Several Bricks Removed from Apple’s Garden Wall

Originally published at: Several Bricks Removed from Apple’s Garden Wall - TidBITS

Apple has dug in its heels against the clamor for changes to its App Store rules, but a couple of recent settlements show that the company is susceptible to pressure.

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There’s a factor I don’t see mentioned in the articles. Refunds and support.

As is, when I get a bad app, or a developer mischarges, or, really, if I just don’t like an app, I can contact Apple and get my money back. That’s HUGE. It means that purchases through Apple devices are essentially risk free.

If that changes, then Apple will have to field calls for numerous apps over which it has no control. And answering those calls costs Apple money. I would think it would be completely reasonable for Apple to charge extra for apps that don’t use the app store charging facilities, likely a higher fee than apps that do, since Apple will constantly be in the position of apologizing ineffectually for those apps and then being forced to make some attempt to route the customer to the appropriate service. Far easier for Apple to handle the call and the issue directly. Overall, that could potentially hurt Apple far more than simply denying third party facilities. They go from being risk-free with extremely good customer support to being mediocre customer support and at least as risky as android.

I can see why Apple would be reluctant. And I’m not sure I want them to cave, either.

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