The latest news and information about startups and innovations from the mobile world.
This week is all about Apple.
Just two years after becoming the first U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization, Apple has officially doubled its valuation to $2 trillion. Becoming the world’s most valuable company comes with great responsibilities and great cost.
Apple always has a strong opinion on how it thought a good computer ‘should’ work and letting you choose it or not. In the 70s/80s/90s, Apple was just a niche vendor, and some people take Apple’s side and some didn’t. But with the iPhone, Apple is no longer just a niche player. It has become the world’s largest software, media and music platform.
Most importantly, Apple is making a fundamental shift to how a software developer gets paid.
The app store model has been a central part of the smartphone revolution, bringing safe, trusted software to billions of people for the first time. Breaking it would be insane. The trouble is, it also means Apple (and Google) aren’t the pirates anymore - they’re the navy, the port and the customs house, so how do they manage that, and how soon do regulators step in?
That 30% adds up to real money, incidentally. When the store launched, Steve Jobs said it was aiming to break even - the 30% was to cover the running costs, and it is worth remembering how many huge companies are getting the App Store, the manual review and the file downloads to hundreds of millions of users for nothing more than their $100 a year developer subscription. But the App Store is not running at break even anymore: in 2019 it made somewhere between $10bn and $15bn of commission - 20-30% of the ‘service revenue’ Apple likes to talk about.
Big newspapers are joining the growing list of companies complaining about Apple’s policies. A trade body representing newspapers like The New York Times and the Washington Post, sent a letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook wanting to know what they’d need to do to get better terms from Apple for subscriptions sold through their iOS apps.
The letter is, of course, a tool to point out the double standard between the 30% of each transaction that newspaper apps currently have to pay out to Apple in their first year and 15% subsequently, versus the flat 15% deal that Amazon has.
The Trump administration is signaling that U.S. companies can continue to use the WeChat messaging app in China, according to several people familiar with the matter, two weeks after President Donald Trump ordered a U.S. ban on the Chinese-owned service.
From gaming to shopping, payments, and video conferencing, mobile has become a central fixture in consumers’ lives — ingraining new app habits and permanently shifting the consumer landscape to a mobile-first world. Advertising on mobile devices is more important than ever because so many users are forming new habits, making this the optimal time to deliver a new ad or brand message.
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