Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Hey there!

There’s been a lot of commentary recently about the US Supreme Court’s decision to allow a lawsuit to proceed, brought by app users, claiming that Apple has a monopoly over what apps are allowed in the App Store.

I guess they do. And I’m really glad about that.

On the other hand, that suit also claims that that monopoly creates unfair pricing of those apps, because Apple takes a 30% commission.

As someone who sells an app through the App Store, I have to say that I find this accusation not only ludicrous, but the argument and remedy more than a bit dangerous to the end user. And we should all be careful what we wish for, as we just might get it.

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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I want to talk to you today about
Apple V pepper and if you don’t know
what that is
it’s the recent the story is around the
recent Supreme Court ruling that will
allow that case Apple versus pepper to
go forward the case is brought by a
bunch of iOS users who are claiming that
because Apple controls the apps that are
sold in the App Store they control
access to it by developers that and that
they take a 30% commission that that
unnecessarily and unnaturally raises the
prices of all of the apps in the App
Store and you know the lot of the
language around this is that Apple’s
monopoly they have a monopoly over the
App Store and you know III get all the
commentary and there’s an awful lot of
people who would like to jump on the
bandwagon of some anti capitalism
movements and pro socialism movements
and just start to tear apart the tech
companies I think in this particular
case and I have a little bit of I have a
little bit more experience in this than
most people do because for the last ten
years I’ve been selling an app in the
App Store a paid app which is believe me
far in the minority most of the apps on
the App Store are free now a lot of them
contain ads and a lot of them contain
in-app purchases and yes Apple does take
30% and you know if that means that
Apple has a monopoly over the App Store
well then I guess they do and I got to
tell you I’m pretty happy about that
because if you look at the alternative
Apple alone is not a monopoly you don’t
have to buy an iPhone you don’t have to
buy an iPad you don’t have to buy iOS
apps you can get Android you can get
Windows Phone you can get who knows
whatever you want to get you can get
whatever you want
you don’t have to do this but if you are
gonna buy an iPhone or an iPad then I am
really glad that Apple takes care of me
a developer and me a user and here’s
what I mean by that
Apple really tightly controls the
standards by which apps are built the
codebase the data requirements the the
disclosures you know whereas on the
Google side of things on the Android
side of things it’s the wild wild west
it’s why I don’t have a version of
rehearsal Pro for for Android because
it’s this you know this bloodsport when
there’s paid apps that people crack them
and Google doesn’t matter it doesn’t
matter to Google they don’t care they
don’t go after people you know by
cracking them I mean that they figure
out how to decrypt them and put them up
on secondary sites other than Google
Play to allow people to download them
now that happens every so often with
iPhones but Apple goes after those sites
and gets them taken down or they figure
out the loophole that they may have used
to get those apps available and they
close it often it requires what’s called
jailbreaking your iPhone you know I just
find all this ludicrous Apple created
the iPhone they created the stack around
creating apps selling apps apps that are
providing tremendous service to people I
think and if they’re not you know the
marketplace decides and it doesn’t sell
very well my app happens to sell really
well it costs 20 bucks and the basis of
this Apple v pepper case is that because
Apple takes 30% people like me who price
their paid apps naturally make the price
higher I’ll tell you how I came to the
price for my app it’s 20 bucks 20 bucks
is easy to say it’s easy to pay and for
the that the value that it gives you as
a professional tool to relearse rehearse
your lines learn your lines memorize
your scenes manage your auditioning and
work process I mean it’s less than lunch
it’s less than a dinner at no point in
this whole conversation did the idea of
Apple charging me 30% come up other than
me knowing that that was the agreement
that I have if I want to sell in the app
I wouldn’t lower the price if that
percentage was lower I wouldn’t argue
they wanted to lower the percentage but
I look at what I get for that 30% first
of all I get security review I get
distribution I get discoverability which
means people can find it in the App
Store they don’t have to go a million
different places to find it I get
payment management and processing I
basically get money and you know
delivered to my bank account once a
month for however much I sold that month
and I don’t have to worry about credit
cards being bad I don’t have to worry
about chargebacks I don’t have to worry
about any of that stuff there’s one
other thing that I want to talk about
that’s promotion you know I was on the
front page of the App Store the first
day we came out and just about two weeks
ago as well and you know they give us
that promotion we get a bump in the in
the number of sales for us not that much
because it’s a very specific app for
very specific users you professional
actors but that whole idea of of payment
processing and the ease with which the
money comes from the user to me is
really valuable in addition this case
centers around the fact that the Supreme
Court ruled that all of the people who
buy are buying directly from me and
they’re actually not they’re buying my
product through a retailer Apple if they
want a refund
they don’t come to me they go to Apple
in the general marketplace the wholesale
resale marketplace it’s usually a 50
9 markup or doubling if not somewhere
around there anywhere between fifty and
a hundred percent if someone sells
something wholesale to a retailer for $1
there’s a very good likelihood that the
retailer will mark it up 50 cents or $1
to sell it retail wise so I just don’t I
don’t understand why this is a why this
is even an argument but I I do
understand that we live in times where
anything that’s big anything that’s big
business and tech is certainly big
business is under fire it’s under under
siege and it just drives me a little bit
the price setting is not based on what
Apple takes at least for me I feel like
if you’ve got you gotta go get headshots
done or you’ve got to go take a class 1
class my tool which you can use forever
it’s a one-time payment is gonna be
worth a lot more than that and $20 is a
freaking bargain
so that was my strategy and by the way
Apple I’m really more than happy to
testify on your behalf because I just
think this is a witch hunt I
I just find it ludicrous and so there
you go I’d love to know what you think
though I’d love to know if you’ve bought
apps and you felt they were way too
expensive you know those free apps that
you get or the in-app purchases that you
get or subscriptions that you get or the
apps that you paid for do you think that
the 30% that Apple takes makes a
difference do you think that’s why
people price their apps the way they do
I don’t know tell me give me a comment
below tell me if you think that it’s a
big old ripoff to go and buy an app in
the App Store if you think it’s it’s you
know actually a pretty pretty decent
bargain for what you get for your money
I’d love to know if you are watching
this on anywhere but vo to go go like
over on YouTube where we house these
videos go ahead and go to vo to go grow
cuz we’ve got some really great stuff
for you over there lots of freebies lots
of stuff that doesn’t cost anything no
30% markup and if you’d like to
subscribe to my channel agree or
disagree if you’d like to subscribe to
my channel go ahead and click my head
there if there’s no head there’s a
subscribe button somewhere on the page
and if you’d like to see the latest
episode I’ve done click on that frame
and YouTube will play it for you I’m
David H Lawrence the 17th I thank you so
much for watching and I’ll talk to you

