Displaying items by tag: App Store

War of words between Spotify and Apple escalates

Written on Sunday, 17 March 2019 12:53

Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple to the European Commission. Spotify claims that Apple gives itself an “unfair advantage at every turn” as it takes a 30 per cent cut of digital goods sold via iOS apps.

Published in Apps

Apple Inc. reported strong Q4 results on Tuesday, 31 January, ending a streak of previous unfavorable financial reports in 2016. A rebound in iPhone sales saw Apple’s profits lifted to record revenue in the past quarter which has eased concerns of slowing growth for the company.

Apple launched its new iPhone 7 model last September which proved to be a strong money-maker for the company, even as profits dipped 2.6 percent to $17.9 billion. Apple’s revenue reached an all-time record $78.4 billion compared with $75.9 billion in the same period the year before, according to the company’s earnings update for the fiscal first quarter ending in December.

In addition, Apple saw its shares rise more than three percent to $125.19 in after-market trades that followed the release of its earnings results. The report shows that Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones during the primetime holiday shopping period, which was up five percent from the same time the previous year.

iPhones account for Apple’s main source of revenue, therefore the strong sales will ease investor concerns after the company experience three quarters of sales decline.

“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way,” said Apple chief executive, Tim Cook in the earnings release. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, services, Mac and Apple Watch.”

Cook added that revenue grew from online services and digital content, which was led by unprecedented customer activity at Apple’s online App Store, which welcomed 2017 with its busiest single day ever on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), capping a record-breaking holiday season and a year of unprecedented developer earnings and breakout app hits.

“I have not yet done the numbers, but I think Apple had the best quarter in the history of humanity,” said Asymco analyst Horace Dediu in a comment on Twitter. The only place where Apple didn’t see such strong growth was in China, where it saw revenue drop 12 percent to $16.2 billion, according to the earnings report.

Speaking about the success of Apple’s iPhone 7 which clearly sold well, Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm GlobalData Retail, said: “While it is arguably not a groundbreaking step forward in terms of new features and functionality, it is clear that Apple did enough to stimulate interest and persuade many consumers to upgrade.”

Published in Finance

Apple announced that the App Store welcomed 2017 with its busiest single day ever on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), capping a record-breaking holiday season and a year of unprecedented developer earnings and breakout app hits. In 2016 alone, developers earned over $20 billion, up over 40 percent from 2015. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion, creating app experiences for App Store customers across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.

Those efforts helped kick off 2017 with a remarkable start, making New Year’s Day the highest single day ever for the App Store with nearly $240 million in purchases.

“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives.”

Customers broke all-time records this holiday season with purchases from the App Store topping $3 billion in December. In the same month, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run made history with more than 40 million downloads in just four days after its release, and was the most downloaded app globally on Christmas and New Year’s Day, Apple reported.

Super Mario Run is also among last year’s top 10 most downloaded apps worldwide, with Pokémon Go taking the top spot. Pokémon Go, a beloved game from Niantic, quickly became a cultural phenomenon in mid-2016.

Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro, from some of Apple's independent developers, were among the most successful apps for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac, respectively. The App Store offers 2.2 million apps in total, up over 20 percent from last year.

The App Store’s top-grossing markets include the US, China, Japan and the UK, with China experiencing record year-over-year growth at an incredible 90 percent. The global impact of the App Store was captured this past year with two campaigns — Apps for Earth and Games for (RED). In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and (RED), customers were empowered to make a difference, and join the fight against AIDS. The custom content created by each campaign’s participating developers helped raise over $17 million in total for the two organizations.

Published in Apps

2011 monopoly abuse lawsuit comes back to haunt Apple, Inc.

Written on Monday, 16 January 2017 10:15

A lawsuit filed against Apple, Inc. in 2011, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for monopoly abuse regarding Apple’s App Store, was revived recently. A US appeals court received the civil suit on January 12. Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly by making its App Store the only place to purchase iPhone applications. Lack of competition has thus pushed app prices higher.

