Apple caves, EU developers will be able to sell apps directly from their websites

Posted:
in iOS

As part of further concessions to the European Union Digital Markets Act, Apple is now saying that developers don't need to fire up their own App Stores, and instead, they can sell apps directly from their websites later in the Spring.

The App Store icon on a blue background
Apple updates how developers are affected by its EU DMA compliance



Since Apple first announced how it would comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act, it has faced criticism that led to a round of changes. The company has now announced further updates and changes that it says comes after feedback from developers in the EU.

The most significant change is that rather than creating a third-party marketplace on iOS, developers can sell their iPhone apps directly from their own websites.

"Web Distribution, available with a software update later this spring, will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer," said Apple. "Apple will provide authorized developers access to APIs that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users' apps, and more."

Developers who wish to sell direct from their own websites must sign up for the same business terms that allow them to create a third-party marketplace on iOS. That means having been in the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than a million first installs annually in the EU.

While not specifically mentioned in this latest announcement, presumably developers who do not reach this threshold will still require a standby letter of credit of valued at one million Euros or more.

Apps sold this way must also be notarized, and developers must comply with requirements regarding transparency over their private data collection.

This means that Apple will not do more than a minimum review of apps at the start, and potentially may not look at them again. It will not support users in refunds or any disputes, nor will it safeguard them against their data being misused.

Such developers will also have to follow local laws, and are responsible for working with governments if there should be a request to take down an app.

More DMA changes



Apple also announced that now "marketplaces can choose to offer a catalog of apps solely from the developer of the marketplace." So where the presumption was that rival app stores would offer a range of apps, developers can now elect to solely operate them as a kind of store front for their own apps.

Previously, Apple also required developers to use its own specific wording and templates when linking out to a purchases. Now those templates and wording are still available, and recommended, but Apple says they are optional.

"When directing users to complete a transaction for digital goods or services on an external webpage," says Apple, "developers can choose how to design promotions, discounts, and other deals."

Apple has detailed the eligibility for direct web distribution, plus details of its other changes, on its developer blog.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    jas99jas99 Posts: 158member
    It will be interesting to see what the security implications of this become. 
    Will European iPhones become infected with malware and distribute that malware throughout the world via messages and email and…?
    9secondkox2lordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.

    It's not just EU citizens who will lose someone will workout how to make the hooks to install stuff work on phones outside the EU and we'll have a wave of malware based on that.

    Apple should have pulled out of the EU entirely rather than cave to a law essentially written specifically to destroy Apple's business model.
    9secondkox2appleinsideruserjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    A hilarious contradiction to the EUs stance on anti-steering. Why bother to allow developers to sell downloads directly from web sites when EU iPhone users supposedly don't know that developers have web sites without a message inside of an app telling them that they do? 
    edited March 12 9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    jas99 said:
    It will be interesting to see what the security implications of this become. 
    Will European iPhones become infected with malware and distribute that malware throughout the world via messages and email and…?
    Looks like we are ending up in a similar situation as with Mac OS. Except for the 'remaining' security issue on the Mac side (unsigned apps). I sure hope Apple offers the security setting that only App Store Apps can be installed on the iPhone.
    9secondkox2MisterKitjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 189member
    This was 100% clear from the beginning. An Appstore is not “sideloading”, who would have guessed . Now just the fees have to go. If you don’t use any of Apple‘s services, why would you pay them.
    edited March 12 9secondkox2williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 31
    sirdir said:
    This was 100% clear from the beginning. An Appstore is not “sideloading”, who would have guessed . Now just the fees have to go. If you don’t use any of Apple‘s services, why would you pay them.
    To pay for the development of the platform, you want fee free AppStore then you get to pay $1000 per seat for XCode. Why should Apple have to give it to you for free?

    This is exactly how Visual Studio works for Windows if you don't fall in to the carve outs for the community edition then you pay.


    9secondkox2bonobobMisterKitwilliamlondonlordjohnwhorfinjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    chelgrian said:
    sirdir said:
    This was 100% clear from the beginning. An Appstore is not “sideloading”, who would have guessed . Now just the fees have to go. If you don’t use any of Apple‘s services, why would you pay them.
    To pay for the development of the platform, you want fee free AppStore then you get to pay $1000 per seat for XCode. Why should Apple have to give it to you for free?