One Response to Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

  1. ed waldorph May 28, 2019 at 9:34 am #

    This is a knotty subject, particularly in the current socioeconomic movement. I don’t think it is the subject that anti-capitalists or even the Capitalist Reform movement should use as a bellwether. Folks today have no idea what a real monopoly is—although they soon may, if current political forces proceed unchecked.

    The closest to this legal theory I can come to is the ages old case against the monolith AT&T brought by upstart Phonemate in the late ’60s. That was back when there was only one phone company and it was lovingly called Ma Bell. AT&T had resisted the answering machine for years—in fact Bell Labs had invented a perfectly serviceable machine in the early 1900s.

    Ma Bell was nothing like a mother, except when it came to protecting her child, AT&T. She was fierce. She couched her monopolistic fervor as protection of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN.) She refused to allow connection of any device (which usually meant answering machines,) to the system—claiming they could damage it.

    They were right about one thing, Phonemate sued and the Supremes came down hard on AT&T. Phone mate won and started no only a new industry, but paved the way for dial-up modems and unfettered public access to the Internet. The PSTN has never been the same.

    That debacle caught the attention of congress and soon after, Ma Bell was was gone.

    In a time when the majority of users actually want Google to be more like Apple, at least in this department, I hope this suit dies an ignominious death in the lower courts.

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