Upcoming Apple App Store Changes after Settled Lawsuit

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It appears as though Apple has reached an agreement with the parties in a class action regarding Apple’s App Store policies. Here are the highlights:

  • The Small Business program will remain enforce for at leas the next three years.
  • Search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics, like download numbers and text relevance.
  • Developers can inform customers outside of their apps that they can purchase subscriptions and the like at a lower price.
  • The number of price points will increase to over 500, from the fewer than 100 now.
  • The option to appeal a rejection will be maintained.
  • Apple will provide a yearly transparency report.
  • A $100 million fund will be established to assist developers.

My Thoughts

The proposed settlement has only two real changes, the additional price points and the fund. Outside of that, there is no real change. In reality, this does not cost Apple anything. Most of the proposed settlement items were already in place.

Sure, Apple will have to spend money and resources to enable the additional price points. And the $100 million fund for U.S. developers will cost money, but in the grand scheme of how much Apple makes, $100 million is not a whole lot, particularly since Apple made $21 billion in profit in the March to June quarter this year alone.

This settlement is laughable given that there will be no meaningful changes. This does not really address some of the underlying issues like arbitrary interpretation of App Store rules and spurious rejections.

Apple will get to continue their existing practices which ultimately end up benefiting them and not developers.

Source: Apple Newsroom