Is this the beginning of the end for the Apple Store ?

Is this the beginning of the end for the Apple Store ?

The end of Apple's monopoly on app sales for iPhone and iPad is giving rise to new competing stores to the App Store. One such store is Setapp, which offers a catalog of applications through a monthly subscription.

The mobile app landscape is on the verge of a major transformation as Apple relinquishes its tight control over iPhone app distribution due to the new European law, Digital Market Act (DMA). Enforced to comply with the DMA, Apple must open up its ecosystem and allow alternative app stores. This shift, set to be in effect by March 2024, marks a revolutionary change for users and developers, despite Apple retaining control through specified conditions. Notable players like Microsoft, Amazon, and smaller entrants like Setapp are gearing up for this new era.

Microsoft is poised to launch its own app and game store for mobile, the Xbox Store, in 2024. Setapp, a Ukrainian developer specializing in iOS and macOS apps via subscriptions, is also entering the scene with its own app store. The developer, MacPaw, acknowledges the encouraging progress but emphasizes the ongoing journey towards a fully competitive iOS market.

Setapp's developers are in the final stages of crafting the beta version of their app store, slated for release in 2024. Current subscription models for Mac usage range from $9.99 to $14.99 per month, offering unlimited access to a variety of applications. Setapp plans to extend this model to its iOS store, offering a diverse collection of mobile applications, akin to the Netflix model for iOS. Thirty developers, including Ulysses, Taskheat, NotePlan, Soulver, PDFSearch, and CleanMyMac, have already partnered with Setapp.

The developer is engaging in discussions with existing and potential developers, highlighting advantages over Apple's App Store, particularly in terms of compensation. While Apple previously deducted 15 to 30% of third-party developer revenues, Setapp offers a more favorable commission rate. Through a bonus system, developers can retain up to 90% of their sales, fostering a mutually beneficial ecosystem. However, Apple's reduction of its commission to 17% (10% for small developers) has impacted the attractiveness of Setapp's proposal.

MacPaw pledges to handle commercial aspects and distribution for developers, allowing them to concentrate on their work. Developers interested in participating in this venture can join the waiting list. It's essential to note that even with apps distributed outside the App Store, Apple will continue to collect commissions, raising concerns among developers, including Microsoft and Spotify.