Ahead of its upcoming legal fight with Epic Games, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared new details about its operations in Canada, speaking with a handful of Canadian developers last week in a virtual roundtable.
According to the Toronto Star, Cook told the publication in an interview Apple’s Canadian developers have made over $2.25 billion CAD since 2008, the year the App Store launched, an increase of 20% in 2020 versus the previous year.
The Apple CEO said the App Store ecosystem is an “economic miracle”, noting in 2020 alone, economic activity spurred by the latter around the world was $500 billion USD total. Apple shared these numbers in a new press release on Monday morning.
“It’s one of the fastest-growing job segments,” Cook told the Toronto Star. “There are 243,000 developers who are making their living in Canada on the App Store. There’s more than that who are registered, but those are the ones where there’s a full-time job created.” That is an increase of 18% over the past year, says the company.
Cook told the Canadian developers, “to see your work and to see how you’re changing the world, it’s what makes my heart sing.”
Apple reviews 100,000 apps submitted to the App Store weekly, said Cook, with about 40% of them are rejected by a team of both humans and machines. The curated App Store gives users a “safe and trusted place” for apps to download said Cook.
“At the heart of the Epic complaint is they’d like developers to each put in their own payment information. But that would make the App Store a flea market and you know the confidence level you have at the flea market,” he explained.
Epic Games and Apple are embroiled in a legal war that started last fall, when the former introduced its own in-app payments within the hit game, Fortnite. Apple removed the game for download following the move, and argued Epic Games purposely tried to start a public war over how the iPhone maker operates its App Store.
“The view I have is Apple’s not dominant in any market it’s in. There’s fierce competition everywhere,” Cook explained to the Star. “Worldwide, our (market) share is in the teens. Hardly what anybody would say is dominant,” added Cook.
Last fall, Apple said it would reduce App Store commissions down from 30% to 15% for developers that make less than $1 million USD annually.
The move, according to Canadian developer Harleen Kaur, allowed her app Ground News to hire three extra engineers, a “major boost” for the company.
Cook said 90% of revenue earned from Canadian apps comes from outside Canada. “Apps are very much an export kind of business,” said Cook. “So there’s lots of opportunity out there.”
Apple and Epic Games will start its trial in California in May.