A small email application was killed by Apple for failing to pay a 30% “guarantee” fee, sparking fierce protests.

Tram Ho

Basecamp technology director David Heinemeier Hansson repeatedly criticized Apple for refusing to update Hey email app on the App Store. The incident came shortly after the European Commission announced its conduct of an antitrust investigation of Apple’s App Store.

Basecamp Hey is a newly launched email client that offers different experiences from traditional email applications like Gmail. Hey requires users to pay an annual subscription fee of 99 USD, but also offers a free trial period. However, if only stop there, the story has nothing to discuss.

Một ứng dụng email bé nhỏ bị Apple giết chết vì dám không nộp phí bảo kê 30%, làm dấy lên làn sóng phản đối gay gắt - Ảnh 1.

The application seeks to not share 30% of revenue for Apple

Hey 1.0 was approved by Apple to launch on the App Store, just last week. But Apple reconsidered when Basecamp released the 1.0.1 update to fix the bug. A call and an email from Apple to Basecamp, said that the Hey application needs to perform the registration steps through the App Store payment system. Otherwise, the application will be deleted.

According to Hansson, Apple told Basecamp that Hey violated rule 3.1.1 in the App Store’s code of conduct. The following is the verbatim rule 3.1.1:

“If you want to unlock features or services in your app (for example, subscribing to a game, adding money to a game, accessing premium content or unlocking the full version), you must Use in-app purchase feature. Apps are not allowed to use separate mechanisms to unlock content or features. The application is also not allowed to use links, affiliate buttons or any recommendations that direct users to other forms of payment outside. “

Một ứng dụng email bé nhỏ bị Apple giết chết vì dám không nộp phí bảo kê 30%, làm dấy lên làn sóng phản đối gay gắt - Ảnh 2.

Hey app does not allow users to register a subscription right in the app. Instead, users visit the Hey website to sign up, through Basecamp’s own payment channel. Like many other popular applications is Spotify or Netflix. The goal is to not share 30% of revenue for the App Store.

However, the confusing thing is that Hey 1.0 version has been accepted by Apple, while hey version 1.0.1 only fixes some minor errors and does not change the subscription form, it is rejected by Apple. Japan. The reason behind this is because Apple has one more rule, which is never open to developers.

According to the share of editor David Pierce at Protocol, who closely monitored the incident, Apple has an undisclosed secret to the developers:

“Apple told me that the real mistake was approving the app in the first place, when the app didn’t comply with the App Store rules. Apple allows apps of this type (applications that only allow logging in without the registration feature) for enterprise services, not for users. That’s why Basecamp (enterprise apps) is allowed on the App Store, and Hey (apps for users) is not allowed. ”

Another thing: “Apple allows ‘Reader’ applications, like Netflix or Kindle or Dropbox. These apps allow users to sign up for a subscription without going through the App Store’s in-app purchase. But email, messaging and other apps don’t count as Reader apps. ”

The developer community resented Apple

The developer community reacted harshly after this incident and was extremely indignant towards Apple. Because the rules were not clarified in the App Store manual. The long-standing indignation of developers also stems from the belief that the App Store taking 30% of the registration revenue from applications is unwarranted.

Một ứng dụng email bé nhỏ bị Apple giết chết vì dám không nộp phí bảo kê 30%, làm dấy lên làn sóng phản đối gay gắt - Ảnh 3.

Basecamp’s CTO David Heinemeier Hansson insisted that he would not make changes at Apple’s request: “Even in 1 million years, we will never pay Apple a third of its revenue. yourself. It is a criminal act. And we will spend every dollar we have to get rid of that, to bring us to a better place. ”

On his Twitter page, Mr. Hansson constantly compared Apple as a gangster, blocking money from genuine business people, only that Apple has not been touched by the law. Although there have been many complaints like the case of Spotify, so far those complaints have not been resolved.

The reason Apple is able to freely set its “tax” rate to 30% is due to exclusivity. “Why do credit card transaction fees only fluctuate between 1.8 – 2.8%, while Apple’s App Store is set to charge 30%? It is because there is no competition. They have a monopoly, so they can decide everything themselves , Mr. Hansson said.

Reference: arstechnica

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Source : Genk