Tesla 'dodges' millions of dollars in App Store fees

Tesla charges users $10 a month for the View Live Camera feature in the iPhone app, but doesn't pay Apple a 30% commission.

To purchase items, unlock features in an app on the App Store, users will have to use Apple's "In-App Purchases" system. The company will keep 30% of this amount, which means that the application developer will only receive 70%. This once angered Elon Musk and said that it was "no different from taxing the Internet".

Tesla, the company Musk is currently serving as chief executive officer of, also beats Apple to avoid paying 30% fees in the long run.

Outside Apple and Tesla stores. Photo: The Street

Tesla's iPhone app charges users $10 per month for premium in-vehicle features, such as viewing satellite maps and browsing the web on the car's screen. These two features are not covered by the App Store fee because they are used in the car, not the iPhone.

However, the application also has an important feature, View Live Camera, which allows iPhone users to view images from the vehicle's camera as well as video call with the occupants of the vehicle. This means Tesla must use the App Store's "In-App Purchases" system. However, the company bypasses Apple's censorship system so that users can pay directly by credit card, so that Tesla does not have to share 30% of the fee with Apple.

According to Gizmodo , Apple has lost millions of dollars in fees from Tesla over the years. However, the company made no move to force Musk's company to pay the fee. Meanwhile, the App Store strictly reviews other apps and has zero tolerance for any developer. Most recently, they removed the digital currency social networking app Damus from the App Store for "circumvention of the law", allowing users to transfer Bitcoins to each other without paying Apple.

In 2020, Epic Games' legal battle with Apple also took place after the Fortnite game publisher introduced its own payment method to avoid a 30% "commission fee" on the App Store. At that time, Apple directly removed the game from the app store, causing Epic Games to file a lawsuit.

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