Home Technology Phil Schiller still firmly holds the reins of the App Store

Phil Schiller still firmly holds the reins of the App Store


In August 2020, Phil Schiller relinquished his position as global marketing boss to Greg Joswiak, while earning the honorary title of “Apple Fellow”. We thought that the manufacturer’s fellow traveler – he entered it in 1987 – was going to slow down and take care of more personal projects. But in fact, not at all!

In 2016, he took over Eddy Cue’s place as head of the App Store, and he hasn’t let go of the store’s reins since, despite an announcement two years ago that made one think a time in semi-retirement. In fact, it’s nothing like the advance The Information based on several interviews with Apple colleagues.

Phil Schiller continues to spend long hours at work, where unlike Eddy Cue who was happy to delegate, he is very directly involved, for example in the choice of visuals published by the editorial team of the App Store. We also learn that Schiller is very careful in promoting violent games.

One of his first decisions was to simply stop promoting this kind of game. This came at the expense of a title like Bully: Anniversary Edition, which under Eddy Cue enjoyed a big spotlight, before the lights suddenly went out with Schiller. The Rockstar studio had a hard time swallowing the pill, it had indeed worked hard to meet Apple’s schedule.

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The new App Store, in 2017.

FPS (first-person shooters) have finally made their return to the highlights of the store, but they are subject to current events: there is no question of promoting an FPS after a killing in the United States.

The owner of the App Store also refuses to promote casino games because of the risk of addiction they can cause. Incidentally, one wonders why he agrees without flinching to talk about games containing loot box, considered gambling in several countries. Much to the chagrin of the business team, because these kinds of games generate millions of dollars in revenue.

The launch of the App Store redesign in 2017, which transformed the store into a magazine-like homepage Today and editorial efforts, was the occasion for a skirmish between Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller. The first found that it was a waste of money – it was indeed necessary to create new posts to enrich these pages. There were also people who, at Apple, would have preferred it to be the search engine that appears when opening the App Store…

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For his part, Schiller felt that the store had lost its early spontaneity and the pleasure of discovering new apps. The big boss also refused that the editorial highlight the applications of certain developers designated by the team in charge of the business. Selection is left to the editors.

New ad placements in the App Store.

Phil Schiller also supported the development of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature that finally came to fruition with iOS 14.5…even though this tracking demand may represent heavy losses for the App Store. The ‘Apple Fellow’ doesn’t care: this privacy-enhancing feature has been the right thing for users to do, and advertisers will adapt to the change, according to comments collected by The Information. A benevolent position, but on the other hand this does not prevent the App Store from displaying ever more advertisements.

As App Store boss, Phil Schiller is at the heart of the storms blowing in Brussels and Washington, where regulators are investigating Apple’s practices towards developers and competition.

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