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macrumors newbie
Mar 4, 2021
I absolutely do not want third party app stores or other payment options in apps. I don’t want to give my payment info to every app/store under the sun and risk potential data leaks where my credit card number gets stolen. I trust Apple to keep my payment info secure. That’s why I don’t buy much online. I limit my purchasing to Amazon (since if they were hacked everyone would be screwed) and websites that take Apple Pay or PayPal (which is a pain to use). I don’t give my credit card numbers out anywhere else.

If Apple could require apps to provide both Apple’s and 3rd party IAP I guess that would be the least bad of all options. I doubt Apple would be allowed to do that though - this would probably see this as an abuse of their market position. Allowing 3rd party IAP also introduced headaches for the consumer when trying to dispute charges or get refunds.

I’m mostly worried about apps that only support 3rd party IAP or are walled behind third party app stores. While it has been pointed many times out that I can just ignore those apps, what happens when there is one that I actually need (not just want)?

As far as allowing third party app stores, I could potentially see larger devs like say Google forcing users to install their App Store to get their apps (based off what they did with Windows Phone this doesn't seem that far off). Or what if some government like Russia forced all apps installed in their country to go through their App Store? Who knows what kind of surveillance could be injected this way. If third party stores could also offer ApplePay that would potentially be better than nothing.

As a consumer I already have options for what payment method actually backs Apple's IAP - whether that be a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.), PayPal via linked AppleID account, or cash via purchased gift cards. This isn't really about consumers, this is about devs that don't want to give Apple a cut of the payments. I highly doubt prices would be lower with 3rd party IAP - Apple already lowered their commission from 30% to 15% for most apps and I'm not aware of any that have lowered their prices to pass the savings onto the consumer. The App Store has already done a lot to lower software prices for consumers. Before the App Store most commercial software was $50 - $100 or more.

Physical stores already limit what payment methods consumers can use. Visa and MasterCard are accepted pretty much everywhere though Costco only accepts Visa. I've already been to places that won't accept my Discover card and American Express has an even lower acceptance rate than Discover. Some stores don’t even accept credit cards. There are even stores that will give you discounts for using their store loyalty/credit card. Should they be forced to accept all credit cards?

Allowing third party stores will benefit large devs the most since they will have the infrastructure to host them (think Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Epic) and then they can pocket 100% of their IAP themselves. This won't help small devs nearly as much - they would have to partner with other app stores to be hosted. I can even envision certain apps being signed to exclusive deals with certain stores (similar to how streaming services get their exclusive content). What happens if an app moves stores? Do I need to re-download it again to continue to get updates? Will I have to re-buy my IAP since that was tied to the original store?

Many like to try and draw a comparison between iOS and Mac OS/Windows but that really isn't really the same thing. iOS has always been closed while Mac OS and Windows have always been open (more or less). This is nothing like a formerly open system suddenly locking things down so apps can only be installed from an app store. If anything this is more like the model game consoles have.

If this starts being enforced on Apple these changes need to be applied to game consoles as well. Going to your local store to buy a physical copy doesn’t get around the “App Store” tax since Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo still control the physical distribution (disc or cartridge) channels as well. Game consoles have had this walled garden approach going all the way back but somehow this is an issue now because why? I’ve seen some people comparing buying used games akin to side loading apps but to me that seems to be a stretch since the console makers still had to approve the software and got money from the original sale.

Again this isn’t about consumers. This is about big devs being greedy and wanting a free ride off Apple’s infrastructure.
You literally already use 3rd party payment systems if you ever paid for uber, uber eats, amazon, airbnb, robinhood, banking or any of that stuff on the iPhone. Transaction security is not an Apple thing - its a government regulated industry. How can apple claim to be offering security on payments when all payment providers including apple are operating under the same financial security regulations?


macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2021
The push for third party app stores largely comes from CCP backed groups, as the CCP wants to lock the App Store out and force a Party-controlled one on Chinese iPhones.

Don't compare it with malls. It's a computing platform and it should be free as windows and macos are. We don't need apple as the gatekeeper to download our software. We deserve lower prices for software. Apple makes enough money from selling the phones at a premium anyway.

The App Store has largely crushed profit margins for most software. Not sure how you expect things to go lower.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
Las Vegas, NV
The Google and Apple stores aren’t perfect but this is madness considering the massive wave of cybercrime that we experience and has grown during the pandemic. The amount of scams that would target users is scary and they will have nobody to help them.

So many apps have developers in far corners of the world and they won’t lift a finger to refund you. Some apps will be published just to collect money and disappear.

So many fronts for terrorist groups could release some cute kid’s game app that takes a bunch of money and then uses it to go commit violence somewhere.
If a user is scared to use something else they can continue to use the Apple/Google store.

Apple is only hurting its own ecosystem by doing this. Pro software companies that don't want to switch to some subscription model (that most users hate) will not invest a ton of resources in developing Apps that Apple could decide they don't accept any more, or want to compete with and have a built in edge over, while also taking 30% of their profit just for SUPPORTING the Platform.

