Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies, has allowed apps and games, that sell NFT, to be installed and sold through its App Store but start-ups in the space are not keen to welcome the offer in droves.
NFT start-ups and NFT trading companies, or those in any field for that matter, would ideally love to be on the Apple App Store to be able to reach a bigger audience.However, NFT trading start-ups do not want to sell their offerings through the Apple App Store due to the steep 30 per cent commission charged by Apple on in-app purchases. Besides, stringent rules are another reason for these start-ups to shun the Apple App Store.
The latest feature from Apple, one of the world’s biggest tech companies, enables developers of current apps to sell NFT within apps and new apps can also have NFT within them. The feature has got not-so-encouraging response so far from the NFT community.
The negative perception about Apple within the NFT community gets boosted by reports of Apple delaying approvals of crypto and NFT apps on its App Store. Although it means that these apps eventually do get on the App Store, it seems the apps are more like showcase for their services. The actual sales or transactions are being routed out to a browser site, instead of being done in-app.
Apple, however, is insisting that its regular commission of 30 per cent from in-app purchases should be paid on all trades. NFT start-up Magic Eden has stopped offering NFT trading facility on its app, even after Apple reduced its commission to 15 per cent for firms earning under US $1 million per year.
In contrast, a typical NFT marketplace charges between 2-3 per cent as commission for every NFT trade with the maximum being 5 per cent so far. Hence, NFT start-ups feel they will lose heavily on every deal made through their app on the Apple App Store.
Besides, the Apple App Store’s in-app purchases must be made through fiat currency and it does not accept cryptocurrency yet. On the other hand, only some NFT projects accept fiat currencies. Since cryptocurrency exchange rates vary substantially, developers cannot just set an equivalent in a fiat currency. The latter makes things more cumbersome for NFT project teams because they have to program all the values dynamically.
The global number of NFT transactions is likely to rise to 40 million by 2027 from 24 million in 2022. Hitherto, Apple has not really been involved in the NFT space or even cryptocurrency, for that matter. Apple devices, of course, have the apps of crypto wallets and crypto exchanges such as Metamask and Coinbase, respectively. However, that is about as far as it goes with Apple.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the high commission charged by Apple for in-app purchases, there are some in the NFT space who see a positive side to the development. They inferred that it could put an ETH wallet in every single mobile game onboarding more than a billion players.
To put that in perspective, Apple and Google control more than 95 per cent of the app store market share outside of China, through their iOS and Android platforms, respectively. The app economy was built on these two platforms and is now estimated to be worth US $6.3 trillion approximately.