App Industry Update: Courts Put Pressure On Apple, Coinbase Stock Sinks, A Look at 2022
Isadora Teich wrote this article
In general, the app industry is absolutely thriving. In 2020, there was a record-breaking 218 billion downloads and more than $143 billion in global consumer spending.
Of course in such a lucrative, competitive, and deeply influential market, so much happens every single second. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest events as 2021 comes to a close.
Apple Forced To Make Changes
If you want to know more about the seemingly endless Apple vs Epic Games trial, and all of its implications for the industry, we have several blog posts exploring this topic.
To keep it short and sweet, neither party was satisfied with the results of the last ruling. Epic Games was seeking to prove that Apple is an illegal monopoly, and they didn’t get that.
However, while not declaring their business practices illegal, the judge ruled that they had to change their anti-steering policies regarding in-app purchases.
As a result, Epic Games said that it would keep fighting to try and prove that Apple is a monopoly. Apple also took legal action to try and delay the order to update its app store policies.
What Exactly Was Apple Seeking To Do?
Initially, it was ruled that Apple would have to change its policies and allow developers to point users to other means of payment by December 9th. Apple tried to legally have that decision put on hold until its appeals case was decided.
If successful, this would have meant that instead of having to change their policies by December 9th, they might not have had to do so for years.
While this seems like a win for developers, there are a lot of questions remaining around how Apple will actually comply.
In South Korea, Apple was already ordered to do something similar but claimed they were already doing it due to how the law was written. Discussions between Apple and South Korean regulators are ongoing.
Google has been somewhat more open to following South Korean Law, but will still require commissions on third-party payments, even if it is less than their usual rate. This really highlights the importance of precise wording in any new laws, to stop companies from finding loopholes.
A Look At 2022 From App Annie
This month, App Annie released its yearly industry forecast. A large focus is on social media growth. Before we explore the predicted growth, take a look at where things are according to data from Statista.
Find more statistics at Statista
A Social Media Boom
App Annie says that TikTok will continue to boom, largely driven by creators. The firm predicts it will reach 1.5 billion active users in 2022. This means it will hit this number 1.75 years faster than WhatsApp. Also, they say Pinterest will hit 1 billion downloads.
In general, the creator economy will continue to boom on mobile. App Annie predicts $9 billion in App Store spending thanks to social media creators on different platforms.
App Growth in 2022
Metaverse apps will see big gains in the coming year. This includes apps popular with Gen-Z like Roblox and Minecraft. More than $3 billion in consumer spending is predicted here.
Speaking of Gen-Z, they are expected to widely accept fintech apps, largely due to their interest in cryptocurrency. It is predicted that mobile-first fintech apps will grow 160% by 2022. They are also well-known for their love of short and long-form video. It is expected that video streaming subscription apps will hit $12 billion in consumer spending.
Coinbase Stock Sinks
Cryptocurrency is always a hot topic. These volatile investments can make or break people financially, and have created an entirely new class of the super-wealthy. At the same time it is famously full of scams. Most people are not big winners when it comes to this exciting and somewhat esoteric arena.
Coinbase is the most mainstream crypto trading and investment platform, which made waves by becoming a publically traded company. Its launch was full of all sorts of opinions, both positive and negative. However, recently, the Coinbase stock sank.
The Coinbase Stock sank over 13% after missing analyst estimates on its Q3 earnings. Analysts predicted $1.57 billion and Coinbase only earned $1.31 billion in reality. Their monthly active users and total trading volume fell as well.
What Happened To Coinbase?
For one, they are not the only crypto platform. While you used to need a lot of computer savvy to buy and trade the coins, now you can take part in dozens of widely known exchanges via app. If you are curious, Nerdwallet suggests 9 of them in an article. There are actually many such crypto exchange roundups just like this.
Coinbase was the only mainstream platform for some time and got a lot of hype by going public. However, they do tend to charge fees that are slightly higher than other exchanges on some transactions. For example, while Coinbase charges a fee per transaction between 0.5% and 4.5%, Webull and the infamous Robinhood charge nothing per trade.
Also, there are numerous ways to participate in crypto, just like there are numerous ways to participate in the traditional stock market. If Coinbase mostly attracted long-term investors whose plan was to buy some Bitcoin or Ethereum and sit on it for years, they would not be making a lot of daily trades and allowing Coinbase to collect many transaction fees.
Instagram Wants You Take A Break from Their App?
It’s no secret that Instagram has a less than stellar reputation. We even recently learned from an ex-Facebook employee turned whistleblower that the company is well aware of the mental health harm it does to users, and is fixated on trying to get younger and younger children using it anyway.
Instagram, under the Meta umbrella, is also known for taking cosmetic steps to appear more ethical while not actually solving any problems. They announced that they are currently working on a “Take A Break” feature, which seems to be an extension of this.
This feature would remind users to take a break after 10, 20, or 30 minutes. However, users would have to elect to set up the feature in the first place. It remains to be seen if they choose to implement it, how users will be made aware of it.
There is so much happening in the world of apps and tech constantly that it would be impossible to keep up with it all. Tech continues to blend with how we live, invest, create, play, work, and even build relationships.
The culture, practical daily experience, and legal framework around this will keep evolving with time. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Which piece of news interests you most? Comment below!
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