The cost of doing business: Apple’s App Store fees explained

The App Store is a powerful digital ecosystem.

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The App Store has an enormous reach, enabling developers to access billions of users. But, there is confusion on how much Apple charges — and on what.

The 30% fee on App Store purchases is often criticized because it’s also the only way most apps can accept payment on Apple devices. So, to what exactly does Apple’s fee apply, and to what does it not?

App Store fees

On the iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS App Store, Apple charges a 30% fee for apps and in-app purchases. However, the fee doesn’t apply to free apps.

Subscriptions are charged at 30% for the first year, which then drops to 15% for subsequent years.

Developers can also apply for the App Store Small Business Program. Under this scheme, if your business makes $1 million or less in a year, you qualify for a reduction of the fee to 15%.

Once your business income surpasses this threshold in a given year, the standard 30% rate applies for the rest of the year. However, if your income drops below $1 million, you can re-qualify for the scheme the following year.

Things for which App Store fees don’t apply

App Store fees only apply to digital goods and services, so this excludes physical goods, such as ordering on the Amazon app, food from DoorDash deliveries, and tangible services like Uber rides.

However, there are some interesting specifics. As is normally the case, the devil is in the detail, but so is salvation… if you’re lucky.

That’s because Apple has made a series of concessions over the years, either of its own volition or due to legal compulsion.

Exceptions and counter-exceptions

Paid boosts to social media posts incur the in-app purchase fee, but apps for the sole purpose of buying and managing advertising campaigns do not.

Additionally, “reader” apps — those used to consume previously purchased content such as news, books, music, and video — are also exempt from App Store fees on that content.

The weird case here is for game streaming apps, such as Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming. Technically, they are allowed on the App Store without the subscription incurring a fee, but there are some difficult hoops through which you’d need to jump.

The main one is Apple’s stipulation that “Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review…”

That’s a lot of work, even if you have the rights to do so for every game.

Alternative payment processing

Following some high-profile lawsuits, Apple must allow developers to surface alternative payment methods to users in certain countries, which circumvents some proportion of Apple’s fee.

So far, the only country where this policy change has been universally applied is South Korea, where developers can now use their own in-app payment system. But Apple will still take a 26% cut, and you’ll probably still need a payment processor.

If you happen to be releasing a dating app in the Netherlands, you may be in luck: In this specific case, Apple must also give you the option of using an alternative payment processor, in exchange for a mere 27% fee.

Apple has been granted a temporary stay from a ruling forcing it to allow alternative payment methods in the United States. However, this is a changing legal situation so don’t rely on this just yet.

Then there’s Europe to consider, with its Digital Markets Act that aims to force Apple into allowing third-party payments and alternative app marketplaces, a situation Apple is apparently working to prepare for when it eventually becomes an issue sometime in 2024.

Apple’s full and current guidelines, including where its App Store fees do and don’t apply, can be found here.

Developers cautiously welcome prospect of third-party app stores

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Unless something changes, the EU’s Digital Markets Act will effectively force Apple to allow alternatives to the App Store. AppleInsider asked developers what they think — and what they’re planning to do.

Apple continues to oppose being required to allow alternatives to its iOS App Store, but reportedly it is preparing for that eventuality. Software and services engineers at Apple are believed to be preparing for the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which could require third-party app stores by 2024.

Overall, there appears to be at least an acceptance by developers that such a move will happen. In some cases there is an active appetite for what third-party app stores could bring, though among the longest-serving developers, there is a cautious wariness.

Excited by the prospect

“We at Setapp were excited by the news that Apple is preparing to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone (although in the EU only for now),” Mykola Savin, Lead Product Manager of Setapp, told AppleInsider.

Setapp is a subscription service originally for Mac apps, but which has been trying to include more iOS ones. It’s arguably already a third-party app store, too.

“Setapp is indeed an alternative third-party store on a Mac that aims to benefit both users and developers,” continued Savin. “For users, it offers a different way of app consumption and management — access to a curated collection of apps with a flat-fee subscription.”

