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To comply with the Digital Markets Act, a new European legislation, Apple is obliged to make its ecosystem more open. And among the changes that the firm announced for the EU, there is the opening of the iPhone to competitors of the App Store, for the distribution of applications. For the first time, Apple is allowing users within the European Union to install iPhone apps without going through its official store.
Although Apple's terms were very questionable, developer MacPaw decided to go for it. In a press release, it announces the imminent arrival of its application store for the iPhone. For those who don't know, MacPaw develops applications for Apple products. He also created a platform, called Setapp, which, in return for a monthly subscription, provides access to a catalog of more than 230 applications, mainly utility applications, for Mac and iPhone.
According to MacPaw, the creation of an application store for the iPhone was one of the new features most requested by its users. And Apple's changes to comply with the DMA allow it to do just that.“While this progress is encouraging, it is clear that the path to a fully competitive iOS market is still ongoing”, the developer nevertheless admits.
An imminent beta version
And apparently, the launch of the beta version of this alternative store for iOS is imminent. Indeed, MacPaw indicates that its developers are already in the final stages of developing this beta. The latter should therefore be released in 2024. However, MacPaw does not indicate precisely when this beta of Setapp for iOS will be available.
Regarding the catalog of available applications, MacPaw indicates that it is in discussions with developers whose apps are already present on its platform. However, he is also willing to collaborate with other developers.
It remains to be seen whether other players will take advantage of the recent changes to iOS to create an app store for the iPhone. As a reminder, Microsoft also has the ambition to compete with the App Store on iOS and the Play Store on Android, by relying on the video game catalog of Xbox, which recently bought Activision. However, it is not certain that Apple's conditions suit the Redmond firm.
Microsoft has already reacted
For developers who distribute their apps outside the App Store in the EU, Apple has implemented a new trade agreement. Even when apps are distributed outside the App Store, the Cupertino company continues to charge commissions. And that includes a “base technology fee.” “Developers of iOS apps distributed on the App Store and/or an alternative app store will pay €0.50 for each first installation of an app over a year, once one million installations have been reached exceeded”, explained the firm, regarding this commission.
After the announcement, Microsoft reacted, through Sarah Bond, the president of Xbox. “We believe that constructive conversations lead to change and progress towards open platforms and greater competition. Apple's new policy is going in the wrong direction. We hope they will listen to the feedback on the proposed plan and work towards a more inclusive future for all,” she wrote on the social network X.
- To comply with the DMA, Apple announced that it made the iPhone compatible with third-party stores to install applications on iOS
- A developer takes advantage of this opportunity to announce the development of a competitor to the App Store
- Microsoft is also interested in the distribution of apps and games on mobile, but it is not certain that the conditions imposed by Apple suit it
- Indeed, even when an application is distributed outside the App Store, Apple continues to collect commissions
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