Phil Schiller iPhone 11 keynoteSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook will face antitrust questions at a committee hearing tomorrow.
  • Phil Schiller has defended Apple's App Store in advance of the hearing.
  • He says it was designed to make sure everyone was treated the same.

Apple's Phil Schiller has defended the App Store on the eve of Tim Cook's testimony before a House antitrust committee.

As Reuters reports:

Apple tightly controls the App Store, which forms the centerpiece of its $46.3 billion-per-year services business. Developers have criticized Apple's commissions of between 15% and 30% on many App Store purchases, its prohibitions on courting customers for outside signs-ups, and what some developers see as an opaque and unpredictable app-vetting process.

But when the App Store launched in 2008 with 500 apps, Apple executives viewed it as an experiment in offering a compellingly low commission rate to attract developers, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing and top executive for the App Store, told Reuters in an interview.

Schiller told Reuters that one of the ideas Apple came up with for the App Store was that everybody would be treated the same:

"One of the things we came up with is, we're going to treat all apps in the App Store the same - one set of rules for everybody, no special deals, no special terms, no special code, everything applies to all developers the same. That was not the case in PC software. Nobody thought like that. It was a complete flip around of how the whole system was going to work"

Reuters also spoke to Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies who noted how Apple reset the bar with the App Store, and that the 30% cut that at the time was "better value" than competitors. Speaking to Reuters, Schiller again highlighted how Apple's centralized payment system is more secure and convenient for customers.

You can read the full report here.