Apple Tweaks New EU App Store Business Terms After Developer Feedback

With the launch of iOS 17.4, Apple's app ecosystem changes in the European Union have gone into effect. Apple today said that it made some last minute updates to its terms of service after receiving feedback from developers.

App Store vs EU Feature 2
To distribute apps through an app marketplace, with a reduced fee to Apple, or with an alternative payment option, developers have to opt in to new business terms that accept the Core Technology Fee and other new pricing mandates. Apple did not initially provide a way for developers to try the new system and then opt back out if it does not work out, but now there is a one-time term swap option available in some circumstances.

Apple says that developers have a one-time option to terminate the new rule addendum [PDF] and swap back to Apple's standard business terms, though there is a catch. Developers who want to change back cannot have distributed an app through an alternative app marketplace or have used an alternative payment processing method.

You may terminate this Addendum without also terminating the Developer Agreement one time, provided You have never had an Application be an Alternative App Marketplace (EU), be distributed through an Alternative App Marketplace (EU), use Linking Out, or use Alternative Payment Processing.

Opt-out will be available for developers who decided to continue to distribute their apps through the App Store while adopting the Core Technology Fee and reduced commission option. The CTF is .50 euros per download after 1 million downloads, and the commission is 13 percent for small business owners and 20 percent for installs over 1 million (this includes the ‌App Store‌ payment processing fee).

Developers who want to create an alternative app marketplace can now do so without a stand-by letter of credit for €1,000,000, which would restrict marketplace creation to large companies. Developers who have been a member of good standing in the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and have an app that had more than one million first annual installs in iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year can create a marketplace without the proof of funds.

There is also no longer a corporate entity requirement when signing up for new terms, so a large business can sign up at the developer account level rather than having to have each controlling membership approve the swap to the updated business terms.

With iOS 17.4 released, we should soon be seeing the first alternative app marketplaces launch. Developers are now free to adopt the new business terms, distribute their apps outside of the ‌App Store‌, and use third-party payments in their apps. Note that all of these changes are limited to developers and users in the European Union.

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Top Rated Comments

Lyrics23 Avatar
15 weeks ago
Hard to see this being found to be in compliance.

The "Core Technology Fee" and deliberately worse terms on the App Store for those choosing to also make their apps available on other app stores is extremely anti-competitive, and an obvious attempt to discourage developers from making their apps available on alternative stores. Not by competing by having the better store themselves, but by abusing their market power to set punishing terms for anyone daring to try another option.

Exactly the sort of behaviour the DMA seeks to prevent.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
15 weeks ago
How unnecessarily complicated and petty. This isn't a thing on macOS! Or Windows. Or Linux. Or Android.

Can you imagine the fallout if Microsoft went a similar route when they unveiled the Microsoft Store on Windows?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
15 weeks ago
More bogus terms the EU should immediately strike down with the force of a thousand suns.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
15 weeks ago
I can't help but think that if the Chinese government had made a similar demand as the EU did, Apple would have implemented a much easier-to-use system with no Core Technology Fee, if only because ol' Tim is so quick to appease them. ?

But since it's the EU, Apple went with this "solution" instead. ?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
15 weeks ago

You continuing to call it "malicious compliance" doesn't make it so. Not liking how something was done doesn't mean it was malicious. Otherwise, with that bs logic, I would absolutely say the EU mandate is malicious!
Pretending it’s not malicious doesn’t make it not malicious. You’re clearly unfamiliar with the EU’s modus operandi. They always start with softer terms that generally push companies to do the right thing. Sometimes it doesn’t work and stricter regulation follows. Look what happened with the USB charging ports l: their initial requirements were a lot more vague and were maliciously interpreted by Apple who just put a usb port on their charger and not on the actual phone. Unsurprisingly further and stricter regulation followed and Apple had to comply. The same will happen with DMA.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
15 weeks ago
Someone posted here that it’s like a quarter of their revenue

Sounds “worth the trouble” to me
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)