Apple threatens to remove Hey.com email App from Apple Store if the developers don’t share 15-30% of revenue with them
Hey.com is the latest entrant into the already clouded email providers space but it says it’s different and it is worth trying out. Hey.com email services are available for Windows 10, Linux, macOS, Android smartphones/tablets, and iPhones/iPads. However, now its association with Apple faces a unique problem. Apple has threatened to remove the Hey.com App from its App store unless the developers, Basecamp share an outrageous 15 to 30% share of their revenue with Apple.
Basecamp CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson says that Apple threatened to remove their App if they don’t offer an in-app subscription service to the Apple users. Apple has also demanded a hefty share from Hey’s revenue for hosting it on Apple Store. In a tweetstorm yesterday, Hansson said that Apple was not only greedy but unethical.
Wow. I'm literally stunned. Apple just doubled down on their rejection of HEY's ability to provide bug fixes and new features, unless we submit to their outrageous demand of 15-30% of our revenue. Even worse: We're told that unless we comply, they'll REMOVE THE APP.
— DHH (@dhh) June 16, 2020
Apple has declined to comment on the issue but incidentally told the website, Protocol that the app shouldn’t have been approved in the first place. The reason Apple gave confirms Hansson’s allegations.
Here is what happened. When Hey.com was preparing for a grand launch of its email services worldwide, it received an email from Apple saying that their latest version of Hey.com iOS app, 1.0.1 had been rejected by the App Store reviewers. It cited rule 3.1.1 of Apple’s guidelines for app developers, which says in essence that if you want people to be able to buy stuff in your app, you need to do it using Apple’s payments system. The Hey dev team submitted Hey email App version 1.0.2 which had the bug fixes mentioned by Apple, to sort the issues out.
However, Apple was not happy. It kept the Hey iOS 1.0.2. hanging and sent Basecamp a notice. “We noticed that your app allows customers to access content, subscriptions, or features they have purchased elsewhere, but those items were not available as in-app purchases within the app,” Basically, they want Hey team to use Apple’s own in-App subscription instead of the Hey’s own universal subscription window through its own gateway. Hansson also pointed out that Apple demanded a hefty 15to30% of the commission the App will generate when Hey starts using its native in-App subscription service.
It seems independent developers don’t much say or a choice if they want to opt for the global monopolistic stores like Apple Store. They just have to follow orders.
Now you know how Apple got to be a trillion-dollar company.