“There is a competition for developers just like there is a competition for customers,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at today’s big tech congressional hearing. “With the competition for developers, they could write their apps for Android or Windows or Xbox or PlayStation. It is so competitive that I would describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook explains to a clueless congressman who tossed a barrage of leading questions at him how Apple is in a ‘street fight’ for both developers and customers:
We Treat Every Developer The Same
The App Store is a feature of the iPhone much like the camera is and the chip is. If it is a native app (Apple is the sole decision-maker as to whether an app is made available to app users through the Apple Store). If it is a web app … no. We treat every developer the same. We have open and transparent rules. It’s a rigorous process.
Because we care so deeply about privacy, security, and quality, we do look at every app before it goes on. But those rules apply evenly to everyone. It is not correct (that some developers are favored over others).
We Have Never Increased Our App Commission
We do a lot of things with developers including looking at their beta test apps regardless of whether they are small or large. A (reduced app commission) is available to anyone meeting the conditions. Approximately, 84 percent of the apps are charged nothing. The remaining 16 percent either pay 15 or 30 percent (of subscription revenue). These payments are depending upon the specifics. If it is in the second year of a subscription, as an example, it only pays 15 percent.
We have never increased commissions in the store since the first day it operated in 2008. I disagree strongly (with the suggestion that we would increase our commission to 50 percent at some point).
Competition For Developers Is A ‘Street Fight’
There is a competition for developers just like there is a competition for customers. With the competition for developers, they could write their apps for Android or Windows or Xbox or PlayStation. We have fierce competition on the developer side and on the customer side. It is so competitive that I would describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business.
We do not retaliate or bully people (regardless if developers make their frustrations with the app store public). It is strongly against our company culture.