Apple announces App Store Small Business Program

“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

While the comprehensive details will be released in early December, the essentials of the program’s participation criteria are easy and streamlined:

  • Existing developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission. 
  • If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year. 
  • If a developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can requalify for the 15 percent commission the year after.

The App Store’s standard commission rate of 30 percent remains in place for apps selling digital goods and services and making more than $1 million in proceeds, defined as a developer’s post-commission earnings. Earlier this year, an independent study by the Analysis Group found that Apple’s commission structure is in the mainstream for app distribution and gaming platforms.

Small business owners will continue to benefit from Apple’s unparalleled suite of developer tools — including development applications, programming languages, a secure payment interface, and more than 250,000 essential software building blocks called APIs. Apple is committed to giving developers the tools to turn their brightest ideas into apps that change the world. Tools like HealthKit give engineers secure access to user health data, ARKit empowers developers to explore new frontiers of augmented reality, and Core ML harnesses the speed and intelligence of machine learning to help developers build powerful features with just a few lines of code.

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