Apple's App Store draws developer ire and legal challenge

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message: Epic Games was booted from the App Store in 2020 after it triggered an update in its Fortnite game that bypassed the Apple payment system that collects commissions © Chris DELMAS Epic Games was booted from the App Store in 2020 after it triggered an update in its Fortnite game that bypassed the Apple payment system that collects commissions

While Apple chief Tim Cook touts the brand's App Store as an economic miracle, Fortnite-maker Epic Games says developers suffer under its tyranny.

The online shop -- the only way software apps can get onto iPhones or other Apple mobile devices -- is at the heart of a trial opening Monday in a federal court across the bay from San Francisco.

- 'An app for that' -

Apple opened its App Store in July 2008, a year after the release of the first iPhone.

The shop, stocked with mobile apps tailored for devices powered by iOS mobile software, was quickly imitated by rival smartphone makers.

It ignited an entire economy where developers big or small could make money with "an app for that," from games or social networking to summoning car rides or ordering food.

Apps are only allowed onto Apple mobile devices through the App Store, which requires them to abide by rules for privacy and security.

The App Store -- the lone gateway onto the more than one billion iPhones in use around the world -- has grown to include more than 1.8 million apps.

Hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions take place at the App Store each year in what Apple chief Cook has called an "economic miracle."

- Apple's bite -

Apple takes a commission of as much as 30 percent of financial transactions at the App Store, where most apps can be downloaded for free.

In January, Apple reduced its commission to 15 percent for newcomers and developers making less than a million dollars annually.

screen of a cell phone: Apple's App Store -- the only way software apps can get onto iPhones or other Apple mobile devices -- is at the heart of a trial with Epic Games opening in a federal court across the bay from San Francisco © Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS Apple's App Store -- the only way software apps can get onto iPhones or other Apple mobile devices -- is at the heart of a trial with Epic Games opening in a federal court across the bay from San Francisco

Apple had already cut its 30 percent commission in half in the case of paid subscriptions after the first year.


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Apple's App Store draws developer ire and legal challenge