A nick to Apple’s profits could be a windfall for app developers

A nick to Apple
The exterior of an Apple store in Brooklyn on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. A long-awaited court ruling could have huge implications for small developers and their relationships with Apple’s App Store. (Photo: Gabby Jones/The New York Times)
On Friday, a federal judge ordered Apple to allow app developers to steer their customers off their iPhone apps to pay for their goods or services, which Apple had banned. That is big news for developers, because sales completed outside Apple’s payment systems are not subject to its commission of up to 30 percent.اضافة اعلان

The ruling in Apple’s yearlong legal fight with Epic Games, maker of the popular video game Fortnite, set off celebrations among app developers. From one-person startups to Fortune 500 companies, they have long complained about paying hefty cuts of their businesses to Apple. The impact of the decision will be most felt by the smallest developers.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Denys Zhadanov, a board member at Readdle, which makes five productivity apps. The change could save his company millions of dollars each year, he said.

The court fight has often been framed as a battle between industry heavyweights: Apple, which is worth $2.5 trillion, versus Epic, a far smaller company but still one of the few app makers capable of taking on the Silicon Valley titan.

Friday’s verdict is not expected to be a big hit to Apple’s bottom line. In fact, the company declared victory, since U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Epic had failed to prove that Apple had a monopoly in the mobile gaming market — which would have had a much more serious consequence.

The decision appeared to disappoint Epic. Tim Sweeney, its CEO, said the ruling wasn’t a “win for developers or for consumers.”
There could be a number of barriers to the mandated App Store changes. Apple could ask another judge to temporarily block the order. And both companies could appeal the ruling.

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