Does Apple consider Mac devs who ship outside of the App Store theives?

Apple claims that Epic is a thief, for not paying Apple 30% the IAP transaction made outside of the App Store.

Many Mac App Developers now rely (once again) on sales outside of the Mac App Store. Could we be next?

Epic is wrong and they know it.

No - it is about the fees Epic collected from the app downloaded from the app store which is subject to the terms&conditions. They surreptitiously circumvented Apple’s payment system and offered their own payment system for cheaper, and did not pay the 30% to Apple. Epic is free to charge less - but not to cheat Apple and renege on their contract.

If you rent a 2-bedroom flat to someone, and they put 10 people in there and charge all of them rent - would you agree that they can’t do that? That your contract stipulated “no subletting”?

If I buy Xojo and then offer a service to compile people’s apps for $5 - would you think that is covered by “fair use”?

What if I do that with AppWrapper for $1?

Everyone is free to not use the Apple store. To do their own advertising, offer downloads, process payments, deal with tax payments for every country.

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I don’t think Epic can win their lawsuit, but I think Epic already knew that.

I think Epic baited Apple… Apple took the bait and overreacted, while Apple is under investigation from the EU, US and now Japan, with South Korea following suit.

When I say overreacted, by threatening to block the Unreal Engine from all of Apple’s platforms, to the point that Epic was awarded a TRO. Now Apple has filed a counter-suit against Epic.

Epic did accomplish one thing, theres blood in the water…

Yes, Apple overreacted with throwing out the Unreal Engine. But they are within their rights to remove Epics developer accounts for not just breach of contract, but breaching it with deceit. So maybe Apple should develop their own game engine and provide it to developers for free - hey, here is the competition Epic allegedly wanted … :smiling_imp:

Epic did it deliberately and you have to wonder why - they could not be so conceited as to think they would win a law suite.

My guess is they thought they had a win-win situation - they might not get what they want, but they would get a lot of PR, they would play the underdog that everyone loves, they could make some money while off the app store from users buying stuff, and before the new version comes out they’d “grudgingly” go back to the App store.

But it was very obvious that they did it deliberately, so they pissed off a LOT of users, and it is going to cost them a lot of money (deliberately and deceitfully breaking a contract? Wow!). And in my opinion Apple should just throw them off and leave them off.

I personally do not think the “Epic Lawsuit” is “about” EPIC… I think it is more along the lines of forcing various Legal and Governments to look at the Apple Store and its policies, and exactly that has in fact happened.

While I applaud the notion that Apple want to keep your devices “safe”. On the other side there are better ways than the draconian (non-consistent) review program. Not to mention 30% for a digital market place is too high. 10% for access… maybe 10% for added features… And Apple deserves 0% for certain types if IAP (like Epics V-Bucks for example)…

This is just my opinion…


I’d agree on all points
Epic did what they did to force the issue - thats happened


Even without the reality distortion field of SJ, Apple can still engage in hyperbole.

One of SJ’s strategies was to reduce dependence and view Apple products as a ‘farm to table’ proposition. Fortunately, SJ knew that he couldn’t challenge everyone at the same time without impacting stock value or market position. We saw that with the creation of the Apple Stores (which killed off a lot of mac dealers, quite a few developers and blew up any reliance on expensive catalog sales), then later the various online stores.

It must be very tempting for Apple to try to ship an OS that will only run apps sold via Apple, and as we see macOS and iOS converge, this seems more and more likely - provided that the US government doesn’t start viewing it as monopolistic.

There’s probably a copy of SJ’s Necronomicon someplace with this strategy detailed.

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for fairness how about stating what other stores charge… and why no one seems to complain too much about that, maybe sales are too small elsewhere, who knows.

I don’t think what other stores (other than Google which is same rules as Apple) is the point. Those other stores don’t tell you who can and cannot use your app.

Side loading
For an iOS device this is pretty much the ONLY game in town (with some exceptions for enterprises etc)

Sam, I don’t think the analogy quite holds. Distributing outside the App Store is one thing (and why we have signing and notarization tools, made all the easier with your help.) Taking virtual “shelf space” in the App Store, while skirting the retailer’s margin, is another. Yes, we can debate a proper margin but that’s yet another issue.

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There in lies my issue with the App Store… 30% of the retail cost of an app is robbery… It costs Apple the same amount to host a 99c app as it does a $3000 app… And Apple expends no cost for yet demands 30% for IAP , when all that burden is on the develper.

And on top of that, the end-user MUST purchase from the App Store… and in my mind THAT is a MONOPOLY as no alternative choices are available (and Dont’ buy it is not an alternative choice)

And I don’t think the argument of “hosting cost” holds water, otherwise there would be no “FREE” apps, those cost Apple to host, and if there are ADS, I don’t think Apple gets a cut of that revenue… Which just makes the customer choices even more limited.


Well, as I said, a “fair” margin is another discussion (and, with long experience with brick-and-mortar retailing, I’ll just say it’s not “zero”. ) My point was directed toward Sam’s premise, that this is somehow a shot across the bow of Mac (!) apps that are distributed independently.

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Is the IAP 30% only applicable to iOS apps ?
Or how does this play out with mac Apps that can be notarized & distributed outside that walled garden ?

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Any revenue generated by any app in the App Store (app cost, IAP sales) Apple takes a 30% vig.

If you just notorize and sell if yourself… Apple gets nothing, but that is easier with a macOS app as opposed to an iOS one

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Ah ok so even if my app costs them nothing to host, distribute, etc they get a 30% cut of IAP.
That seems hugely wrong and percentage wise rapacious (I think thats the right word)

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No… they only get a cut from any hosted app…

Oh wait… can you even have IAP without being hosted on App Store?

unless you write your own IAP handler via Paypal or some such service.

“Brick and Mortar” costs $X per SqFt/Month to store merchandis, and lthe larger the merchandise, the more SqFt.

Digital Stores is fractions of cents per MB per month…

ok Dave, there is a point, and I do not know what you mean by this:- apple do not tell anyone who can or cannot use your app

if google have the same rules and no one complains about it then does it not seem that this is just apple bashing, or, to give you an opening, am I missing some obvious point.

as far as I know apple have spent billions over the years creating a platform to sell applications.
they have created a rule set that everyone knows about, competitors (loose term) copy that model, google as you state.

without the commitment to creating a platform that is the single most successful and profitable to every person who jumps the hoops to join in, there would be no App Store anywhere.

now epic think they are so special and big they can jump out of those rules and try to break the mould.

if anyone thinks its robbery to pay the 30% that’s fine, try to do the same sale job elsewhere, we all know how difficult that is.

there can be no complaint after signing an agreement of terms, if you don’t like the terms don’t sign.
what would happen if apple were forced to open the App Store up to anyone, I suspect it would end up like all the others, pointless and full of even more useless apps.

digital stores may cost very much less to run, but getting it to the point it is now has cost brazillions, that’s got to be paid back, as we all know.