Apple Says iOS Developers Have 'Multiple' Ways of Reaching Users and Are 'Far From Limited' to Using Only the App Store

As it faces a barrage of probes and investigations regarding the App Store and the distribution of apps on its devices, Apple has told Australia's consumer watchdog that developers have "multiple" ways to reach iOS users and claims that they are "far from limited" to simply using the ‌App Store‌.

appstore
In a new filing (via ZDnet) responding to concerns from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission that it exploits "alleged market power in its role as a distributor of apps," Apple highlights multiple avenues that developers can take to reach customers.

Specifically, Apple points out that the "whole web" exists as an alternative means of distribution, arguing that the web has become a platform unto itself. Apple supports this claim by noting that iOS devices have "unrestricted and uncontrolled" access to the web, allowing users to download web apps.

Even if a user only owns iOS-based devices, distribution is far from limited to the Apple ‌App Store‌ because developers have multiple alternative channels to reach that user. The whole web is available to them, and iOS devices have unrestricted and uncontrolled access to it. One common approach is for users to purchase and consume digital content or services on a website.

Web browsers are used not only as a distribution portal but also as platforms themselves, hosting "progressive web applications" (PWAs) that eliminate the need to download a developer's app through the ‌App Store‌ (or other means) at all. PWAs are increasingly available for and through mobile-based browsers and devices, including on iOS.

Apple says that the alternative methods of distribution, such as web apps and developers' websites, pose a competitive threat to the ‌App Store‌. Apple goes on to discuss other platforms, such as the Google Play Store, noting that it fights "vigorously" to attract developers to make apps for its platform instead of others.

As explained further below, Apple faces competitive constraints from distribution alternatives within the iOS ecosystem (including developer websites and other outlets through which consumers may obtain third-party apps and use them on their iOS devices) and outside iOS.

Indeed, Apple competes vigorously to attract the best developers because a reduction in the quality of apps, or restricted availability of popular apps in the ‌App Store‌, would diminish the user experience. Any action undermining the popularity of the ‌App Store‌ — including impeding developers from being successful on the ‌App Store‌ — would be economically irrational, as this would destroy the value of the ecosystem to the detriment of consumers, app developers, and Apple itself.

Apple's new comments are unlikely to sit well with some developers, particularly Epic Games, which is pursuing a massive legal battle against Apple over being an alleged monopoly. Some developers claim that Apple holds a dominant position on its devices because of the ‌App Store‌, and exploits its power to limit innovation and competition.

Just this week, in a separate filing to the ACCC, Apple said it was "surprised" to hear that some developers have concerns about the review process and the guidelines that apps must follow before appearing on the ‌App Store‌. The ACCC launched its ‌App Store‌ investigation last year and is expected to release an interim report on March 31.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Rochy Bay Avatar
2 weeks ago
Lies, lies, lies... :apple: once i fully paid for my device, i should be able to side load the software i purchase separately. Glad this is finally in court.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KidAKidB Avatar
2 weeks ago
Apple's completely out of touch and is point blank lying at this point. This is absolutely disgusting.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GubbyMan Avatar
2 weeks ago
Hah, then I'd like to see Fortnite running in Safari. :rolleyes:
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vagos Avatar
2 weeks ago
Is that why you have crippled PWAs Apple ?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KidAKidB Avatar
2 weeks ago

You do not own the operating system, if you want to install your own OS, feel free. Otherwise, live with Apple’s restrictions or do not buy into the ecosystem.
You're actually defending Apple on this one?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Val-kyrie Avatar
2 weeks ago
I would like Apple to demonstrate how to install iOS apps on its iDevices outside of the App Store.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...