App store changes cost Apple next to nothing

Apple is moving slowly with regard to the monopoly allegations in the App Store: for example, improvements for developers in the application store have recently been made through out-of-court settlement or instructions from foreign regulatory authorities. But that is exactly what a well-known Apple analyst now writes.

Katy Huberty of the bank Morgan Stanley believes that the changes implemented so far mean a profit reduction of maybe one to two percent per share for Apple – calculated for the fiscal year 2022 and as a “worst case” scenario. In the future, Apple will allow so-called reader apps to set links to their own website, where users can then (possibly) take out cheaper subscriptions in which Apple no longer receives its usual 30 percent commission (and 15 percent commission from the second year of subscription) .

However, these are also apps that have so far not offered any in-app sales – just to bypass Apple’s commission. For example, you can only read in Amazon’s Kindle app, and Netflix and Spotify have removed the option of logging in to the apps via Apple’s system, so only legacy customers carry around with them.

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You can see that the app store sales by the top 10 “reader” apps make up less than 8 percent. The financial risk of bypassing Apple’s system for in-app purchases is correspondingly small. So far, the group had strictly forbidden that “reader” apps link to the website of a provider, which led to interesting user contortions. At large companies such as Spotify, Netflix or Amazon, however, users quickly understood that they had to visit their sites to subscribe.

Huberty continued to calculate the potential revenue risks for Apple. In the worst case scenario, a decline of 4 percent in the services business or 1 percent of total sales can be expected. “In other words, the last headlines around the App Store are more attention-grabbing than the actual negative financial impact on Apple’s sales and profits,” said Huberty.

As a further innovation, Apple had for the first time allowed smaller developers to contact app users more easily directly by e-mail. However, this feature is difficult to implement and it does not address any structural problems in the App Store. Here, too, there is unlikely to be any impact on sales.


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