    This is exactly how Visual Studio works for Windows if you don't fall in to the carve outs for the community edition then you pay.


    $1,000 per seat over what time period? That isn’t very expensive on an annual basis. That would be a bargain for electrical/optical engineering CAD and simulation software.
    9secondkox2williamlondonlordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,826member
    Of course Apple caves. 

    I mean, outside of USA government stepping in to prevent EU abuse, what are they going to do? 

    Leaving the market is the only other option. 

    This is government taking over. It’s sickening. Sure, the EU isn’t assuming the day to day reigns, but they’ve effectively become the Apple boardroom in Europe. 

    If Apple didn’t “cave,” we all know the EU won’t give the the decency of a notice or warning that they’re not in compliance with draconian hot-takes. They’ll just fine them into oblivion and laugh all the way to Rolls Royce dealership. 


    jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,038member
    chelgrian said:
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.

    It's not just EU citizens who will lose someone will workout how to make the hooks to install stuff work on phones outside the EU and we'll have a wave of malware based on that.

    Apple should have pulled out of the EU entirely rather than cave to a law essentially written specifically to destroy Apple's business model.
    When viruses and malware start making their way onto iPhones in the EU Apple can say "see, this is what you get when you have an open platform." Hopefully, the EU will then reverse its course. I think the reason why we didn't see a huge fanfare about all this from Apple and hold some kind of mini developer PR event is because they know that this measure is semi-temporary.
    9secondkox2jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,339member
    Of course Apple caves. 

    I mean, outside of USA government stepping in to prevent EU abuse, what are they going to do? 

    Leaving the market is the only other option. 

    This is government taking over. It’s sickening. Sure, the EU isn’t assuming the day to day reigns, but they’ve effectively become the Apple boardroom in Europe. 

    If Apple didn’t “cave,” we all know the EU won’t give the the decency of a notice or warning that they’re not in compliance with draconian hot-takes. They’ll just fine them into oblivion and laugh all the way to Rolls Royce dealership. 


    You do understand that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are being forced to make significant changes in their EU business models to meet the DMA mandates. These are not Apple-specific rules.

    It's worth reading up on what the other gatekeepers are required to do to fulfill their obligations in the EU so as to understand it's not "poor old'Apple being picked on". 
    For obvious reasons, the only stories we read here about the changes gatekeepers are making are those from Apple.

    Here's a start for learning about the others, and FWIW I don't expect that the EU will agree they've all gone far enough yet :
    https://digital-markets-act-cases.ec.europa.eu/reports/compliance-reports
    edited March 12 gregoriusmavon b7muthuk_vanalingamlordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 11 of 31
    chelgrian said:
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.

    It's not just EU citizens who will lose someone will workout how to make the hooks to install stuff work on phones outside the EU and we'll have a wave of malware based on that.

    Apple should have pulled out of the EU entirely rather than cave to a law essentially written specifically to destroy Apple's business model.
    So, you are saying that the MacOS is a security disaster?
    williamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 12 of 31
    AllMAllM Posts: 70member
    That politicians $uck is common knowledge. However, I don’t really care. I won’t be buying those apps anyway, - as I rarely buy any. I don’t live in a smartphone. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,041member
    AllM said:
    That politicians $uck is common knowledge. However, I don’t really care. I won’t be buying those apps anyway, - as I rarely buy any. I don’t live in a smartphone. 
    In the EU world most of the apps on smartphones aren't paid for not with Google and Meta around......There will be no pot of gold for most of the small developers.

    Epic had their online store on Android and it was a spectacular failure. No one trusts them, support from a few people online won't change that.

    One that will change Xcode and many other pieces of Apple developer software in time will start to cost money up front like AutoDesk/Adobe for anyone who wants to develop for MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, VisionOS, and WatchOS. 



