Apple CEO Tim Cook released the following statement alongside the news:Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world. We’re launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love … The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea. Our new program carries that progress forward—helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people’s lives.
Though Apple has not released specific numbers, it's likely that the vast majority of App Store developers are eligible for the program, but they together make up only a small portion of Apple's overall App Store revenue, which was $50 billion last year. This is because big players dominate the revenue, while a sea of smaller developers outnumber the big players in number but definitely not in user spending.This way, Apple is able to deflect some criticisms that its rates are onerous for independent developers while seeing only a relatively small impact on its own bottom line. It won't change the dynamic between Apple and very large developers that have complained about the 30 percent cut, such as Epic Games , though. Those battles are likely to continue.
It might be useful ammunition in the PR and legal battles over proposed antitrust regulation or action that the company faces, particularly in the European Union but increasingly in the United States as well.
This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.
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