Setapp effectively already offers a third-party App Store, but it's limited over what iOS apps it can include

Setapp effectively already offers a third-party App Store, but it’s limited over what iOS apps it can include

Savin says that there are over 240 Mac apps on his platform, but just 37 iOS ones, all of which are iOS versions of cross-platform Mac apps.

“We’re currently limited by Apple [and can’t] add iOS-only apps to the platform,” he said. “We would be happy to make a full-fledged alternative to AppStore as this has been a popular request from our users, as well as iOS developers who apply to join Setapp.”

Just as Setapp sees advantages because of its split between Mac and iOS apps, the developer behind Luna Display believes there are opportunities for his company’s mix of hardware and software. Luna Display lets Mac, iPad, and PC owners use the screens of each device with the others.

“I’d love to see the iPad and iPhone opened up to third party App Stores!” says Matt Ronge of Luna Display. “I strongly believe that competition creates more choices for consumers, and right now, the App Store has no competition.”

“Right now if you ship a hardware product that works with an app, you need to publish your app through the App Store,” he explains. “This is clunky because these apps don’t work at all without the hardware!”

“In our case, we had to build a special ‘virtualized’ hardware mode to get our app through App Review,” says Ronge. “So why do we need to go through the App Store at all then? It would be better if we could distribute it like a download from our website.”

Ronge says that would also let companies like his keep old versions of apps available, which is “not really possible” via the App Store.

Beyond his own company, Ronge says that he thinks that if there were app stores with a much lower commission than Apple’s 30%, it could spark innovation.

“What kind of new apps could be possible?” he asks. “Betas and experimental features — you aren’t allowed to ship beta software on the App Store. What if you could?”

“Could we experiment and innovate even faster?” wonders Ronge. “Could we ship new experimental features?”

The Digital Markets Act is an EU proposal, but it would surely lead to third-party app stores in the US too

The current App Store is just fine

Not everyone is interested in there being third-party app stores. Developers such as those at the Omni Group who remember the costs involved in selling software on CD-ROM via retail stores, say that they ultimately don’t expect a great change..

“It’s hard to say what effect the Digital Markets Act might have in general, but I don’t expect it to affect our particular software very much,” Greg Titus, Omni Group CTO, told AppleInsider. “Omni’s productivity apps are right in the sweet spot of what Apple’s App Store is built for, and we’ve generally been pretty happy with how Apple has supported us and how the App Store has sold our applications.”

James Thomson, the developer of PCalc, goes further predicts that users will keep sticking to Apple’s App Store.

“Personally, I think it will mean very little for us,” he said. “Back when where we were selling PCalc both in the Mac App Store, and also directly, we were seeing well over 80% of people choosing to purchase via the App Store.”

“For all the extra paperwork involved, it didn’t make sense to sell in other stores back then,” continued Thomson, “and I don’t really think it will make sense for us to do so in the future.”

“Of course, we’re not doing anything that’s particularly likely to run afoul of App Review,” Thomson notes, “and different types of apps will have different things to consider, but I don’t see us changing to other stores even if they were available.”

The threat to Apple’s business

Third-party app stores would benefit some firms, and perhaps make no difference to others. But there is the question of whether it will make a difference to customers — or to Apple.

“I don’t see [third-party stores] posing a threat to Apple, either revenue-wise or security-wise,” says Setapp’s Savin. “If we look at Android, sideloading hasn’t impacted Google Play much. Also, sideloading has long been allowed on Macs.”

“And we know from Setapp’s recent Mac Apps Report that for the majority of Mac users [the] App Store remains the most popular and trusted way to find and get new apps,” he continued. “I assume the situation is similar for iOS users and allowing third-party stores won’t change that much.”

Thomson, whose PCalc has been on sale for three decades, and sold in Apple’s app store on every platform from iOS to the Apple TV 4K, is more concerned about the threat to developers.

“My main concern is that if Apple does open up side-loading in a more general fashion, it will lead to greater levels of piracy on iOS, that you can see happening on the Mac today,” he said.

