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Apple today announced that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has agreed to close its App Store investigation in exchange for changes to how "reader" apps like Netflix operate. Reader apps allow users to browse previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video.

app-store-blue-banner.jpg

Going forward, developers that create "reader" apps will be able to include an in-app link to their website for users to either set up or manage an account, and signup using a non-App Store payment method will be possible. Apple says that this change will be applied globally to all reader apps on the App Store.

Because reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple has agreed to let these apps share just one link to their website for "account management" purposes.
"Trust on the App Store is everything to us. The focus of the App Store is always to create a safe and secure experience for users, while helping them find and use great apps on the devices they love," said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow who oversees the App Store. "We have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we've done together, which will help developers of reader apps make it easier for users to set up and manage their apps and services, while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust."
Apple says that prior to when the change goes into effect in 2022, the App Store guidelines and the review process will be updated to "make sure users of reader apps continue to have a safe experience on the App Store." Apple plans to help developers of reader apps "protect users when they link to an external website to make purchases."

Apple last week paid $100 million and agreed to make minor changes to its App Store policies to settle a class-action developer lawsuit. The money is going to a "fund" for small developers, who will receive payments from Apple.

Under the terms of that deal, Apple will let developers use communication methods like email to tell customers about payment methods available outside of iOS apps, and it will expand the price points that developers can offer for apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. Apple also plans to release annual transparency reports on the app review process.

The "reader" app change introduced today is a much more significant victory for Apple developers because it will allow apps to provide an in-app link to a website where a purchase can be made outside of the App Store. This will be available for apps like Spotify and Netflix, and it addresses one of the biggest issues that developers have with the App Store. Once implemented in 2022, a huge swath of developers will have an option to offer non-App Store signups to avoid the 15 to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from each transaction.

Article Link: Apple Letting 'Reader' Apps Offer Links for Account Sign Ups Outside of the App Store to Close Japan Investigation
 
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jakotako

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2021
3
32
The fact that a certain category of apps can now use payment methods outside the App store is the catalyst that will eventually lead to every app being allowed to do so. I cannot imagine app developers will just walk away from the conversation with only reader apps being given this privilege.
 

GadgetDon

macrumors 6502
May 11, 2002
316
259
The fact that a certain category of apps can now use payment methods outside the App store is the catalyst that will eventually lead to every app being allowed to do so. I cannot imagine app developers will just walk away from the conversation with only reader apps being given this privilege.

Giving my credit card to Netflix, Spotify, Hulu? I'm OK with that. To some no-name developer for a loot box? Way too risky.

If every app does do that, 3-6 months later, stories in the press about "iPhone user got charged tens of thousands of dollars after buying a $5 in game purchase, Apple must fix this!"
 

bgraham

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2015
184
887
United Kingdom
Giving my credit card to Netflix, Spotify, Hulu? I'm OK with that. To some no-name developer for a loot box? Way too risky.

If every app does do that, 3-6 months later, stories in the press about "iPhone user got charged tens of thousands of dollars after buying a $5 in game purchase, Apple must fix this!"
PayPal exists, and it doesn't charge 30% lol
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,512
11,133
NC
To everyone saying Epic has won...

"Because reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple has agreed to let these apps share just one link to their website for "account management" purposes."

Is Fortnite a "reader" app?

I thought the whole point of Fortnite is to sell digital VBucks to buy digital costumes and whatnot?

:p
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,721
5,966
Giving my credit card to Netflix, Spotify, Hulu? I'm OK with that. To some no-name developer for a loot box? Way too risky.

If every app does do that, 3-6 months later, stories in the press about "iPhone user got charged tens of thousands of dollars after buying a $5 in game purchase, Apple must fix this!"

Agreed. I think this is where a lot of these wishful thinking app developers will be sadly disappointed. I don’t want to give you my email, personal info, credit card, etc. I don’t want to spend the time to type it in. I’ll use Apple IAP or Apple Pay, or I’ll bail. This included companies like Facebook, which while they bring a lot of vendors to the table, you would be nuts to give the scumbags at FaceBook this information.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,512
11,133
NC
How exactly will the consumer “win”? This is a win for Netfix and the others that qualify for this, consumers will not see any savings.

Exactly.

Your Netflix subscription price or Spotify subscription price isn't going to drop because of this news.

And speaking of Spotify... will this put a stop to their EU investigations?

Spotify's main complaint was that they couldn't send people from the app to their website to have people purchase their subscriptions there, right?

This seems to solve that.

Now Spotify can focus on why they continue to lose billions of dollars every quarter because music streaming is a horrible business to be in.

They won't be able to blame Apple anymore...

:p
 
Wow!! So Epic has won the battle, along with everyone other developer! I guess provided the user uses this method and its not buried deep in the app ortherwise Apple still win because their payment system will be front of house. What a day!
The CEO definitely bought some fire to Apple. Curious to see what the final payout is going to be like.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2012
2,956
3,368
Look who blinked. Great win for the consumer.
It’s not like they have a choice at this point. If they don’t agree eventually more countries will mandate it in law and Apple will have to comply anyways if they want to keep operating there. Making developers follow different rules for each country will become untenable.
 

HiVolt

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
1,313
5,194
Toronto, Canada
Yeah, really looking forward to when i have to spend 3 hours on hold and 3 more hours arguing with customer retention specialists to cancel any service I use on my iphone, because everyone stops using apple’s subscription services.
Nobody's gonna stop any devs from using the app store and charging a higher fee for it, and the outside payment can be charged less.

This is what Apple currently forbids.
 
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