There is nowhere in the Apple rules that Spotify cannot advertise an upgrade to premium. Only in the app itself, they are not allowed to advertise cheaper prices outside the app store.
It is very unfortunate that you do not use your perception in your story also from the point of view of the market and economy. It’s not about not being allowed to advertise prices. The point is that they are not allowed to advertise to their own website to upgrade your account there. The reason? It does not run through Apple Pay. And Apple thereby misses the 30% “tax” they demand from developers.
If you read the developer agreement and the app store guidelines carefully, then no separate line is very interesting. It is precisely the combination of these rules that actually makes it a strangulation contract.
Companies such as PayPal, iDeal, Adyen don’t stand a chance on Apple devices, even though 50% of the world‘s population uses their platform. That’s monopoly. In addition, Apple is doing everything it can to “trap” consumers in their own eco-system. I mean, let’s be honest: If you live in a household and everyone uses Apple devices, doesn’t everything work together very easily? What if one of you decides to get an Android device (for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter). The switch is such a terrible point because nothing but more cooperates. Combine that with not allowing markets (payment market, for example), and Apple is nothing but what they asked fought against in IBM’s day. In fact, it has become a kind of North Korea of the mobile industry. And everyone seems to accept it.
Another nice example: Suppose I’m an indie game developer. I want to make a game and put it on the app store. I have virtually no budget and have to use my own money to hire additional programmers or artists or buy their work …
My app goes on the app store for 2 euros, and is downloaded, say, 1000 times in the first month. I already have to pay 30%, so I am left with 700 euros. I also have to pay profit tax on those 700 euros. Then I have an average of 300 to 500 euros left. Of those – let’s say – 400 euros, I still have to pay my “personnel” or “assets”. What do I have left to innovate?
So I think at some point, I let in-app purchases (microtransactions) so that I can earn a little extra. An extra life that you can buy for 50 cents. What am I left with? Right, 35 cents. Profit tax over it? Yes dude, 20 cents. maybe even less. The latter hurts. Why? You are obligated being a developer to only offer ApplePay. What should apple do for this? Why did they earn that 30% of that 50 cent? They don’t do anything for it, do they? Yes, you say: they offer you ApplePay. But I don’t want that at all! What are the alternatives? Right. Nothing. Removed from the AppStore. You can expect that. Your “business” is going to break down because you can’t keep enough users in to keep your head above water financially.
Well, aren’t you just promoting your own website so they can buy extra stuff there? NO! Even 1 reference to your own website where things can be bought that are intended for your app / game on your iPhone is PROHIBITED.
Note: I am a software engineer myself and I regularly deal with Apple’s review system to get our app approved for the AppStore.
Apple always hypocritically says that they don’t allow certain things on the app store to “ensure quality,” but for the vast majority of developers, Apple’s way of operating is the reason why innovation is actually slowing down. Who says the software that Apple makes is so secure? Apple. Because they don’t let anyone else in. Can app developers talk about it in their apps? No. Even just a small suggestion of Apple’s practices (eg why do you MUST pay via ApplePay? How much% of the money the consumer spends goes to Apple?), You should not name. Are you doing this? Your app will be rejected or outright removed from the AppStore.
Do you see the picture? You’re in a stranglehold contract. As a developer you know that this has no chance. They are a bunch of thieves but you are not allowed to talk about them. If you do this, you will lose potential company.
For the people who say: “Well, you just build for Android, right?” I would like to say that you have no idea how great this impact is. As a company, you simply cannot afford to literally miss out on half of your potential target audience. You will have to ….
Sorry for the long post.
I can go on like this for a while, but I really hope so much that more people will see this. Apple has become a trillion-dollar company for a reason. Did they honestly deserve this? No. Absolutely not.