Wait and see

So some developers are excited, while others are wary. All, though, think that it is still the early days.

“I have more questions than answers about how the Digital Markets Act might affect Apple’s platforms,” Omni CEO Ken Case told AppleInsider. “It could potentially make app distribution on iOS more like app distribution on macOS, but just how much more alike remains to be seen.”

New Orleans RTA forms new partnership with Transit app

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has formed a new partnership with Transit app for riders to easily navigate public transit in more than 300 cities worldwide. RTA joins transit systems worldwide that use Transit app for riders to plan, track and pay for their trips without downloading a new app while traveling.

Through this partnership with Transit, a single sign-in enables a seamless multimodal experience. RTA riders only need to enter their payment information once to purchase rides across multiple modes and services – in New Orleans and other cities across the country.

In addition to RTA’s official app, Le Pass, riders can now also purchase tickets in the Transit app by using the “Buy ticket” button at the bottom of their screen. Users can create an account and enter their credit card information to purchase a ticket. When boarding, riders display the activated pass to their driver for visual validation.

The new Transit app partnership continues RTA’s commitment to making riding transit in New Orleans a world-class transit experience for locals and visitor alike.

The Transit app is available free of charge and can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Mobile App Security Provider LIAPP To Expand Presence in Asia’s Fastest Growing Economies, Accelerating Digitalization and Financial Inclusion

Seoul, Korea (ANTARA/Business Wire)- LIAPP (Lockin App Protector), the flagship mobile application cybersecurity service of South Korea-based firm Lockin Company, has announced plans to expand its presence in Southeast Asia by working with financial institutions and fintech firms to accelerate the secure digitalization of financial services. This creates a more financially inclusive society for underserved citizens such as micro-business owners and rural communities.

Lockin Company’s CEO, Myoung Kyu Choi, shared, “Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world, is one of the regions most impacted by hackers, which has driven up demand for enhanced mobile app security. We plan to work with more financial service providers in Southeast Asia to strengthen mobile app security with LIAPP’s robust, cloud-based security infrastructure.”

LIAPP already protects customer-facing applications of institutions such as IBK Industrial Bank of Korea, KB Kookmin Bank’s network of apps in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam; fintech provider Rupi in Indonesia; as well as one of Indonesia’s largest banks.

According to the World Economic Forum, digital financial inclusion enables major access to investment, credit, and insurance products in Southeast Asia. However, with it, cybersecurity threats have been on the rise. In 2022, 94% of businesses in the region saw an increase in the volume of cyber attacks, as per a recent report by Palo Alto Networks.

Running on a Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) system, LIAPP offers rooting detection, anti-tampering, memory protection, native library protection, and screen capture prevention, among other cyber protection services. Delivering best-in-class performance, LIAPP’s action-based detection technology prevents malicious app attacks by immediately detecting the first hint of tampering or suspicious app activity.

LIAPP constantly evolves to provide utmost security and comply with market regulations. For instance, following Google’s restriction around QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission, LIAPP is still able to protect applications using its action-based detection technology, a distinct competitive advantage over competitors. LIAPP’s plans range from basic protection to LIAPP ENTERPRISE, which safeguards cross-border enterprises such as fintech firms and banks.

Worth US$6 billion in 2020, the application security sector is projected to reach a value of US$33.9 billion by 2030, according to Allied Market Research.


Lockin Company


[email protected]

Source: Lockin Company

Top 10 Innovations in Mobile App Development

These days, we can’t imagine our lives without our mobile phones. The use of mobile apps has increased over the last decade and sped up after the pandemic. According to Statista, there were 7 billion mobile users around the globe in 2021. And it is predicted that this number will grow as people can access technology more easily these days.

Developers are continuously trying hard to create more advancements as the world has moved to mobile-first digital services. Now, each and every industry looks to integrate the latest mobile application development innovations into their business and expand their business to reach the optimum targeted audience.

Let’s see how mobile apps are redefining businesses and what mobile app advancements are in trend in 2023!

