Earlier this month, Pavel Durov has already criticized Apple and Google, as, in his opinion, they are abusing their position in the market. Then he said that it was IT giants that increase the price of mobile applications by 30% for all smartphone users in the world, and thereby simply destroy startups.
Durov wrote that virtually all developers who sell premium and digital services to smartphone users are more likely to work for Apple and Google than for themselves. He especially emphasized that Google at least allows users to install applications not from the Play Store, but Apple does not release users at all outside its own closed ecosystem. The latter, according to Durov, was created for only one purpose – collecting 30%, which is ultimately paid either by users or developers. And to improve the current situation, according to Durov, the combined efforts of the antimonopoly authorities and legislators are needed.
Now, a few weeks later, Durov "continued the thought" and published in his Telegram channel one more poston how Apple's policies hit iPhone users. Below is his new message in full.
Recently, many major developers have expressed their displeasure with Apple's policy on the App Store. But how do Apple's rules affect you personally if you're a regular iPhone user? Below are 7 reasons why they concern you directly.
1 HIGHER PRICES. Apple's 30% commission increases the cost of all apps and digital purchases for you. It goes beyond what you pay developers for any service or game. Despite the fact that when you buy a phone Apple has already charged you several hundred dollars more than its cost, you pay it an additional tax for each application. In other words, you continue to pay after you have paid.
2 CENSORSHIP. Some of the content of iPhone applications is not available to you because Apple censors applications in the App Store, which it needs full control over to collect the 30% tax. Moreover, Apple prohibits us, developers, from telling users that certain content was hidden from iPhone users precisely at the request of Apple. Probably, the company's employees understand how strange they look from the side of their attempt at global censorship: imagine a web browser that decides what sites you can view.
3 REDUCED CONFIDENTIALITY. To install the application on the iPhone, you first need to create an Apple account and log into it. After that, each of your applications and each received notification will be linked to your account, which will track your actions. The main reason for the need to connect an Apple account to download applications is Apple's desire to push tax at 30%.
Result – you pay with your personal information for their greed.
4 DELAYED UPDATES. You receive new versions of applications a few days or a few weeks after they are released by the developers. The reason is the frustrating inefficiency of Apple's moderators: their team often postpones approving updates for no apparent reason. For the billions in app commissions, you'd expect Apple to at least hire additional moderators. But even this they fail, and we – large developers like Telegram – usually have to wait several days or even weeks for new versions of our applications to become available to users.
5 LESS APPS. Apple's 30% commission is added to the rest of the developer spending: taxes (VAT ≈ 20%), salaries, development costs, equipment, marketing. In a hypothetical world without Apple's commissions, many applications would be profitable, but since in the real world Apple forces them to give it a third of the revenue, they are often not viable. As a result, many useful applications that could please us today simply do not exist: they either went bankrupt or never appeared.
6 MORE ADVERTISING. Because Apple makes selling value-added services to users one-third less attractive to developers, many apps have to display ads to somehow cover costs. Apple's policy is to economically push the entire Internet industry to sell data and consumer attention, rather than using other, more privacy-friendly business models.
7 REDUCED QUALITY OF APPS. The billions of dollars that developers give to Apple could go towards improving the quality of popular apps. Today, these billions are gathering dust in Apple's offshore accounts and do not benefit humanity, while the authors of applications who gave this money are trying to find resources to improve their developments.
The result is that we are using lower quality services.
All this sounds so egregious that it would seem that such a 30% tribute cannot exist for long. But the situation has persisted for about 10 years. In the attached Telegraph post below, I'll share how Apple has managed to obfuscate the public for so long to maintain the status quo.
In addition to this, Durov published separate post, which debunks seven myths associated with Apple's 30% commission. He says that the commission does not help to maintain the App Store and create new smartphones, "since the team from Cupertino no longer generates breakthroughs, and copying does not require large development budgets."
Durov also writes that developers, in essence, have no choice between iOS and Android: if they want to launch a socially significant service, they will have to create applications for both platforms anyway.
“Apple is not a purely“ free market ”player, as the company actively uses the resources of regulators to criminalize jailbreaking (that is, including to criminalize the installation of applications not from the App Store), which guarantees it full control over every phone sold. <…> As long as governments help Apple to exercise their monopoly, they will also have to answer for the negative consequences of this monopoly, "Durov sums up.