“The canary in the coal mine about the corrupting power of the App Store”

Brilliant analysis on the App Store situation, in the light of the Epic’s lawsuit, from Ben Thompson:

This lawsuit is also a reminder that Apple has a lot to lose. While the most likely outcome is an Apple victory […] every decision the company makes that favors only itself, and not society generally, is an invitation to examine just how important the iPhone is to, well, everything.

Indeed, this is the most frustrating aspect of this debate: Apple consistently acts like a company peeved it is not getting its fair share, somehow ignoring the fact it is worth nearly $2 trillion precisely because the iPhone matters more than anything.

This whole lawsuit and App Store situation is much more complicated than it seems on the surface, yet Thompson once again manages to explain the situation very well, while making his observations crystal clear and well documented; subscribing to Stratechery was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made in 2020.1

I don’t know how this whole thing will end, but I’m pretty sure none of it would have happened if Apple — anticipating how the ways people consume digital goods would change2 — had lowered its percentage of commission from 30% to, say 5% for in-app purchases, 8% for subscriptions (0% for the first payment, and 3% after the 1st year), and something south of 15% for regular app purchases.

  1. Especially now that there is an additional podcast to go with it.↩︎

  2. short version: from buying individual apps/songs/movies, to subscribing monthly to all kind of services (Netflix, Apple Music, Microsoft Office, etc.)↩︎