David Streitfeld of The New York Times spoke with James McQuivey, a Forrester analyst:
“The surprise here is not that Apple hasn’t changed yet. It’s that Google hasn’t done it first,” Mr. McQuivey says now. “Apple has no reason to contemplate changing its model until it is forced to. Google is the only player that could make a pricing change like this that Apple would be intimidated by, and even that is a bit of a stretch because Apple’s position — at least with its customers — is so strong.”
I’m actually surprised by this too. For all the talk of Google trying to woo developers to go Android-first (or at least alongside iOS), a straightforward way would be to drastically cut, or eliminate, the 30 percent cut they take from app sales. This money must be fairly trivial for Google overall. And they are, after all, already giving away Android with the hope that people will simply search more and they’ll make money off the resulting ad impressions.
Another thought: what if Google offered to waive the 30 percent cut if developers agreed to including in-app advertising powered by Google? Some developers (and users) would hate this, but it could be an either/or option that would be up to the developer.