American tech giant Apple is reportedly planning to introduce new fees and restrictions for app downloads outside its closed ecosystem of the App Store. This news comes a few days after Apple was reportedly planning to introduce sideloading, which will allow users to install third-party apps outside of the iOS App Store.
Apple’s approach is aimed at monitoring the third-party apps on their devices
This move of adding fees and restrictions for third-party software goes in hand with a response to the European law under the Digital Markets Act aimed at loosening its control and allowing alternative app stores, which was passed back in 2022. The move, which will be applicable only in Europe under the EU, allows users to download iPhone software without using the App Store, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The European Union’s Digital Markets Act, passed in 2022, targets anti-competitive practices, with clear-cut requirements and rules, emphasizing fair conditions for app stores. This was specifically addressing Apple’s control over iPhone software downloads. While Apple hasn’t finalized its solution, the European Commission will review it for compliance with the law.
Another shocking detail reveals the cost associated with trying to open a third-party app store is a staggering €1,000,000. From what we know, the marketplace developers will be required to pay a €0.50 Core Technology Fee for each initial annual installation of their marketplace app.
Meta and Spotify are also looking to solidify their approach
While the reports of new fees and restricts of the Apple App Store are making headlines, companies like Meta and Spotify are also preparing for the change, with Meta considering a system that enables users to download their apps through Facebook ads, and Spotify planning direct downloads of iPhone apps from its website.
In contrast to Apple’s iOS devices, Android phones permit the installation of apps from sources outside the Google Play store, potentially aligning them with this aspect of the law. With that being said, Apple’s tight control has faced criticism for being anti-competitive, with accusations of high commissions and unfair competition, majorly with Epic Games taking Apple to trial.