Apple to Allow Alternative App Stores in EU Amid Regulatory Pressure

Apple to Allow Alternative App Stores in EU Amid Regulatory Pressure

Apple has announced significant changes to its App Store policies in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union, departing from its traditional App Store model. Starting in March, developers can distribute their apps to EU users outside of Apple’s App Store, as mandated by the new regulations.

Under the DMA, companies meeting certain criteria, including a large user base and market capitalization, must ensure compatibility with rival apps and allow users to choose pre-installed apps on their devices. In compliance with these regulations, Apple will enable developers to offer alternative app stores on iPhones and opt out of using Apple’s in-app payment system, which typically charges up to 30% commissions.

However, Apple will continue to enforce certain requirements, such as app review processes for cybersecurity risks and fraud prevention. Additionally, a “core technology fee” will be levied on major app developers, irrespective of their use of Apple’s payment services.

The move has drawn criticism from industry figures like Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, who described Apple’s changes as “hot garbage” and questioned their legality under the DMA. Sweeney highlighted concerns regarding Apple’s potential control over competing app stores, which could limit the entry of platforms like the Epic Games Store or Microsoft’s offerings.

Apple has released tools for developers to implement these changes, with consumers set to experience the updates through an iOS operating system update in March. The adjustments come amid ongoing legal and regulatory challenges against Apple’s App Store practices, with companies like Epic and Spotify arguing that the commissions and restrictions impede fair competition.

In the EU, developers can use third-party payment processors within App Store apps without additional charges. Moreover, EU iPhone users can select default web browsers and contactless payment apps, enhancing consumer choice and competition in the digital marketplace.

Despite these concessions, developers opting out of Apple’s ecosystem will still incur a “core technology fee” of 50 euro cents per user account per year. Apple has clarified that only large developers will be subject to this fee, exempting the first 1 million user accounts and entities like nonprofits, schools, and governments.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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