According to Analysis Group, Apple App Store revenue for small developers increased by 113 percent between 2019 and 2021. Apple commissioned the study to defend itself against growing criticism.

By ‘small developers’, Apple means organizations that generate less than 1 million dollars in annual revenue on the App Store. According to Analysis Group’s research, nine out of ten App Store developers belong to the category. Their revenue increased an average of 113 percent between 2019 and 2021.

Apple under fire

The timing of the study wasn’t left to chance. The App Store policy is under fire. Market authorities worldwide are handing out fines for unfair competition practices. Two years ago, the pressure mounted, prompting Apple to reduce the commission for small developers from 30 per cent to 15 percent. Apple was able to catch its breath, but isn’t out of the woods just yet.

The European Union is currently working on the Digital Markets Act. The bill will require operating system developers to offer multiple app stores. The new rules are expected to take effect within two years. From that moment on, Apple will have to allow other app stores on iOS.

As mentioned earlier, the new research emphasizes the benefits of the App Store for smaller companies. Apple isn’t the first tech giant to use this segment as a defence against criticism. Meta regularly positions Facebook as a meaningful, positive tool for smaller businesses.

Regional conflicts

In the short term, Apple is facing several antitrust lawsuits. In the Netherlands, the tech giant regularly clashes with the Consumer & Market Authority (ACM). At the end of 2021, the Dutch App Store offered a single payment system for dating app developers. Alternatives were not allowed. The ACM started an investigation. Apple was to allow alternative payment systems under the threat of a 50 million euro fine. The tech giant failed to comply, resulting in a fine. According to the ACM, the App Store’s policy remains uncompetitive. In May 2022, the market authority confirmed that an additional fine is underway.

Tip: Jamf extends Apple experience to Microsoft and Google environments