News November 18, 2020

Apple gives ground, halving App Store fees to 15% for devs making less than $1 million

Channing Allen @channingallen
  1. 10

    Great, now remove the $99 developer anual fee

    1. 5

      Annual fee is right. It make sure serious dev will be present on app store

    2. 3

      I wouldn't remove the fee. Then you have a ton of bad quality apps.

    3. 3

      Yeah, I think the developer fee is a bigger hurdle to people just getting started than the percentage is. Even at 30%, I don't think their take did much to stop anyone from experimenting or learning. I know a lot of people who never ended up starting due to the fee, though.

    4. 2

      and the need to buy a Mac ;)

      1. 2

        This! I might have tried my hands at iOS development, had the price tag upwards of $1000 not been there.

        1. 3

          And they should also allow android apps into the store - not everyone owns an iphone 😂

    5. 1

      PLEASE! yeah that is just a waste of money

    6. 1

      First thing that came to my mind when I saw this !

  2. 7

    This is great and makes being an independent developer much more financially feasible.

    However, Apple is doing this strategically and not because they think it is right. The majority of devs fall under the $1M mark and have been a very vocal group. It doesn't look good to regulators when a developer trying to scrape by is getting 30% taken by Apple. So now Apple can silence the small, but large in number, independent developers and only have to fight mega corps, like Epic, who get less sympathy.

    That being said, I'm totally for this...well, until my apps make $1M :)

  3. 6

    When:

    The App Store Small Business Program, which will launch on January 1, 2021

    The essentials:

    • Existing developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission.
    • If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.
    • If a developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can requalify for the 15 percent commission the year after.

  4. 5

    DHH's response:

    I'm in agreement. While Apple's announcement is better than nothing, it's clearly a calculated move to placate critics and appear benevolent while addressing none of the problems with it's terrible behavior around the app store and towords app developers. Unless something fundamentally changes, I'll never work on iOS app development again.

    1. 1

      DHH is the Trump of the SaaS / now AppStore world. I haven't been treated terribly yet and I'm since 2016 on the AppStore. The AppStore review team has been very open and friendly to discuss misunderstandings when you argue correctly in my experience.

      1. 1

        Yes, DHH can be over the top at times, but he's someone who obviously has a lot of experience. I do think Apple's treatment of Hey was egregious and so DHH made a big commotion in order to fix it (which worked in my opinion).

        I sure there are a lot of different experiences for App developers, some good some bad. I worked for a small iOS/Android shop that did mid six figures in revenue for a few years and our experience with Apple (especially in comparison to Google) was incredibly terrible and frustrating on many different levels. I know that as an indie hacker, I personally will do everything in my power to avoid the Apple and the app store.

        But I'm sure for every one of my experiences, there are many developers who have good ones.

      2. 1

        This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

  5. 5

    Wow amazing, now Google needs to follow them :D

  6. 4

    Are there any indie iOS developers here making more than $1000 MRR? I would like to know your apps and follow your stories for some inspiration.

    I've created a detailed post in Mobile group. You can add your stories there.

    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/looking-for-some-indie-mobile-dev-inspiration-8cd4f37240

    1. 4

      ConjuGato earns around this on iOS and about 30-35% less on Android.

      The story is just scratching my own itch: I was learning Spanish and couldn't find any halfway decent conjugation trainer. All the competitors had poor UX, bad reviews, and there were not many of them on both stores.

      1. 2

        That's a good niche you have there. Congratz and keep up the good work!

      2. 2

        La app se ve bien Ivan, buena suerte

    2. 2

      🙋‍♂️ -> https://twitter.com/NotePlanApp

      I'm very happy about the reduction, this will be a good bump in revenue.

    3. 2

      See my posts on IH.

      1. 1

        Hi Steve, I just checked out VoxRec and it does a good job. UI/UX is different from the mainstream but it is clear and easy to use.

        I'm not from your target audience but from India, I find that 3500 INR for 600 minutes is just way too much. About 6 INR per minute. IMO, The max I think will justify the app is 1 INR per minute.

        You can try out the region specific pricing and see if you get more customers from countries like India.

        Also, I find this pricing model quite interesting. I signed up for the indie dev group you have linked in the last milestone. Looking forward to learning more.

      2. 1

        which one? do you have a link at hand?

  7. 2

    Good news.

    And I'm still happy to pay the 99$ annual fees to get a REAL support. Because if you upload an app in the app store, the reviews team are doing their work, and answering to the questions

    Instead of google that don't care at all about the dev & review system with all the automated message.

  8. 2

    As the indie developer behind Daily, I personally find 15% reasonable for what Apple provides (or put another way: the burden they take away). Most of my users come from the Mac App Store directly so listing it in their store, the distrubution itself, analytics and not to mention the developer tooling... I think it's worth it. I understand why people still don't like 15% or the fact that 1M+ is still 30%, but this is a great step forwards. Definitely proofs that protesting works ;-).

    1. 1

      I agree, it's a big win for many devs. I think 15% is not even high for what they offer.

  9. 2

    Thank you Apple, this is going to be great for the indie app development community, especially in terms of generating enough revenue to stay afloat and continue building.

  10. 1

    i mean this is just to get more native apps that are compatible with their new M1 chips right?

  11. 1

    15% is still crazy high...

    1. 1

      Not really, if you understand what service they give you. For example, they manage all the VAT worldwide for you, secure payment systems, distribution and if you make a very good app they help you out with free marketing.

  12. 1

    Still highway robbery. 5% is a little closer to the mark - and wave the $99 'door' fees if the app is making any money.

  13. 1

    I thought it was extra salty to see them basically cut fees in half for most developers, while specifically all of those who complained over the past year have to continue paying 30%.

  14. 1

    It's a start I guess

  15. 1

    Atlassian also charge 15% to list cloud apps in their marketplace (30% for server apps).

    As a small developer it's worth it as you get some help with distribution using their app store.

    But I can see how as you grow and develop your own acquistion channels it stops being worth it.

    A fair system would be if they get a cut if the user found you through them and not through one of your own marketing channels.

  16. 1

    an easy move on their part

    however, they really should just go to 10% and make going through the app store a non issue for all app developers from a $100k a year to $1b a year.

    I want to manage my Netflix and Spotify via the App Store.

  17. 1

    So who's close to making $1M will release their apps from their sister companies. All those who makes around $1-$1000 will cheer for losing %15 less. While they need to keep up with the latest hardware(~$2k/2 year, $1k/2 year for the base models), both on desktop and mobile. Paying yearly fees. 🤔

  18. 1

    this is great news for all indie devs!

  19. 1

    That should've been the way from day 1

  20. 1

    Big news for us app developers, awesome!

  21. 1

    B2C Indie hacking just got 15% easier 😉

  22. 1

    Better than 30%, but still would be awesome to see 0%

    1. 1

      You don't want Apple to earn anything with the AppStore?

    2. 1

      Yaaaas! 💯 ...but someone was emotional enough to downvote this. 🤦‍♂️😂

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