Apple facing criticism
Apple Inc., the tech giant known for its cutting-edge products, has been facing a lot of criticism from app developers. The primary source of discontent is Apple’s taxation of app developers and the way it conducts business for the App Store. According to Phillip Shoemaker, who was the former director of the App Store and worked at Apple for over seven years, the guidelines for the App Store have been rewritten to be intentionally vague. This gives Apple the ability to act as a gatekeeper and maintain an arbitrarily harsh stance against cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The former Apple employee, now CEO of Identity.com, states that the aim of the App Store guidelines was to make them clear and understandable for developers. Being accepted into the Apple or Google app stores can greatly impact a company, and rejection can be a significant setback for app developers. Shoemaker recalls receiving death threats and being followed by frustrated developers during his time at Apple. He also mentioned in a Bloomberg interview that his app approvals could even affect Apple’s stock price.
After Shoemaker’s departure in 2016, the App Store Guidelines were revised by Apple’s legal team and Phil Schiller, who now oversees the App Store. Shoemaker believes that Schiller changed the tone of the guidelines, making them more vague and less clear than before. Schiller did not comment on the matter, and when asked for Apple’s official stance on crypto, the company only provided a link to the cryptocurrency section of its App Store Review Guidelines.
Apple and taxation of apps
Apple has faced criticism for its taxation policy regarding apps in its App Store. The company takes a 30% cut of all in-app purchases made through the store, including subscriptions and digital goods. This policy has become a contentious issue, particularly for smaller app developers who argue that the fees are too high and are affecting their ability to generate revenue.
Some developers have even taken legal action against Apple, claiming that the company has a monopoly on the app market and is using its dominance to extract excessive fees. In some cases, developers have resorted to raising prices for consumers in order to cover the costs of the fees, leading to complaints from users who feel that the fees are being passed onto them.
The high fees have also led to the rise of alternative app stores that offer lower fees to developers, but these stores have yet to gain the same level of popularity as the App Store, which has a large user base and is seen as a trusted platform for downloading apps.
In addition, the taxation policy has created a divide between app developers who are able to absorb the costs of the fees and those who cannot. This has led to concerns about the impact on competition and innovation in the app market.
Apple has responded to the criticism by defending its policies, stating that the fees are necessary to maintain the security, quality, and integrity of the App Store. However, the company has faced increasing pressure from lawmakers and regulators to review its taxation policies, and it remains to be seen how the situation will develop in the future.
The App Store and crypto
The Apple App Store has taken action against various crypto apps believed to be violating its guidelines over the years, including the ban of Coinbase’s app for a year in 2013. Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong has stated that Apple has been restrictive and hostile towards cryptocurrency. Recently, Apple’s strict policies on NFTs forced Coinbase to disable NFT transactions on its wallet app.
The App Store’s adversarial relationship with cryptocurrencies has been well documented. In 2013, Coinbase’s app was banned from the App Store for an entire year, and in 2020, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote that Apple has been “very restrictive and hostile to cryptocurrency over the years.” Recently, Apple forced Coinbase to disable NFT transfers on its wallet app due to the company’s strict policies on NFTs.
The impact of Apple’s stance on cryptocurrencies and NFTs is significant, as getting accepted into the App Store can make or break a company. With the crypto and NFT space growing rapidly, app developers and companies are frustrated with Apple’s position. They argue that the App Store should be a level playing field, with a clear and transparent set of guidelines that don’t give Apple the power to act as a gatekeeper.
Apple’s taxation of app developers and its stance on cryptocurrencies and NFTs have caused a lot of frustration among app developers. The lack of transparency and the vagueness of the App Store guidelines have given Apple a lot of power, and it remains to be seen if the company will listen to the concerns of app developers and make the necessary changes.
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