Apple Announces Third-Party App Stores and Commission Cuts in the EU

As we reported earlier, today Apple announced third-party app store support only for the European Union (EU) market to meet the requirements of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which will come into force next March.

The iOS 17.4 update will allow users in the EU to install third-party stores on devices and set which stores will be used by default. Apple will then charge a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for each application installation for one account annually. This is to bear the process of ensuring that applications offered through third-party stores are safe to use and meet the specifications to be installed on the device. The first 1 million app installs are however free.

Developers can also offer payments outside the Apple ecosystem as requested by Epic Games and Spotify previously. The other big change is that Apple will only take a 17% commission cut compared to the previous 30%. Subscriptions that are over a year old will be charged a 10% commission deduction instead of 15%.

Apple has finally opened up access to NFC in the EU allowing payment apps other than Apple Pay and Wallet to be used on Apple devices. The use of engines other than WebKit on web browsers in the Apple ecosystem is also opened along with a selection screen to select the device's default web browser.

Apple confirmed third-party store support and various changes announced today only apply to the EU market to meet DMA requirements. There are no plans to offer it to other markets at this time.

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