apps. It also allowed them to have a solid presence on the platform and to use VPN service APIs as well.

Read also: Apple continues development of the self-driving car project

Recent changes to the App Store

April 1, 2020

We’re first hearing about Apple developing software specifically for content streaming and rental apps. This program allows applications to avoid paying a percentage of revenue.

June 22, 2020

In a controversial move, Apple has banned the Hey email app. Because the app wasn’t allowing subscription to the service through it, but through the service’s website. However, he came back later.

August 6, 2020

Apple is waging war on cloud-playing services like xCloud from Microsoft or Stadia from Google. The company has requested that each game be added individually, which is not possible. However, the user is now able to access these services via the browser.

Read also: What are cloud games and how to choose the right one for you

August 13, 2020

The beginning of the war between Apple and Epic Games, as the game Fortnite was deleted from the store after adding external payment methods, and as soon as the game was deleted, Epic Games began to file cases against Apple.

November 18, 2020

Apple announced the Small Business Program, where it began allowing any developer making less than $1 million per year to apply in the program in order for the company to reduce its percentage from 30% to 15% of its sales.

App Store in 2021

June 23, 2021

Apple announced its complete rejection of the idea of ​​installing applications externally on the iPhone or iPad. And published a 16-page report explaining that this feature will make the iPhone completely unsafe.

August 26, 2021

Apple is beginning to offer even greater benefits to developers who participate in Apple News. As their other apps will be subject to 15%, not 30% of sales. However, there are conditions that must be met.

August 31, 2021

The South Korean bill first appeared to force Apple and Google to also list third-party payment methods on the App Store and Play Store, respectively. However, the law has not yet been implemented.

Also Read: Apple Should Allow Other Forms of In-App Purchase

September 10, 2021

Apple has officially announced that it will not return the game Fortnite to the App Store in South Korea, even under the new law, which allows for multiple payment methods. Subsequently, a court ruling was issued against both Apple and Epic Games.

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