How Will Apple Play the Digital Markets Act? — John Gruber, Daring Fireball
The Sub Club PodcastDecember 21, 2022
53
01:11:3065.53 MB

How Will Apple Play the Digital Markets Act? — John Gruber, Daring Fireball

On the podcast we talk with John about the far reaching implications of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, how app developers should be thinking about the opportunities created, and why Apple making so much money from the App Store might be bad for Apple long-term.

On the podcast we talk with John about the far reaching implications of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, how app developers should be thinking about the opportunities created, and why Apple making so much money from the App Store might be bad for Apple long-term.


Top Takeaways
⚖️ The EC’s DMA is set to shake things up in a big way — but how isn’t completely clear
🪟 Don’t panic, app developers — the DMA creates opportunities, too
🤑 The profitability of the App Store might not be good for Apple in the long-term

About John Gruber
👨‍💻 John runs Daring Fireball, is host of The Talk Show podcast, and co-hosts the Dithering podcast.
💡 “One of the rules in the App Store is that you cannot explain the rules of the App Store in your app.”
👋 Twitter

Links & Resources
Mark Gurman’s article on how Apple is responding to the EU’s DMA
If a Third-Party App Store Falls in the Forest and No One Uses It, Does It Make a Sound?
Check out Daring Fireball
The Dithering podcast
The Talk Show

Follow us on Twitter
David Barnard
Jacob Eiting
RevenueCat
Sub Club

Episode Highlights

[2:03] Get ready: The European Commission’s 100-page Digital Markets Act is going to seriously shake things up in a major bid to regulate big tech. But what is it, what does it mean, and who does it apply to?
[11:00] Keeping it cordial: Apple’s relationship with the Japan Fair Trade Commission during similar legislation was respectful. It’s not clear the same can be said of their dealings with the EU.
[13:24] The ABCs of USB: Whatever your feelings on legal mandates for USB ports, at least it’s clear. Not so with the DMA, John argues.
[18:14] We don’t care: John believes that the EC’s priorities aren’t aligned with developers or consumers. There are lessons from the Dutch case of dating apps with a huge 27% commission charged by Apple, as well as constraints on Netflix selling inside the app.
[24:26] Payment processing vs. licensing: 30% is a very expensive payment processing fee. But Apple views it as a licensing fee — a privilege to run your software on their system.
[38:07] The eye of the apple: Will Apple soften up or is it just money-grabbing? Apps have morphed as Apple didn’t realize how popular the iPhone could become, and App Store commission is a large part of its current growth.
[44:37] Multiplatform allure: If Apple is seen as an untrustworthy partner with poor App Store management, developers might want to develop across different platforms and avoid relying solely on Apple — even if its exclusive apps have typically been the most successful.
[51:21] What gives, Google?: Despite being allowed, there’s a mystery around why sideloading and third-party app stores never really took off with Android. (Hint: They can’t reach mass adoption.)
[58:26] The two big turning points: The DMA makes clear that within the app, apps can talk about outside payments, which means Apple now has to compete with web payments. Can Apple charge its commission on sideloaded apps and/or 3rd party app stores?
[1:01:08] Global continuity: Even a fully enforced DMA isn’t existential for Apple. The question of when they’re going to do right by the platform is up for debate.