Apple Users Can Now Download Apps Listed Outside App Store

Apple Users Can Now Download Apps Listed Outside App Store

Date: March 19, 2024

Apple has finally stepped back in its defense against the App Store restrictions that prevented external downloads and transactions on Apple devices.

Apple has finally stepped down from fighting with the European Union’s recent compliance updates. The struggle to protect the dominance of the App Store on all Apple devices has resulted in a major concession from the tech giant. Developers making applications for iOS and other devices can freely distribute them outside the App Store. 

Earlier, Apple restricted iOS app downloads and in-app transactions to the App Store, for which it charged developers a hefty 30% annual developer fee. The tech giant maintained a steady revenue flow from its iOS app downloads and transactions, and the latest changes may dent the stream. The changes came into light after the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) kicked in last week.

The changes affect only the regions under the authority of the European Union. Major rivals like Spotify and other industry groups have already raised concerns about Apple’s disregard for the latest compliance rules. The tech giants call Apple’s policies unfair and say one of the major reasons behind their reduced profits is the App Store’s restrictions.

With the latest changes kicking in, developers can distribute their apps directly from their websites or third-party marketplaces. The developers can also execute transactions without the intervention of the App Store’s in-app purchase platform. However, Apple has brought the peace treaty with a few renewed conditions that may continue the transactional dependence on the App Store. 

In its latest introduction, the App Store will now charge developers 50 euro cents per user account per year for developers who sign up for the new regime. The companies have filed an open letter to the DMA authorities stating, “The new fee structure in the proposed new terms seems designed to maintain and even amplify Apple's exploitation of its dominance over app developers." Along with Spotify, the letter was signed by U.S. gaming firm Epic Games and French music streaming service Deezer. Other signatories include the European Publishers Council (EPC) and media houses that are actively working in the EU region. 

The European Union Commissioner Thierry Brenton has said that Apple can face strong action if the new changes do not comply with the DMA rules. People who want to make the best of the App Store’s changes can try these alternate app stores to download their favorite apps. Apple has also allowed developers to create third-party marketplaces where only their in-house published apps will be allowed.

Arpit Dubey

By Arpit Dubey LinkedIn Icon

Arpit is a dreamer, wanderer, and a tech nerd who loves to jot down tech musings and updates. With a logician mind, he is always chasing sunrises and tech advancements while secretly preparing for the robot uprising.

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