An appellate court panel in San Francisco, California, reversed a lower court judge's decision to derail the suit on the grounds, iPhone owners were doing business with app creators and not Apple at the online shop, AFP reported.

“The panel reversed the dismissal for lack of statutory standing of an antitrust complaint alleging that Apple, Inc., monopolized and attempted to monopolize the market for iPhone apps,” said the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a written ruling. “The panel held that the plaintiffs were direct purchasers of iPhone apps from Apple, rather than the app developers, and therefore had standing to sue.”

The 2011 lawsuit was brought back to life by the ruling, which could pave the way for a potential massive payout by Apple or even an open market for apps to enter the App Store. After Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the App Store was launched a year later, and became the only place for which applications could be purchased with approval from the California-based company.

Apple has been criticized for taking 30 percent of the price of what third-party developers sold in the App Store, which led to the case being brought forward. Apple defended itself in the motion that got the case dismissed, arguing that iPhone owners were doing business with app makers and therefore lacked the standing to sue Apple in the matter.

However, the appellate panel ruled that Apple "is a distributor of the iPhone apps, selling them directly to purchasers through its App Store." The ruling added: “Because Apple is a distributor, Plaintiffs have standing under Illinois Brick to sue Apple for allegedly monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the sale of iPhone apps.”  

Published in Apps

Reports have surfaced that Californian-based Apple Inc. has a secret dedicated team working on significant user-facing changes to its App Store search results, such as charging developers to promote content. This could be controversial for aspiring app developers with little revenue to spend on advertising, having to compete for space on the App Store with well-established app market leaders who can afford to spend up large. Is it the right thing to do?

Apple reportedly has a team of about 100 or so employees dedicated to this initiative, which focuses on modifying and streamlining the App Store search result mechanism because of the huge amount of content that is advertised in the App Store. Majority of people today can only name a few apps and don’t realize the sheer scale of the app market as it currently stands.

As of July 2015, Statista reported that Android users were able to choose from about 1.6 million apps, while Apple’s App store isn’t far behind with 1.5 million available apps. With the number of apps growing at a huge velocity, the idea of streamlining Apple’s App Store was bound to happen sooner or later.

There are talks of Apple introducing a new payment scheme that would offer developers the chance to purchase a prominent placement in search results on the Apple App Store. An example of this could be a developer trying to market a navigation app. The developer could pay for the new app to be listed alongside already popular similar apps, such as Google Maps or Waze, when an app user enters the search term ‘maps’. Exposure is important for any app to take off because there are so many for consumers to choose from.

There is no evidence to suggest that Apple is considering extending the idea to featured apps, and it seems unlikely that sponsored content would show up on the company’s well organized homepage. Simply featuring on the App Store homepage has proven to be extremely beneficial for generating popularity and in some cases income for new apps, because many apps are unable to gather enough interest without the necessary exposure. However, opening up the digital storefront to advertisements could be detrimental to customer experience, which is something Apple has to keep in mind.

The Apple team working on developing this new payment scheme appears to be staffed by workers from the recently dismantled iAd team, the mobile advertising platform developed by Apple Inc. for its iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad line of devices. According to Bloomberg, former iAd chief, Todd Teresei, is leading the team, while many of his reports are reportedly coming directly from the old advertising team that was reduced in June 2015. In January, Apple said that it would have new job openings for the employees affected by the iAd App Network closure, which suggests that the new App Store team was taken from the former iAd team.

The Apple App Store, officially introduced in July 2008, is a significant revenue maker for the company; an important asset in creating a solid, memorable and profitable experience for Apple users. More than 100 billion copies of apps have been downloaded from the App Store in just six years. To emphasize the importance of the App Store, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, shuffled executive oversight in December 2015 from iTunes chief, Eddy Cue, to SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, who is the ideal candidate for building the ecosystem and fronting the new Apple App Store developments.

Published in Apps