The App Store Would Be A ‘Flea Market’ If It Started Supporting Third-Party Payment Systems, Says Tim Cook

Apple’s ongoing legal spat with Epic Games relates to the way the latter tried to bypass the App Store‘s payment system with Fortnite. Now, Apple CEO, Tim Cook has commented on the situation, saying that allowing third-party payment systems would see the App Store become a flea market.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, Cook spoke about a range of topics but he couldn’t avoid Epic and Fortnite.

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.

The volume of people going into such a market would be dramatically lower, which would be bad for the user, because they would miss out on the innovation like we just heard with the four developers. And the developers would be left out because they wouldn’t have a huge audience to sell to. So nobody wins in that environment.

App Store rules prevent any app from accepting payment via a method other than the App Store’s payment system, with some exceptions. Physical products are exempt, allowing companies like Amazon to offer their own payment methods in-app, for example.

Cook also noted that his App Store team reviews 100,000 apps each week and rejects around 40% of them. That’s quite the number and it’s one that will no doubt have developers wondering why so many apps are being rejected.

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