Some of Apple’s biggest critics (including Epic Games, Spotify, Basecamp, Match Group, Tile, Blix, and Deezer) have formed the App Fairness Alliance, which aims to “make App companies and let people freely choose devices.”
Although most of the founding members have fought alone or with Apple over its App Store policy, the App Fairness Alliance marked a greater effort by developers to formally protest Apple’s rules. The purpose is also to provide a central organization for developers, especially those who may not have influence or resources to take on Apple alone.
The alliance stated that it welcomes “companies of any size in any industry that are committed to protecting consumer choice, promoting competition, and creating a level playing field for all app and game developers worldwide.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games, said in a statement announcing the news: “We have joined the App Fair Alliance to defend the basic rights of creators to develop apps and conduct business directly with customers. .”
The App Fairness Alliance has raised three main points of contention: Apple cut 30% of any payments sold through stores, lack of any other competitive options for distributing apps on iOS, and claims that Apple uses control over iOS to support its apps themselves Service.
These are not new allegations. For example, Spotify has formally filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in the EU on many issues. Basecamp clashed with Apple earlier this year, claiming that Apple refused to approve future updates of its Hey email app unless it sold subscriptions through the Apple store. Blix claimed that Apple stole the idea of anonymous email login and then launched it from the App Store. (The company had previously tried to recruit other developers to participate.) Tile testified in Congress that Apple’s use of its platform weakened the usability of its products on iOS. Of course, Epic launched an all-out war against Apple’s 30% price reduction, which resulted in the world’s largest game being completely removed from the App Store.
The App Fairness Alliance has put forward a proposed code of conduct and requires Apple and other platform owners to adopt it. Their goals are ambitious and include asking developers not to be forced to use exclusive app stores, all developers should have the same access to technical information as platform owners, and developers should not be forced to pay “unfair and unreasonable” cost of”. Or discriminatory fees or revenue sharing” in order to be listed in the app store.
App Fairness Alliance hopes to have an impact on Apple through a unified developer front. But even if other developers flocked in, Apple still has all the cards. Although Spotify, Match, Basecamp and other companies are protesting Apple’s rules, in the end, they still put their apps in the App Store and pay for Apple. As long as this is the case, as long as there is no legal intervention, it is difficult to see Apple acquiescing to any of these requirements-no matter how many developers complain.