In a recent development, Apple faced a setback as it lost an appeal against Epic Games in the US Supreme Court. Consequently, Apple is now mandated to permit iOS app developers in the US to incorporate links to alternative payment methods.
Policy Adjustments in the US App Store
Apple swiftly responded by revising its American App Store policies, enabling developers to accept payments beyond its proprietary system. However, the company maintains its substantial fee structure.
Navigating the New App Store Rules
According to the updated guidelines, apps on the US App Store offering in-app purchases can utilize the US StoreKit external linking feature. This allows developers to include links to their websites, informing users about alternative ways to purchase digital goods or services.
Unpacking the Changes and Concerns
While many believed the battle between Epic Games and Apple was about reducing high commission payments, Apple’s policy changes raise concerns. Developers can now direct users to Apple’s alternative payment systems via external links, but the process is accompanied by a security disclaimer, potentially deterring users. Moreover, Apple continues to charge fees, even for transactions through third-party systems, further complicating the landscape for developers.
Epic Games’ Response and Future Challenges
Epic Games‘ founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, has criticized Apple’s post-appeal actions as “anti-competitive.” Sweeney expresses readiness to challenge these changes in a new lawsuit, particularly targeting the notification displayed in iOS apps when users attempt third-party payments.
As Apple attempts to navigate the aftermath of the Epic Games legal battle, developers remain cautious, notes NIXSolutions. The policy changes, though offering some flexibility, raise questions about the actual benefits for developers amid continued fees and potential legal challenges.