Apple agrees to multiple App Store changes and pays to settle a developer lawsuit

Developer Lawsuit Apple

Apple has been an economic wonder since its inception; it is the most reliable and most trusted place for users to get apps, as well as an incredible business opportunity for developers to innovate, thrive, and grow.

Apple declared plans to make some modifications to the App Store to settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the company by developers in the United States.

Apple allows developers to use communication methods such as email to inform customers about payment methods available outside of iOS apps. 

Terms of the Agreement

Below the terms of the agreement, it will extend the price points that developers can offer for apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. As part of the settlement, Apple intends to establish a $100 million “fund” for small developers, and it will publish annual transparency reports on the app review process.

To enter an agreement, Apple and the developers implicated in the lawsuit agreement on “seven key preferences shared by Apple and small developers.” According to court reports, Apple will take the following steps:

1. Small business

 For the next three years, Apple will keep the App Store Small Business Program in its current form. Businesses earning less than one million per year will continue to pay a reduced 15% commission.

2. Rank Apps

 Downloads, star ratings, text relevance, and user behaviour signals will continue to be used to rank apps in the App Store. Apple will keep the popular App Store search system in position for at least three years.

3. Payment

Apple will support developers to give information about payment methods. Developers will not require to pay Apple a percentage on purchases outside the app or the App Store. 

4. Price Points

Apple will increase the several subscriptions, in-app purchases, and paid app price points available to developers from less than 100 to more than 500. Developers had expressed dissatisfaction with the $0.99 minimum price available in the App Store and the inability to offer price points that did not end in $0.99, so this may change.

5. Appeal

Apple will hold back the option for developers to appeal an app’s rejection based on perceived unjust treatment. Apple will renew the App Review website with new content to support developers in better understand the appeals process.

6. Transparency

Apple will publicize an annual transparency report based on App Store data that presents exact data about the app review process. Such as the number of apps refused for various reasons, the number of customer and developer accounts deactivated, impersonal data about search queries and results, and the number of apps removed from the App Store.

7. Small Developer Assistance Fund

To settle the lawsuit, Apple is paying $100 million to developers, which will give out as part of a “Small Developer Assistance Fund.” Developers can claim anywhere from $250 to $30,000 based on their previous App Store participation. 

Profit Killing

The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2019 by some iOS developers who accused Apple of imposing “profit-killing” commissions through its App Store monopoly.

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