Apple has announced a settlement agreement in its class-action lawsuit against app developers and the payout is $100 million.
While this seems like a lot of money for the developers, believe it or not, Apple may be getting off easy and the developers are still on the receiving end.
Through their press release on Thursday, Apple said it reached the agreement to, “evolve the App Store into an even better marketplace for users and developers alike.”
Remind me, what’s happening between app developers and Apple?
Earlier in 2019, a pair of developers launched a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The developers claimed that the company stifles innovation by monopolizing the market.
Apple apps can only be downloaded on the Apple store, much unlike Android apps which can be downloaded from different stores including Google Play Store, Apkstore, Malvidia, Aptoide, or GetJar. If any developer wants to get an iOS app to people, the only platform they can distribute their product on is the Apple store.
Product distribution on the Apple store isn’t automatic; you have to apply for it. This means that if your application is denied by Apple, you’ll have no way of getting your app to [potential] customers.
The developers are also contending Apple’s 30% cut on app transactions which is in addition to a $99 annual fee, and a claim that it’s harder for their products to appear in search results because Apple submerges their apps.
How it’s going so far
On Thursday, Apple proposed a settlement with a few key points.
For starters, it would pay $100 million into a Small Developers Assistance Fund.
The payout, if accepted, will be split between small developers who have earned up to $1 million or less. For the developers, this isn’t a lot. While the top 1% will get as high as $30,000, at least half will get only $250.
Another point is reduced commission for small businesses earning less than $1 million. This isn’t without conditions though. These businesses will only get the 15% commission rate if they join Apple’s News Partner Program.
Apple will also be more transparent on its decisions to reject apps by adding more content to help developers understand how the process works.
You win some, you lose some
Not everyone is happy with this settlement agreement and for good reason too. The settlement terms will only apply to developers in the US for now.
Apple has also declined to provide alternative means for developers to bring their apps to customers. Neither will the company change the search system of the App store which small developers claim bury their apps.
Seems like Apple is letting them take a small bite so the litigation can stop.
Read More: Apple’s $100 million settlement agreement changes a key App Store rule for developers