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Apr 12, 2001
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EU developers can now add alternative app marketplaces to App Store Connect, Apple said today. Apple is also accepting submissions for the Notarization process, which is required for all apps that will be distributed through alternative marketplaces.

App-Store-vs-EU-Feature-2.jpg

Apple is making these changes to App Store Connect ahead of the launch of iOS 17.4, an update that overhauls the app ecosystem in the European Union. Alternative app marketplaces are special iOS apps that can be downloaded onto an iPhone from a website or a web browser, serving as an alternative to the App Store. App marketplaces are able to distribute iOS apps, giving developers a way to sell their apps without using the App Store.

Both alternative marketplaces and apps that are added to the iPhone through one of the marketplaces are checked over by Apple to prevent malware, viruses, and similar malicious content.

To add an alternative app marketplace or submit an app for Notarization, developers must agree to Apple's new business terms. The business terms include a Core Technology Fee that requires app marketplaces to pay .50 euros per install, and apps to pay the same fee after 1 million installs.

With alternative app marketplaces able to be added to App Store Connect, marketplace distribution and marketplace apps can be set up, and TestFlight can be used to beta test new features.

TestFlight also supports apps that use alternative browser engines and alternative payments through third-party payment providers.

Article Link: Apple Starts Letting Developers Add Alternative App Marketplaces to App Store Connect
 

DaveMcM76

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2012
434
393
Scottish Highlands
I understand why Apple wants to vet the apps to prevent malware…but at the same time I really don't see the point in an alternative marketplace if Apple is just going to have to certify the app anyway. Isn't that what everyone was upset about to begin with?
As I understand it the apps are being certified and checked for malware / obvious crashes just like Apple App Store apps but 3rd party App Store apps have no checks or restrictions on content. Essentially it’s the same process as notarisation for Mac apps.
 

JordanCautious

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2023
85
228
I more or less already know how this is going to turn out. Since this whole thing is literally just lobbying the EU so they don’t have to pay 30% to Apple.

1st: In its current form, Apple implemented Malicious compliance. But I doubt the EU will let that happen. So they’ll make a slightly worse version, which will just be the version they had all along.

2nd: Epic and Microsoft bring their app stores to iOS to compete with Apple. Likely two additional stores will crop up as well. Some random startup and probably one with loose moderation that will be closed cause 18+.

3rd: Apple lowers fees to probably 20% to complete with Epic’s (likely) 15% and Microsoft’s 15-20%. A bunch of seedy mobile games will move over, alongside a few big players (definitely Spotify) who hope the other app stores don’t require the privacy transparency that Apple does. Or just don’t like Apple.

I’ll place my bets now
 

DFZD

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2012
1,002
2,625
I understand why Apple wants to vet the apps to prevent malware…but at the same time I really don't see the point in an alternative marketplace if Apple is just going to have to certify the app anyway. Isn't that what everyone was upset about to begin with?
The issue was that apps like Netflix and Spotify or games like Fortnite are so popular that they don’t need App Store’s discovery feature. So they don’t feel that the huge commission is justified as it also makes them uncompetitive.
 

DFZD

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2012
1,002
2,625
2nd: Epic and Microsoft bring their app stores to iOS to compete with Apple. Likely two additional stores will crop up as well. Some random startup and probably one with loose moderation that will be closed cause 18+.
Microsoft doesn’t need to bring their App Store they will just add the feature to install their apps from their “Start App” and so will Netflix with its Games. The whole closed box approach to app install is so restrictive because no other platform does this on mobile or desktop.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2002
6,821
9,174
Vancouver, BC
So it begins... mark my words, with this step, iOS world will awake to life and freedom.

As a Mac user first, I'm rejoiced. Sadly I don't live in EU so I've to wait more.

That's one perspective, but not the only one.

Another is that the iOS world will become like Windows, and in some ways like macOS, where apps, and entire app marketplaces, are eventually abandoned because they just couldn't make a go of it. That's the piece that developers have taken for granted with the App Store. They don't have to worry about the "health" of the marketplace that they distribute apps through. They don't have to worry about payment processing, support/help desks, etc. This is what the 30% has always paid for. Now they'll be on their own, and the true cost of developing, distributing and supporting apps will become real.
 

mike2q

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2006
196
403
I don’t understand the need for it. I think the normal App Store is filled with crap so god knows what this alternative one will be like

Well you said it yourself, the Apple app store is filled with crap. Now you or anyone else could open and host your own app store with carefully curated quality content. Over time you build a reputation for only hosting the best and become the go-to for all good things. That's the point.
 

till

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2007
237
1,373
New York or Berlin
Nobody is gonna run an alternative app store under the current conditions. 50 cents per user, per year, for the privilege of competing with Apple? C'mon. It is obvious to everyone that the policy was designed to make competition extremely difficult.

EU regulators will be examining the policy next month, and hopefully we end up in a much better situation soon.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2002
6,821
9,174
Vancouver, BC
Well you said it yourself, the Apple app store is filled with crap. Now you or anyone else could open and host your own app store with carefully curated quality content. Over time you build a reputation for only hosting the best and become the go-to for all good things. That's the point.

In an ideal world, sure, but a big part of the complaining has been about the 30% commission that Apple keeps. So it's about price, profits... and alternative marketplaces will complete on price, so it's a race to the bottom.

Your description is a "premium" experience, and with that would be a premium cost of operations. Unlike the fancy malls in the world where brands "need" to be there, app stores don't have that same "let's go to the mall" type of draw.

While I will likely never feel safe purchasing from an alternative app store on iOS, I do appreciate that this is rocking the boat and keeping Apple on their toes. It's only going to lead to the official App Store getting better.
 
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Unregistered 4U

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2002
9,766
7,635
Don’t worry we’ll gladly enjoy that freedom like in macOS, while you americans ironically cry against it ;)
So, are people REALLY calling “continued lock in to the Apple App Store, something that doesn’t exist on the Mac” equivalent to the freedom like in macOS?

I mean, I guess when what someone wants is not going to happen, just change your expectations to match reality?
 
Last edited:

eifelbube

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2020
370
299
That's one perspective, but not the only one.

Another is that the iOS world will become like Windows, and in some ways like macOS, where apps, and entire app marketplaces, are eventually abandoned because they just couldn't make a go of it. That's the piece that developers have taken for granted with the App Store. They don't have to worry about the "health" of the marketplace that they distribute apps through. They don't have to worry about payment processing, support/help desks, etc. This is what the 30% has always paid for. Now they'll be on their own, and the true cost of developing, distributing and supporting apps will become real.
I would agree with “true cost of developing, distributing and supporting apps will become real” if iOS apps had be to be boxed, shipped, and sold as physical media.
 
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