Apple wants you to know it chose not to take a cut of $400 billion in physical goods

Apple is trying to convince a judge that it’s not milking the App Store for all it’s worth, and today the company dropped some big numbers to help make its case. Apple claims that its App Store drove $400 billion worth of physical purchases in a single year in 2019, and that — unlike digital purchases and subscriptions — Apple doesn’t take a cent of that money.

App Store drove

App Store drove

That’s according to App Store boss and longtime Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller, who also testified that the company spends a staggering $50 million a year to throw its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) event. The company’s also building a new developer center at its Apple Loop headquarters in Cupertino, he says, though I didn’t catch how much the company’s investing in that. None of these are included in the App Store’s budget, Schiller testified.

Why isn’t Apple trying to take a cut of physical purchases? During his testimony, Schiller explained that Apple couldn’t guarantee they would actually arrive.

But I also imagine it might have been a hard sell with developers: can Apple really argue that it drove those $400 billion in purchases by itself? If I’m going to buy something online, I’ll probably start by whipping out my phone, but I’ve got a laptop with a perfectly good web browser right here to buy those same items, if an app doesn’t immediately do the job. Amazon knows this, and used it to bypass Apple’s digital cut on movies and shows, too, until it got a better deal. (Digital books are a different matter.)


content editor at zino.

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