The Developer Union Wants To Negotiate Nicely With Apple
The Developer Union Wants To Negotiate Nicely With Apple
Written by Lucy Black   
Monday, 21 May 2018

After the publication of an open letter to Apple, asking it to allow free trials for all apps in the App Store by July 2019, developers are flocking to join a newly formed group which aims to campaign for sustainability in the App Store.

 

appledev

 

Styled "The Developers Union" the group has been founded by a gang-of-four - Brent Simmons, Jake Schumacher, Loren Morris and Roger Ogden - with the aim of getting a better deal for developers from Apple.

Its website has as, in lieu of a mission statement, this appeal to Apple's better nature:

dearapple

 

It is in the very essence of the app store model - be it Apple's, Google's, Microsoft's, Amazon's or one of the smaller fry of the species, that the developer doesn't have a say in the terms and conditions under which an app is sold. If you want your app to be included you play by the rules. In particular, it is notoriously difficult to get Apple to listen to individual developers, so the idea of The Developer's Union appears to be strength in numbers. And in this respect it seems to have got off to a good start with over 880 sign ups to date - split between Apps, i.e. those affected by Apple's policies; and People, who want to support their cause.

The Developer's Union appears to be treading carefully by asking for a relatively small concession in moderate terms. Indeed, Brent Simmons one of the four founders of the Developers Union is at pains to dispel any ideas that there is any animosity in this approach. He writes on his blog:

Some of the press coverage about The Developers Union uses words like “angry” and “fed up.” These aren’t accurate characterizations at all. Nobody’s mad here!

But here‘s the deal: Apple controls the App Store and its economics. The system could be set up better to support high-quality apps, by indies, that last for years.

Apple doesn’t have to, of course. But we can ask! It’s totally okay to ask, so we are.

While the link goes to an earlier post on his blog, inessential.com, which suggests that Simmons feels the Apple's 30% share of revenue is too high, the demand being made first by The Developer Union is  free trials for all apps. On his blog Simmons expands:

We think that an important first step would be a standardized, App-Store-supported way of offering free trials... Trial versions have worked great for years for indie Mac developers, before the App Store, and we think it would benefit indies on the iOS and Mac App Stores.
And the platform would get better — and more sustainable — apps. Everyone wins!

The letter to Apple does end with a mention of "a more reasonable revenue cut" so the new group has put its cards on the table. This may of course be in order to encourage others to join in more than to pressure Apple. One recent development that might affect the 30% cut that is common across the Apple, Amazon and Google app stores is that Microsoft recently announced a cut to its share of revenue to 5% in the case of non-games apps for Windows 10.

We have yet to see what Apple's response will be - if indeed Apple makes any response. 

 

More Information

Developers Union.org

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Last Updated ( Monday, 21 May 2018 )
 
 

   
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