How Mobile Applications Are Transforming Businesses

Nowadays, the smartphone is the thing that unlocks digital media success. Basically, it changes operating models, business models, and marketplaces wonderfully. According to Statista, mobile app market revenue is predicted to reach $469 billion by 2022.

Mobile phones provide user-friendly services for both business and personal uses. With the advancement of different technologies, multi-camera support, and quicker, multithreaded processors, businesses have started to depend on mobile applications.

Moreover, users choose Android and iOS-based marketplaces nowadays. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a common theme seen in the mobile app marketplace. It makes workflows more seamless.

Mobile applications help businesses enhance their client service. For example, you can retain more clients and increase loyalty by offering your clients a feasible way of accessing data about your products or services, scheduling appointments, or tracking their order status.

Furthermore, mobile apps let you cross-sell and upsell your products or services by giving clients pertinent details and offers when needed. So another significant benefit of mobile app development is that you can gather essential client information.

You get to know about your clients’ choices and requirements by tracking their use of your app. This information will further help enhance your marketing strategy and better promote your products or services.

Now that you know how mobile apps are transforming different businesses, let’s discuss the latest innovations in the mobile app development sector!

10 Major Innovations in Mobile Application Development

Although many new innovations in mobile app development are evolving this year, we chose these ten major ones after conducting a comprehensive, fact-based study.

1. Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets like Samsung Pay, PhonePe, Google Pay, and Apple Pay are in vogue. According to the latest report, mobile wallet transactions are predicted to reach $13.98 billion in 2022. Hence, we expect the mobile wallet market to double this year.

Smartphone users are gradually choosing mobile transactions. Moreover, they are dependent on app functions for payments on connected wearables. Therefore, every mobile app will have to depend on a mobile wallet in the coming years.

Wallet integration must be an essential feature of app development in 2022. This is because we expect that mobile wallet transactions will increase considerably in the future.

2. Beacon Technology

According to Statista, there were more than 230 billion mobile app users in 2021, which is predicted to increase in the future. Since many people use apps daily, businesses desperately seek to create their own apps. However, it isn’t easy to know where to begin, as there are many options available.

Beacon technology is one of the most innovative technologies in mobile app development. It enables businesses to convey essential notifications and messages to clients depending on locations. For instance, a retail shop can use this technology to notify nearby clients about the latest deals and discounts.

Beacon technology is a vital tool. Businesses that can reap its benefits are expected to be in a strong position in the future. As per the Statista report, the beacon technology market is growing at a compound annual development rate of 59.8%. The predicted market value will reach $56.6 billion by 2026.

3. Predictive Analytics

It is another innovation in the mobile app development sector. By supporting technology for data mining, artificial intelligence, and modeling, predictive analytics can predict events using data. Netflix has been one of the tech giants supporting predictive analytics for years.

Predictive analytics is being applied at a more mainstream level this year for many mobile applications. The main reason is to improve an app’s UI/UX. In addition, OTT and eCommerce platforms leverage it because they use current client data to provide information about their preferences, dislikes, habits, etc. Moreover, this technology helps tailor product recommendations.

Predictive analytics can help organizations benefit from customer data to measure their activities, identify notifications with a great response to tailor the user experience, and recognize pages with the lowest client retention rate.

A statistical report says that 80% of clients can purchase from an online shop that customizes their experience using predictive analytics. Moreover, this technology has helped many online platforms increase their sales by 35%.

4. Super Apps

The approach of one app and one purpose has been changed for mobile app development companies. Now organizations are moving from single-purpose apps to multi-purpose apps. Such applications are known as “Super apps.”

We have seen how Facebook has expanded beyond being a social network. Currently, it provides marketplaces where you can sell or purchase products. Likewise, now you can make payments and pay bills from Amazon aside from online shopping.

Since everybody looks for convenience, super apps are one of the best innovations in the mobile app development industry that we must look forward to this year.

5. P2P Mobile Apps

P2P mobile apps are another innovation in the mobile app development industry. As per eMarketer’s prediction, the projected value of P2P mobile payment transactions will reach $612.23 billion by 2023. Therefore, there is enormous scope for these apps.