Apple would sell FAR fewer iPhones and iPads if the only software available on it was Apple's own software. I would have switched to Android already for sure if that was the case.
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macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2014
The App Store has largely crushed profit margins for most software. Not sure how you expect things to go lower.
Simple. Say an app costs 10€ and apple takes 3€ from the sale. If you buy directly from the developer you pay 7€ and apple gets nothing.
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macrumors newbie
Mar 4, 2021
Other than a completed management and host platform.
Riddle me this - Trillions of dollars are transacted through the iphone for goods and services, yet digital goods, only around 72.3 billion (2020 numbers) is what apple is hell bent on getting 30% of. Why move heaven and earth to maintain your right to 30% of 72 billion when you can also get 30% of 1trillion+ that moves through your devices??

Because in-app purchases are a finesse. They are easy money for zero work. Trying to get 30% of goods and services would require apple to hire 1 million customer services agents and work for it - they wisely chose not to.
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macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2020
I agree that Apple could release a "Store Framework" allowing independent stores to be built, but on top of a framework built by Apple. This would provide competition between "merchants" in the app ecosystem, much like eBay and Amazon marketplaces.

I don't see stores being built outside of some level of Apple's control / guidance. This is Apple's platform at the end of the day, not an open platform. Apple is the "governing body" at the end of the day, just like in the real world marketplace. Rules and laws establish order to protect consumers.
That would be great for Apple if third parties are force to use the framework, then all Apple as to do is make it extremely buggy to the point of it being barely usable. It's a tactic that has been used when companies do not want peoples to use a software. For example Microsoft has made the free version of Skype buggy since they acquired it to push peoples to purchase the paid version.


Jun 18, 2014
Then they can use the App Store resources purchase methods.

Banning a requirement is A-ok.

Then I'll start charging for this free app I provide for my users to make up for paying Apple $1k/mo to use Apple Maps/CloudKit where I used to be able to use it for free.
Or I can shut down the app.

Congrats, you being A-ok of banning a requirement has passed the cost onto the users.


macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2015
Correct. Apple developed this in 2008 in response to a way to enhance the platform. But no one coerced a dev to sign up to with Apple either.
If they want to continue selling their Hardware, using state resources(aka. Citizens) to generate profit, they will have to obey, simply as that, and things will change for sure.
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Jun 18, 2014
did you read the article? they can still use the app store in-app purchases. this just gives the freedom to use other means if you don't want to share your hard earned money with a 2 trillion dollar company...

read your third sentence again and you'll see why my comment makes sense.


macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2010
The whole point is Apple is providing next to nothing for those digital "goods". They aren't providing the digital content. They aren't providing the backend that provides those services. Many of those systems exist fully outside of the Apple and Google ecosystems on the web, so they already have their payment infrastructure in place. Just one side charges 3%, and the other side demands you use their system and oh by the way, pay us 30% for delivering no value add.

You want to charge developers for making software, do it up front. Increase your developer fees. On the bright side, maybe it will eliminate a lot of crap that is making the app store bloated.

On the other hand, maybe they shouldn't actually charge developers anything. My argument is the iPhone would have been nothing without developers. A lot of the big developers on mobile were on desktop or web long before iOS (Yeah, thats probably changed a bit as we've hit the 15 year mark, its not all the old guard of developers anymore) ... they didn't need Apple to invent the iPhone. Did it help them? Sure, but Apple would be no where without their apps. They would be a company with dwindling PC market share, stuck on Intel, probably no phone market share having been replaced by more open platforms, and the iPod would have died out. Everyone knows the exploding iPhone business made Apple what it is today.

The original iPhone without app support sold okay, but it was nothing close to the success they saw after creating the App store. Apps add value to the platform, they make people want to buy the hardware. So IMHO don't nickel and dime your developers and focus on making the OS and hardware the best it can be. You are already making more than enough in that business to pay for all of its development - especially Apple with the highest margins in the industry. All of that R&D that people around here claims goes into the tools needs to happen regardless because they are used to make the system.

The iPhone was wildly popular before Apple released their appstore.

Apple had to be dragged kicking and screaming to release their own because Jobs didnt like it. Until the 3G IIRC Apple had no appstore installed.
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Apr 11, 2018
To date I have not seen any of the supporters of 3rd party payment systems explain how Apple is supposed to recoup the costs of the store and everything that supports the developers when most apps are listed FREE!

Back to the Best Buy or brick and mortar analogy, it would be like them putting TVs on their shelves, free for the taking, that come with "visit this website to activate" in big letters on the box. In that scenario the retailer is completely cut out of the equation.

I'm ok with IAP happening outside of Apple but then apps need to have a cost and the retailer, in this case Apple, is able to get a cut.
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macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2021
I believe a lot of malls & shopping centers charge tenants for a percentage profit, in addition to the rent. Thus if the App Store is an extension of the mall in a virtual sense, what Apple is doing is not out of bounds with in-app purchases. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
You are correct. And developers can be a tenant in any mall they want. As long as it's the Apple mall.
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