Apple has started taking smaller commissions from some of its App Store Small Business Program participants, according to AppleInsider. The tech giant introduced the program in November, offering developers that earn less than $1 million a year a way to cut App Store fees in half. Instead of paying a 30 percent commission rate, participants will only have to pay 15 percent for sales and in-app purchases. The tech giant began accepting enrollees in early December, and the program was supposed to kick off on January 1st, 2021. It sounds like Apple may have decided to get things started early, though, at least for some developers.
As AppleInsider has noted, Apparent Software founder Jacob Gorban and a few other participants have revealed that the reduced program fees are now in effect. Gorban tweeted the information with a couple of screenshots:
Looks like the reduced Small Business App Store fee is now in effect. This is for our Mac app, ImageFramer. Time in UTC. 42.5/50 = 0.85. @mjtsai @OliverJHaslam @9to5mac @MacObserver pic.twitter.com/7LkaAQMhAR— Jacob Gorban (@jacobgorban) December 24, 2020
Apple has been charging a 30 percent commission rate since the App Store’s early days, but more and more companies have been voicing their discontent about having to pay that much. Epic Games, which deliberately flouted Apple’s in-app purchasing rules by offering Fortnite players a direct way to buy in-game currency at a discount, has been leading the charge these past months. Other tech companies backed Epic’s fight, including Facebook, which blasted Apple for not reducing its commission rates for Facebook Pay.
When Apple introduced the program, the company said it would benefit the “vast majority” of developers on the platform. While that’s a good thing for individuals and small companies, some point out that it could be a move to avoid antitrust scrutiny by authorities.