Apple Loosens Core Technology Fee for Hobbyists and Small Developers

Apple Developer News, with an item from three weeks ago that I thought I’d already linked to but had not:

Today, we’re introducing two additional conditions in which the CTF is not required:

  • First, no CTF is required if a developer has no revenue whatsoever. This includes creating a free app without monetization that is not related to revenue of any kind (physical, digital, advertising, or otherwise). This condition is intended to give students, hobbyists, and other non-commercial developers an opportunity to create a popular app without paying the CTF.

  • Second, small developers (less than €10 million in global annual business revenue) that adopt the alternative business terms receive a 3-year free on-ramp to the CTF to help them create innovative apps and rapidly grow their business. Within this 3-year period, if a small developer that hasn’t previously exceeded one million first annual installs crosses the threshold for the first time, they won’t pay the CTF, even if they continue to exceed one million first annual installs during that time. If a small developer grows to earn global revenue between €10 million and €50 million within the 3-year on-ramp period, they’ll start to pay the CTF after one million first annual installs up to a cap of €1 million per year.

The first item is simple. The second isn’t simple, but still makes the CTF far more palatable, and lower-risk, for small developers. But my main takeaway is that by all outward appearances, it seems like Apple’s DMA compliance plans are holding up, including the CTF. I find the European Commission utterly inscrutable, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes. But right now I think what we see from Apple regarding the DMA is what we’re going to get.

Tuesday, 21 May 2024