Apple to halve its cut from small app developers

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Apple is to slash the commission it takes from small businesses selling programs on its App Store, the company said yesterday, but the tech giant will still take a 30 per cent cut from major developers.

The iPhone manufacturer said from the new year, developers who make less than USD1 million from selling apps on its store will see Apple’s revenue bite cut to 15 per cent.

The announcement, however, will have no effect on developers that generate huge amounts of cash from wildly popular apps and videogames.

Apple and the developer of the blockbuster game Fortnite, Epic Games, are fighting over whether the California-based company’s tight control of its App Store, and its 30 per cent cut of revenue, counts as monopolistic behaviour.

Apple pulled Fortnite from its store in August after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing. A trial to resolve the dispute is not expected until next year.

Apple said the “vast majority” of developers will benefit from its App Store Small Business Programme – launched to give companies a boost during the pandemic.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

“We are launching this programme to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love.”

People wait in front of the Apple store in Munich, Germany. PHOTO: AP