about 1 year ago • 2 mins
Twitter and Apple look set to collide over Apple’s slice of scrumptious in-app purchases.
What does this mean?
Elon Musk has spent the last few weeks throwing his weight around inside Twitter HQ, but it seems he’s found a new sparring partner in the world’s biggest company. The cause of the brewing bust-up is the sizable chunk that Apple takes from in-app purchases – a reported 15 to 30%. No wonder that’s irked Musk, whose vision for Twitter sees the company relying less on advertising dollars and more on subscription fees. So if Apple – or, indeed, Google’s parent company Alphabet – wants to help itself to a piece of Twitter's new blue tick subscription bounty, they could find themselves with quite a scrap on their hands.
Why should I care?
Zooming out: Apple’s here to serve.
Musk has taken aim at Apple’s future prize pig: services. But you can bet the titan of Silicon Valley will do its best to save its bacon. After all, Apple's services business currently brings in around 20% of the firm's sales, and is more important than ever now that demand for iPhones is slowing. And sales from services, which include fees and subscriptions from apps, are extra appealing given that they’re recurring and reliable. In short, Musk’s shot across the bow has probably struck a nerve at Apple HQ.
The bigger picture: Get the popcorn.
A whole heap of tech firms have been lobbying lawmakers in a bid to lower app-store fees, yet Apple and Alphabet have succeeded in shrugging off their challenges so far. Twitter could be different, mind you: the platform’s a near-essential megaphone these days, and both Apple and Alphabet use Twitter to get their message to the masses. So if this is the opening volley in a lengthy standoff, it’ll be fascinating to see which of the titans ends up waving the white flag.
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