Apple Offered Special App Store API Access to Hulu and Other Developers
Sure hope Apple exposes that to the rest of us at some point. Google Play enables designers to set off cancellations and its terrific for consumer support.
— David Barnard (@drbarnard) May 6, 2021
Prior to when Epic Games implemented its own purchase options and started this whole legal fight, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney asked Apple for a special offer that would allow it to bypass the in-app purchase system, which Apple denied. Simply today Sweeney also stated that he would have accepted unique terms from Apple for lower App Store commission.
Sure hope Apple exposes that to the rest of us at some point. Google Play enables developers to set off cancellations and its excellent for client assistance.
Today is the 4th day of the Epic Games v. Apple legal battle, and documents shared in the trial continue to give us insight into the App Store and Apples business practices.
App Store Vice President Matt Fischer is on the stand answering questions from Apple and Epic lawyers, and among the e-mails shared as evidence confirms that Apple has developed special deals with major app designers like Hulu.
In 2018, a tweet from developer David Barnard commented about App Store memberships being immediately cancelled through the StoreKit API, questioning why there had not been more deals to swap billing far from the App Store.
Matt Fischer asked Cindy Lin about it, and she discussed that Hulu is a designer with unique access to a membership cancel/refund API.
Hulu becomes part of the set of whitelisted designers with access to subscription cancel/refund API. Back in 2015 they were using this to support immediate upgrade using a 2 family setup, before we had membership upgrade/downgrade abilities integrated in.
Apple does not more detail who other designers with unique access may have remained in the correspondence, but these are not features that all developers have access to.
Apple has long stated that the App Store provides a “level playing field” that treats all apps in the App Store the very same with one set of rules for everyone and no unique terms or unique offers, but its clear that some apps are indeed provided with special opportunities.
Heres are the documents where Apple staff members speak about white-listing business like Hulu for privelaged usage of App Store APIs, like the cancel/refund API. pic.twitter.com/zG9FhI7aSe
— Nick Statt (@nickstatt) May 6, 2021
Fischer was asked particularly whether Apple has provided some designers unique access to allow them to do things that other designers do not get to do, and Fischer said no, however he stated that Apple often desires to check a function with a small group prior to offering it to all developers.