May 23, 2024

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Apple confirms that widespread iPhone changes will reach millions of iPads

Apple confirms that widespread iPhone changes will reach millions of iPads

When the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act, it appointed platforms as gatekeepers, aiming to open things up to prevent monopoly abuses. As a result, Apple has radically changed the iPhone ecosystem for EU users, and now, it has just been confirmed, similar changes are coming for iPad users.

My usual reminder: Although this will only affect users in the EU, other governments will be watching closely to see if they want to implement similar legal changes in their countries.

May 5 update below. This post was first published on May 2, 2024.

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in Updated news for developers On Thursday, May 2, Apple confirmed that the changes it (reluctantly) introduced for the iPhone will come to the iPad this fall — the EU has allowed six months of compliance and the fall fits into that timeframe.

“This week, the European Commission designated iPadOS as a gatekeeper platform under the Digital Markets Act,” Apple said. Apple will bring recent iOS changes for apps in the European Union (EU) to iPadOS later this fall, as requested. Developers can choose to adopt alternative business terms for apps in the EU, which will include these additional capabilities and options on iPadOS, or stay with Apple’s current terms.

The changes are comprehensive, allowing for alternative app marketplaces that users can download apps from, rather than just the Apple App Store. It also allows users to choose a different browser to use on the device, and the browser does not have to rely on WebKit, as browsers exist on the iPhone in the US, UK and elsewhere.

Users can also choose their preferred default search engine, which has really changed the landscape in the EU, it seems.

Additionally, contactless payments can be made in more ways, without relying solely on Apple Wallet and Apple Pay. like Apple says“This includes APIs that enable developers to use NFC technology in their banking and wallet apps across the European Economic Area.”

In these alternative markets, app developers must pay an underlying technology fee for downloads over the first 1 million installs, but Apple has now said that if the same app is installed on an iPhone and iPad, that will count as just one install, which helps keep that The threshold of one million in the Gulf.

While many developers will remain in the App Store only, this move to embrace the iPad could be a game-changer.

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Updated May 5, 5.42am. Confirming that the iPad will fall under the same rules as the iPhone in Europe was only part of the story Apple has been telling in the past few days. It also announced an additional change in core technology fees besides what is mentioned above.

As you may have noticed, the CTF is one of the most controversial elements introduced by Apple, which was done to reflect the value Apple has invested in alternative business terms to keep users safe. After the first million installs, the developer pays $0.54 (€0.5) per yearly install, so the news that the same app downloaded on the iPhone and iPad counts as one of that total is welcome.

But in addition, Apple said no CTF is required if the developer doesn’t have any revenue, such as a free app without ads. Apple said“This includes creating a free app without monetization and is not tied to revenue of any kind (physical, digital, advertising, or otherwise).” This requirement is intended to give students, hobbyists, and other non-commercial developers the opportunity to create a popular application without paying CTF.

Young developers, with annual global revenues of less than €10 million, receive a free 3-year entry into the CTF to help them create innovative apps and grow their business quickly.


Updated May 5 at 2:30 p.m. There were more details on how to better protect small developers from core technology fees. I understand why Apple is charging for it: keeping users’ iPhone safe seems to be Apple’s primary concern, and that costs money. It has repeatedly said that using alternative app marketplaces is less secure than Apple’s own app marketplaces, so additional safeguards must be put in place.

Not only will there be a three-year break at no cost, but there will also be a cap, Apple said. It states, “During this three-year period, if a small developer who has not previously exceeded 1 million first annual installs exceeds the threshold for the first time, he will not pay a CTF, even if he continues to exceed 1 million first annual installs during that period. If one achieves Small developers with global revenue of between €10 million and €50 million over a 3-year period will start paying CTF after the first 1 million annual installs, up to a maximum of €1 million per install year.”

If global revenues are 10 million euros, the developer can pay up to 10% to Apple, or 1 million euros, although this limit applies across the board up to revenues of 50 million euros, and at the upper limit the rate drops to less than 2%

Naturally, many developers will decide to continue as they are now, i.e. just use Apple’s App Store and pay the relevant commission. This has been explained straightforwardly but there are still complications with the new arrangements, which may also be a consideration for developers when deciding which path to take.

What’s certain is that by the time 2024 rolls around, this year will see dramatic changes in the way the iPhone, and now iPad, operates in the EU. Will other countries adopt similar laws to force such changes on Apple? It seems likely, and the real question is not whether or not it will happen, but when.

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