Apple to Allow Alternative App Stores on EU Devices Amid Regulatory Changes

Summary

  • To adhere to the European Union’s imminent Digital Markets Act (DMA), leading tech company Apple plans to permit software developers to distribute their applications to Apple devices via alternative app stores.
  • Starting in early March, developers will have the option of proposing alternative app stores on iPhones and bypassing Apple’s in-app payment system that requires a commission fee of up to 30%.
  • Under this new arrangement proposed for the EU, developers are still obligated to submit their apps for an Apple review to check for cybersecurity risks and apparent fraudulent activity.
  • Notable tech corporations like Meta and Spotify, with their millions of free consumers, may face a higher impact than smaller developers under this plan.

Apple’s Changes in App Distribution

Planning the alignment with the EU’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple will soon enable software developers to deliver their software applications to Apple devices through third-party stores.

Offer of Alternative App Stores

From the start of March, developers will be given the option to propose alternative app stores on iPhones and avoid using Apple’s internal payment infrastructure that entails commissions of up to 30%.

Criticism and Changes in Apple’s Fee Structure

Some critics argue that the modifications do not suffice, and that Apple’s fee structure is still inequitable. They also opine the adjustments potentially violate the DMA. “If these suggested solutions fall short of expectations, we won’t shy away from implementing stringent measures,” a statement read.

New EU Regime for Application Submission

In Apple’s revised EU scheme, developers would still be required to submit apps tor review to uncover cybersecurity threats and conspicuous scams.

EU-based Apple device consumers will also have an option to select their preferred web browsers and contactless payment apps. This allows them to execute contactless transactions bypassing the Apple Pay framework.

Developers’ Responsibilities

Nevertheless, even if developers choose to abstain from employing Apple’s App Store or payment system, they’ll still need to pay a compulsory “core technology fee” of 50 euro cents annually for each user account.

Paulo Trezentos, CEO of alternate app store Aptoide, expressed, “We were caught unprepared. Although we were anticipating some changes, we didn’t foresee their magnitude.”

European Commission and Future Outcomes

A spokesperson from the European Commission mentioned, “We’ve taken Apple’s pre-compliance deadline announcements on March 7 into account. We, however, avoid commenting on these announcements.”

Apple’s changes if implemented correctly could create a ripple effect in forex and trading, impacting tech company stocks and their trade value, however, these remain speculative at this point.

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