Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and his team addressed one of their most important audiences, kicking off an annual conference for app developers at a time the iPhone maker is defending itself in court over its App Store practices.
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference was held online for second consecutive year because of the pandemic. This has typically attracted thousands of app developers, in which many of whom are hoping the company will be listening to their concerns. Prominent developer and technology podcast host Marco Arment had argued in a blog post that Apple’s leaders need to acknowledge two obvious truths, which are that the apps bring value to Apple and that developers attract customers themselves. It is not just Apple’s show.
Arment wrote that to bully and gaslight developers into thinking that they need to be kissing Apple’s feet for permitting them to add billions of dollars of value to their platform is not only greedy, stingy, and morally reprehensible, but deeply insulting too. Apple also declined to give comment about its App Store policies.
The company said that its App Store practices grow the market for mobile software. And this is by creating an environment for paid apps that consumers trust. The company also highlighted a study it funded that found apps generated about $643 billion in billings and sales last year. In this 90% of which were exempt from Apple’s commissions. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement that the result isn’t just incredible apps for users: it’s jobs, it’s opportunity, and its untold innovation that will power global economies for many years to come.
Ben Bajarin, chief executive at Creative Strategies said that not all developers have negative sentiments. He has been surveying Apple developers and found more than 90% have no plans to stop making apps for Apple devices. Smaller independent developers that make $1 million or less per year and pay smaller fees tend to feel more positive about the value Apple provides. Bajarin said that the developer support is definitely something that’s a pain point.