These seem to be uncertain times, but also exciting for app developers, especially on Apple platforms. There are big changes happening, both on Apple’s side and outside forces, sometimes against Apple’s will. Things are still changing, with some news potentially favoring developers, while others may be a disadvantage. The latter from Apple is of the latter type, with the company announcing some changes in at least eight countries that could affect overall developer profits.
App sales and in-app purchases are, of course, subject to tax laws in all countries, in addition to the app store taxes that Apple and Google themselves charge. Tax laws also change from time to time, and Apple says it needs to adjust to take them into account. Unfortunately, this sometimes also means that app prices also need to be adjusted.
In Chile, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, higher value-added taxes and new digital taxes will drive app prices up. This can make paid apps and in-app purchases look less attractive, which can translate into lower sales and lower profits for app developers.
In Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, App Store prices will not change, but developer earnings will also be adjusted directly due to tax changes. Interestingly, Germany is reducing its VAT rate, which means that revenue for developers here will increase.
These changes are definitely worrying news for developers during these already worrying times. On the positive side, there are also attempts to legally change the app store business in order to give developers a greater share of the revenue. With the world becoming increasingly dependent on digital products and mobile apps, the stabilization of the app store industry has probably become even more critical than ever.