Telegram CEO takes aim at Apple’s ‘obscure’ app review process

Telegram’s chief executive officer Pavel Durov shared a post in his Telegram channel criticizing Apple’s app review practices saying that the new update for their messaging app has been ‘stuck’ in the ‘obscure’ review process and they are feeling discouraged by it. 

On its webpage, Apple says it reviews 90% of app submissions within 24 hours on average. But CEO Durov said that they’ve been waiting for two weeks now for their new update to be approved. 

”…our upcoming update – which is about to revolutionize how people express themselves in messaging – has been stuck in Apple’s “review” for two weeks, without explanation or any feedback provided by Apple,” Durov wrote in the post. 

He went on saying that if the popular messaging app, which now has 700 million monthly active users, is facing such a delay, then it could create even more challenging conditions for small app developers. ”It’s not just demoralizing: it causes direct financial losses to hundred of thousands of mobile apps globally,” added Durov. 

He also complained about the controversial 30% fee that Apple and Google charge developers who use their in-app payment systems. After receiving global backlash, Apple reduced the fee to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year, and Google lowered it to 15% for the first $1 million developers earn in a year. 

Apple also decided to allow Dutch dating apps and South Korean apps to use third-party payment systems, and reader apps to include an in-app link to their websites. Meanwhile Google reached an agreement with developers in the US by accepting to let them use third-party systems, and launched a pilot program dubbed ‘user choice billing’ allowing select developers including Spotify to offer an additional payment option in addition to its own system. While the companies have been making changes to their app store policies, they’re still facing legal challenges in many countries including South Korea

The regulators in the EU and elsewhere are slowly starting to look into these abusive practices,’’ added Durov. ”But the economic damage that has already been inflicted by Apple on the tech industry won’t be undone.”

Here is his full statement: 

Written by Sophie Blake


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