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Phil Schiller suggested reduced App Store fees in 2011

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash

Apple's App Store chief mulled cutting commissions on apps and in-app purchases a decade ago, according to evidence presented by Epic Games in its trial with Apple.

In 2011, Phil Schiller asked Apple services head Eddy Cue whether "we think our 70/30 split will last forever?" At the time, Schiller called himself a "staunch supporter" of Apple's 30% cut, but said he didn't believe it would remain "unchanged forever."

According to Bloomberg, Schiller suggested that Apple could eventually make a change to the fee structure once the App Store reached $1 billion in profit per year. Schiller floated a 25% to 20% fee, if that cut still amounted to $1 billion.

"I know that this is controversial, I just tee it up as another way to look at the size of the business, what we want to achieve, and how we stay competitive," Schiller said at the time.

Apple, for its part, argued that Schiller didn't say whether the App Store made $1 billion in profit. It added that there's no indication that the fee structure is tied to App Store profits. Currently, the App Store makes more than $1 billion per year.

The Cupertino tech giant has changed it fee structure over the years. In 2016, it cut its commission to 15% for second-year subscriptions. In 2020, it also launched a program that slashed Apple's cut to 15% for companies making less than $1 million.