P2P mobile apps are becoming popular among individuals and businesses due to their convenience. Buyers can pay fast, and sellers can get paid directly into their accounts. The types of P2P mobile apps that you can see this year are:

  • Cryptocurrency wallets
  • Social hubs with in-built payment features
  • P2P applications that include banks as payment parties
  • Self-reliant providers that are providing their payment systems
  • Mobile operating systems with in-built payment systems, such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, etc.

6. Instant Apps

You may have seen the arrival of instant apps a few years ago. However, you will see an increase in the use and development of Android Instant Apps this year. Android Studio enables developers to create instant apps to enhance their app discovery. Therefore, users can just click on the “try now” button to try the app without installing it.

Due to their size restriction, instant applications will not be a complete app version. However, we expect that these restrictions could change in the future.

Since app users expect a better experience, allowing them to try an app without even installing it is a great approach. If you are building Android apps this year, you must have an instant version.

7. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Last year, AI (Artificial Intelligence) brought many exciting things. We have seen the fantastic success of FaceApp and MyHeritageApp. The realistic animations of these apps brought them ground-breaking success.

Apart from these apps, we found Google introducing new features to Google Maps that use AI to boost the user experience. Live View is one feature that provides users with AR navigation in huge indoor areas. Google also uses artificial intelligence to recommend less carbon-intensive paths for reduced fuel consumption by optimizing directions.

Both AI and ML (Machine Learning) have been one of the topmost innovations for some years. But these technologies are going to see a rise this year and beyond.

Since they provide many perks to help businesses enhance their operations and better serve their clients, businesses must include AI and ML in their mobile app development plans for this year and beyond.

8. 5G Technology

5G technology is one of the latest innovations in the mobile app development sector. This wireless network is highly popular in all industries. 5G is the rise of excellent connectivity practices that provide mobile apps with some valuable features and purposes without hampering their functionalities. Using this technology properly enhances your app development process.

This next-gen wireless technology provides 100 times faster speed than 4G LTE. Therefore, it brings some great possibilities for the app development sector. Also, 5G enables businesses to create more engaging AR and VR experiences, provide clients with real-time data and analytics, and build new efficacy in their functions.

Since 5G technology is becoming more popular this year, we expect to see more transformative and innovative 5G-enabled apps. Therefore, keeping updated on this latest technology trend will be more critical for businesses that need to progress this year and ahead.

9. Wearables

Wearable technology has been a trend for many years. We cannot call it a breakthrough, as we have already seen fitness bands, trackers, and smartwatches. However, wearables are going to get more possibilities for achievement this year.

The constant growth of wearables shows that this innovation will change the way of mobile application development. For example, Apple declared something great about the app and wearable integration at WWDC 2019.

WatchOS 6 has brought the App Store to the Apple Watch. As a result, independent applications are being developed, particularly for these gadgets. This has opened a great scope for content creators and app resellers.

This year, we expect to see more mobile applications built with wearables. Users will get the scope to download many apps straight from their smartwatches, fitness bands, or trackers.

10. Blockchain Technology

During the boom of cryptocurrency, we came to know about blockchain technology. However, now this technology has emerged a lot, and you can apply it in several areas. It is developing significantly, and we can predict it will generate $20 billion in revenue by 2024.

Blockchain has an essential role in mobile app development. Decentralized applications are in demand these days. There are more than 80 million blockchain wallet users, and mobile wallets are the most popular.

We can also see the use of blockchain technology in currency converters for securing digital identity, tracking digital assets, and keeping track of loyalty programs.

This innovation is becoming more popular with anti-piracy software, tools to moderate elections, BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) platforms, and intelligent contracts in 2022 and beyond. Also, we can use this technology in mobile payment and mobile commerce applications to prevent fraud.

Future of Mobile App Development

Technological advancements are continuously evolving and hitting the shelves every year. An extensive array of technologies like AI, ML, 5G, AR, VR, Wearables, Beacon, IoT, Blockchain, Super Apps, Instant Apps, etc., is revolutionizing the mobile app development industry. Moreover, they are bringing plenty of new stipulations for app developers.

