Apple to reward small businesses that make apps

New programme from Apple reduces App Store commission to 15pc for small businesses earning up to $1m per year.

Let’s face it, in 2020 every business is a digital business. And as well as many joining the race to sell online because of the pandemic it is only a matter of time before regular businesses and not just tech businesses are also creating their own apps.

Adding spice to this heady mix tech giant Apple, which this week celebrated 40 years operating in Cork, has revealed a new developer programme to accelerate innovation and help small businesses and independent developers propel their businesses forward with the next generation of ground-breaking apps on the App Store.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world”

The new App Store Small Business Program will benefit the vast majority of developers who sell digital goods and services on the store, providing them with a reduced commission on paid apps and in-app purchases.

Developers who make iOS, Mac, HomeOS and WatchOS apps can qualify for the programme and a reduced 15pc commission (down from 30pc) if they earned up to $1m in proceeds during the previous calendar year.

The importance of small businesses

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that apps have taken on new importance as businesses adapt to a virtual world during the pandemic, and many small businesses have launched or dramatically grown their digital presence in order to continue to reach their customers and communities.

The programme’s reduced commission means small developers and aspiring entrepreneurs will have more resources to invest in and grow their businesses in the App Store ecosystem.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world.

“We’re launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love. 

“The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea. Our new program carries that progress forward — helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people’s lives.”

Under the programme, existing developers who made up to $1m in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission. 

If a participating developer surpasses the $1m threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year. If a developer’s business falls below the $1m threshold in a future calendar year, they can re-qualify for the 15 per cent commission the year after. 

Main image at top: Apple CEO Tim Cook during a visit to Dublin games firm WarDucks earlier this year.

By John Kennedy (

Published: 19 November, 2020