    9secondkox2lordjohnwhorfinjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    nubusnubus Posts: 443member
    chelgrian said:
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.
    Seems you didn't check the EU Cyber Resilience Act. 
    9secondkox2lordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 15 of 31
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,038member
    danox said:
    AllM said:
    That politicians $uck is common knowledge. However, I don’t really care. I won’t be buying those apps anyway, - as I rarely buy any. I don’t live in a smartphone. 
    In the EU world most of the apps on smartphones aren't paid for not with Google and Meta around......There will be no pot of gold for most of the small developers.

    Epic had their online store on Android and it was a spectacular failure. No one trusts them, support from a few people online won't change that.

    One that will change Xcode and many other pieces of Apple developer software in time will start to cost money up front like AutoDesk/Adobe for anyone who wants to develop for MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, VisionOS, and WatchOS. 



    Apple already once charged for their developer tools. I believe Apple will keep them free just to show that they are the friendlier player here.
    jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    AllMAllM Posts: 70member
    The bureaucrats strike again. 
    edited March 12 9secondkox2jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    AllMAllM Posts: 70member
    nubus said:
    chelgrian said:
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.
    Seems you didn't check the EU Cyber Resilience Act. 
    The bureaucrats strike again?
    edited March 12
  • Reply 18 of 31
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,368member
    sirdir said:
    This was 100% clear from the beginning. An Appstore is not “sideloading”, who would have guessed . Now just the fees have to go. If you don’t use any of Apple‘s services, why would you pay them.
    “I don’t drive on that particular local highway, why should a portion of my taxes go for that?”
    9secondkox2kurai_kagesphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,826member
    gatorguy said:
    Of course Apple caves. 

    I mean, outside of USA government stepping in to prevent EU abuse, what are they going to do? 

    Leaving the market is the only other option. 

    This is government taking over. It’s sickening. Sure, the EU isn’t assuming the day to day reigns, but they’ve effectively become the Apple boardroom in Europe. 

    If Apple didn’t “cave,” we all know the EU won’t give the the decency of a notice or warning that they’re not in compliance with draconian hot-takes. They’ll just fine them into oblivion and laugh all the way to Rolls Royce dealership. 


    You do understand that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are being forced to make significant changes in their EU business models to meet the DMA mandates. These are not Apple-specific rules.

    It's worth reading up on what the other gatekeepers are required to do to fulfill their obligations in the EU so as to understand it's not "poor old'Apple being picked on". 
    For obvious reasons, the only stories we read here about the changes gatekeepers are making are those from Apple.

    Here's a start for learning about the others, and FWIW I don't expect that the EU will agree they've all gone far enough yet :
    https://digital-markets-act-cases.ec.europa.eu/reports/compliance-reports
    no. They aren’t being targeted and fined incessantly like Apple for simply doing business. 

    I’m up to speed thanks. 

    But I have said before that the EU is targeting AMERICAN successful businesses. A
    nd that’s exactly what they’re doing. But no one is having laws drafted specifically to destroy their business model as Apple is. Time to take
     the rose colored glasses off dnd see the reality. It’s very much designed to harm Apple’s business. 

    This is especially substantiated by the fact that Apple is somehow not allowed now to choose whom it will and will not go business with (i. e. Epic). 

    Apple full on complied with the ridiculous DMA. And guess what? The EU decided that complying isn’t good enough. They don’t like the WAY they complied. Anyone claiming to not see how pointed this is toward Apple is either “blind” or being disingenuous in their defense of the European attack on American companies. 
    edited March 13 jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    nubusnubus Posts: 443member
    AllM said:
    nubus said:
    chelgrian said:
    Yes it will be a security disaster of the EUs own making. You will get exactly the malware situation that exists on non-iOS platforms. Apparently the EU commission neither understand nor care.
    Seems you didn't check the EU Cyber Resilience Act. 
    The bureaucrats strike again?
    More like the democratically elected politicians deciding to set new demands on security for hardware and software products sold in the EU. The rest of the world can avoid USB C. If freedom is to let Apple or Google decide on the kind of apps you're allowed to install on your devices... then just keep going without regulation. And while EU demands 5 year security patching then Sony, LG, Samsung keep selling their devices in the US without updates. Do you really want that?
    When regulation fails you end up with products like Boeing 737 Max or a country (US) having 2x more people killed per driven mile than Germany where most of the interstates have no speed limit.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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