Therefore, keeping up with the latest mobile app development innovations is necessary to deliver feature-rich, innovative apps. It is rather essential for a successful mobile app launch. Also, search for a reliable mobile app development partner to make your app idea real.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Mehul Rajput

Mehul Rajput is a CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory, a software development company that provide web and mobile app development services from startup to enterprise level company. His role involves heading the operations related to business and delivery with strategic planning and defining road-map for the future.

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Apple announces biggest upgrade to App Store pricing, adding 700 new price points

Apple announces biggest upgrade to App Store pricing, adding 700 new price points – Latest News

Developers will also gain new flexibility to manage pricing globally

Apple today announced the most comprehensive upgrade to pricing capabilities since the App Store first launched, providing developers with 700 additional price points and new pricing tools that will make it easier to set prices per App Store country or region, manage foreign exchange rate changes, and more.

Since the App Store’s inception, its world-class commerce and payments system has empowered developers to conveniently set up and sell their products and services on a global scale. The App Store’s commerce and payments system offers developers an ever-expanding set of capabilities and tools to grow their businesses, from frictionless checkout and transparent invoicing for users to robust marketing tools, tax and fraud services, and refund management.

Pricing has been foundational to these capabilities, enabling developers to choose from a variety of business models, such as one-time purchases and multiple subscription types. These new pricing enhancements will be available for apps offering auto-renewable subscriptions starting today, and for all other apps and in-app purchases in spring 2023, giving all developers unprecedented flexibility and control to price their products in 45 currencies throughout 175 storefronts.

Under the updated App Store pricing system, all developers will have the ability to select from 900 price points, which is nearly 10 times the number of price points previously available for most apps. This includes 600 new price points to choose from, with an additional 100 higher price points available upon request. To provide developers around the world with even more flexibility, price points — which will start as low as $0.29 and, upon request, go up to $10,000 — will offer an enhanced selection of price points, increasing incrementally across price ranges (for example, every $0.10 up to $10; every $0.50 between $10 and $50; etc.). See the table below for details.

In each of the App Store’s 175 storefronts, developers will be able to leverage additional pricing conventions, including those that begin with two repeating digits (e.g., ₩110,000), and will be able to price products beyond $0.99 or €X.99 endings to incorporate rounded price endings (e.g., x.00 or x.90), which are particularly useful for managing bundles and annual plans.

Starting today, developers of subscription apps will also be able to manage currency and taxes across storefronts more effortlessly by choosing a local storefront they know best as the basis for automatically generating prices across the other 174 storefronts and 44 currencies. Developers will still be able to define prices per storefront if they wish. The pricing capability by storefront will expand to all other apps in spring 2023.

For developers distributing their apps around the world, the App Store’s global equalization tools have given them a simple and convenient way to manage pricing across international markets. Today’s enhancements expand upon these capabilities, allowing developers to keep their local currency constant in any storefront of their choice, even as foreign exchange and taxes fluctuate. This means, for example, a Japanese game developer who gets most of their business from Japanese customers can set their price for the Japan storefront, and have their prices outside of the country update as foreign exchange and tax rates change. All developers will also be able to define availability of in-app purchases by storefront.

Periodically, Apple updates prices in certain regions based on changes in taxes and foreign exchange rates. This is done using publicly available exchange rate information from financial data providers to help ensure prices for in-app purchases stay equalized across all storefronts. Currently, developers can adjust pricing at any time to react to tax and foreign currency adjustments. Coming in 2023, developers with paid apps and in-app purchases will be able to set local territory pricing, which will not be impacted by automatic price adjustments.

These newly announced tools, which will begin rolling out today and continue throughout 2023, will create even more flexibility for developers to price their products while staying approachable to the hundreds of millions of users Apple serves worldwide, and in turn help developers continue to thrive on the App Store.

Learn more about auto-renewable subscriptions

Learn about pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions