Local businesses that provide applications and online services could be affected by Apple's new regulations. (Photo: 123RF)
TECHNO SANS ANGLES MORTS analyzes current technologies, meets the minds behind these innovations and examines the digital tools offered to Quebec businesses. This section will help you understand today's trends so you can be prepared for tomorrow's trends.
TECHNO WITHOUT blind spots. A series of new measures, imposed in particular by the entry into force of a European regulation, force Apple to review several functions and policies related to the iPhone, such as the possibility of installing a third-party app store. Although these changes are currently reserved for Europe, developers should take note here.
Third-party app stores, new payment methods and more
In total, dozens of changes were announced by Apple last week, some of which are intended to help improve competition between Apple and other companies, at least in Europe.
Importantly, note that for the first time, developers will have the right to distribute their applications outside of the App Store through new third-party app stores (so-called app marketplaces). Epic Games, which produces the Fortnite game and has a games store for Mac and PC, has already announced its intention launches its Epic Games Store on iOS.
The iPhone's NFC chip, currently reserved for the Apple Pay service for paying in stores, will also be open to other payment solutions and developers will be able to use non-Safari web browsers for the first time.
Application developers can also use a payment service other than Apple for their in-app purchases or invite users to complete the transaction on the web.
Apple will also allow game streaming services (like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Nvidia's GeForce NOW) to have their own mobile apps for the first time. Previously, these games, which run on servers rather than the devices themselves, had to be launched via a web browser.
Only for Europe
Apple's changes were announced in anticipation of the entry into force in March of the Digital Markets Acts (DMA), a European Commission regulation aimed at restricting anti-competitive practices by large technology companies that force the opening of certain digital services.
We can expect other companies to announce similar changes in the coming weeks. For example, messaging providers such as WhatsApp must enable their subscribers to communicate with users of other messaging services.
Note that, with the exception of the global opening for game streaming services, the other new features Apple announced last week are reserved for European users.
Considerations for local businesses
Local businesses that provide applications and online services could be affected by Apple's new regulations.
In fact, developers have two options available to their European users: they cannot change anything in their agreement with Apple or they can adopt the company's new terms for the European market.
If you don't change anything, your monthly bill to Apple will stay the same. If you adopt the new measures, your payments will change, regardless of whether you list your app in the App Store or an App Marketplace.
Basically, Apple's new offer reduces App Store commissions to 10 or 17% depending on the application (compared to the current 15 to 30%), or to 0% if you sell it through an App Marketplace instead. You could also save even more by using another payment service.
However, there is an important disadvantage: developers have to pay 0.50 euros to Apple for every application downloaded over 1 million, regardless of whether it is distributed in the App Store or not and whether it is distributed in the App Store or not. whether it is paid or not.
Apple estimates that 99% of developers should benefit from the new formula, but 1% of them will have to pay more. If you have an application and it is used in Europe, Apple has put a calculator online that allows you to estimate the amount of your payments based on the chosen formula.
A file that is just beginning
It is not yet clear whether the changes announced by Apple will be enough in the eyes of Brussels. Of course, the company is opening its platforms a little wider, but with significant restrictions.
“Apple’s proposal forces developers to choose between two anti-competitive and illegal options. “Either they choose the status quo or they choose a new set of complicated terms that are harmful to both developers and consumers,” said Rick VanMeter, director of the Coalition for App Fairness, a lobby that includes Epic and Belong to Spotify.
The European Commission must examine proposals from companies like Apple from March 7th. It remains to be seen whether the announced measures will be viewed as sufficient. If not, Apple will have to go back to the drawing board.