Apple gives up and will allow applications such as Netflix and Spotify to offer links to register without going through the App Store
A few days ago Apple promised slight changes for developers in the United States in order to appease demands, more recently South Korea has forced them to allow third-party payments and now it is Japan’s turn. Apple has announced that Japan’s Fair Trade commission has agreed to close the investigation they have with Apple in exchange for allow certain applications to link outside the App Store to charge the user.
As announced by Apple in an official statement, “reading” applications will be able from 2022 to take the user to an external website to register and enter a payment method. Until now the rules were to allow the registration of new users within the app itself, which implies that Apple takes the commission of 15% or 30% (depending on various conditions). Otherwise, the developer was not allowed to offer any link or clue that indicated that the user can register on its website (to avoid commission to Apple). This is not like that.
Developers creating “reader” applications will soon be able to include a button or link within the application that leads to a website where the user sets up a new account. In this way, developers will be able to implement third-party or own payment methods to avoid the commission to Apple.
The change will be reflected not only in Japan but internationally. Of course, only for “reading” applications. “Reading” applications are according to Apple those that “allow users to browse previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music and video.” This includes, for example, streaming services for movies, series, music or books such as Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Kindle.
A battle that has taken years
This is without a doubt a significant change for many large companies they have seen Apple’s limitation an impediment. On the grounds that it is intended to protect the user from scams and unsafe methods, developers have been prevented from offering alternative payment methods or even indicating that you can pay or create an account outside of the app. Services like Spotify have taken Apple to court for this, others like Netflix simply manage to put a message saying that it is not possible to create an account within the app. Of course, they do not give any clue (because they are not allowed) of how to create an account or even if they can do it from outside the app.
Those who do not seem to be entering this category of “reading” apps are two of the greats that have fought with Apple in recent years. On the one hand Epic Games with its game ‘Fortnite’ and on the other hand Basecamp with its HEY mail app. Both companies brought the controversy to light during 2020 however none of them seem to be able to benefit of this change.
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