No, Apple’s 30% Apple Store tax was never a secret

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Apple takes 30 percent of all revenue earned in the App Store, but contrary to Elon Musk’s claims, this has been public knowledge for over a decade.


apple has faced heated criticism for its 30% App Store revenue share over the years, with the latest complaints coming from Twitter owner Elon Musk. People from almost every part of the tech industry have questioned Apple’s revenue distribution, including users, developers and politicians. But despite all the inquisition, no one person or entity has been able to overthrow the “Apple tax,” as some call it. Through government antitrust hearings and civil class action lawsuits, Apple’s tax on the App Store has been upheld in US courts.

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In the past, popular apps have tried to thwart Apple’s App Store review guidelines, hoping their public status would allow them to violate the company’s rules. The most notable of these applications was Fortnite, the popular battle royale game developed by Epic Games, which intentionally evaded Apple’s revenue sharing by accepting direct in-app purchase payments. Fortnite was quickly banned from the App Store and at the time was one of the most popular games in the world. Epic Games sued Apple for revenue division in US District Court, but lost nine out of 10 challenges. Apple even filed a counterclaim alleging breach of contract. Although the appeals are still in motion, it looks like Apple’s App Store tax is here to stay.

Related: Elon Musk calls on Tim Cook to get Apple to pull ads from Twitter

Apple’s App Store revenue split, which sees developers take 70 percent of all revenue and Apple claiming 30 percent, was unveiled by Elon Musk in a series of tweets. “Did you know that Apple puts a secret 30 percent tax on everything you buy through its App Store?“Mess claimed. Musk’s choice of words, calling Apple’s revenue division “a secret,“That’s far from the truth. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced App Store revenue sharing at a keynote in 2008, even before the App Store debuted. Every developer who chose to list their app on the App Store did so knowing that Apple would claim 30 percent of the sales revenue.


Apple’s revenue division is public knowledge

An Apple App Store logo on a blue background

For a full year after the debut of the first iPhone, there was no App Store, and therefore no way to install third-party apps. It wasn’t until iPhoneOS 2 (which later became iOS) added support for an App Store that Jobs took the stage to explain the platform’s guidelines. “The App Store will be the exclusive way to distribute iPhone apps,” Jobs said at the conference. From the beginning, Apple never planned to provide third-party methods for installing apps on iOS. Because Apple owns both the App Store and the iPhone, it has complete control over how apps are distributed.

After figuring out the company’s intent behind the App Store, Jobs explained what he called “the deal“While developers could set their own prices, Apple would take a share of revenue from paid apps.”When we sell the app through the App Store, the developer gets 70 percent of the revenue,Jobs said.We keep 30 percent to continue running the App Store.“Apple hosts apps on the App Store, covers credit card fees, and markets apps to users. There’s also no fee for free apps distributed on the App Store, and apps can earn revenue in other ways, such as through ads within the App Store. an app. Contrary to Musk’s claims, appleApp Store revenue sharing was never a secret and has been public knowledge since before it even launched in 2008.

Next: Why your App Store actions aren’t as private as you thought

Source: Elon Musk/TwitterEverySteveJobsVideo/YouTube

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