He did the math — comparing Stripe to Apple at different price points — and cheerfully admits he might have been wrong.
From Thompson’s “More on the App Store” posted Thursday to Stratechery subscribers:
Apple is giving smaller developers an even better deal than I gave them credit for yesterday, and frankly, goes a long way to quell my irritation about the company’s policies. I have long been a big believer in the power of the Internet to unlock new small-scale business models that are only possible when the entire world is one’s addressable market — I’ve staked my career on the idea — and what always bothered me the most about the App Store was that, while it absolutely created this opportunity, it also imposed too many costs on small developers simply for the sake of Apple’s bottom line. Things are better now.
Of course, as that New York Times article noted, this change doesn’t do much for big developers, and, along the way, shows how arbitrary Apple’s rules are. To be honest, though, I have a more difficult time getting upset about that; I do think direct competitors like Spotify and Kindle continue to be treated unfairly and arguably illegally, but when it comes to Fortnite emotes and the like, this is simply a negotiation over pure profit, and Apple earned its position.
Anyhow, thanks to the folks that pushed back; like I said, this might have been a PR move, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an effective one, and after reconsidering things I would hold myself up as an example of its effectiveness.
My take: As Thompson puts it, sometimes admitting you were wrong is painful, and sometimes it’s fun.