Apple has unveiled forthcoming changes for developers and users as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) prepares for enforcement. Exciting new opportunities are on the horizon for developers to distribute their apps, manage payments, and explore more avenues. These transformations specifically impact developers whose apps are available in the 27 EU member states. Those inclined to retain the current setup can proceed without alterations. Anticipated to take effect in March 2024, these new regulations will integrate seamlessly into iOS 17.4.

The fees in the European App Stores will significantly decrease

Fees in the European App Stores will significantly decrease: from 15%-30% to 10%-17%. If developers opt to use the App Store’s payment system, they will pay an additional 3%. A Core Technology Fee of €0.50 will be introduced as compensation for the use of tools and similar resources. This fee only applies to apps that are installed for the first time more than 1 million times annually. If a user downloads the same app multiple times in a year, it counts as one download.

Additionally, there are several new global possibilities, including: Streaming game services and mini-apps will be possible. This means that streaming services such as Steam, Valve, and Xbox can submit their apps for their entire game catalog. More than 50 new reports will be available in the App Store Connect API, providing more insights into app performance in terms of engagement, app usage, and more. Read the press release here.

Major Changes for Apple in EU Countries Apple is set to implement several significant changes, including the ability to download apps from alternative marketplaces in the EU. However, the company emphasizes that these other app stores do not adhere to the same security measures as the App Store. This makes it possible to release unauthorized apps on the iPhone. Developers whose apps previously failed to pass Apple’s review process due to non-compliance with guidelines can now attempt to do so via a third-party marketplace.

Apple will also conduct notarization of iOS apps. This is a quick security check partially automated. Notarization for macOS apps was introduced earlier but is not mandatory. It’s not an app review but rather a check to ensure the app is made by the correct developer and does not contain malicious code. However, Apple cannot exert full control over it.

Updated cost structure Apple will implement

Reduced commission
iOS apps in the App Store will pay a lower commission of 10% (for most apps) or a percentage of 17% for digital goods and services. Previously, this was 15% and 30%.

Payment processing fee
Developers who opt to use Apple’s payment system will pay a ‘payment processing fee’ of an extra 3%. If they use another payment method, they won’t pay anything extra.

Core Technology Fee
The company plans to charge a Core Technology Fee of 50 cents for each initial download and applies only to companies with over 1 million first app downloads per year. Apple estimates that only 1% of app developers will be affected by this.

Starting from iOS 17.4, it will be possible in the EU to install apps from alternative marketplaces. Developers can already test this feature in the iOS 17.4 beta. There will be mandatory notarization for iOS apps, involving a basic assessment focused on platform policies regarding security and privacy.

Authorization will be required for marketplace developers. Not everyone can simply start an alternative App Store. Marketplaces must meet various (financial) requirements, such as a $1 million letter of credit.

Rates in the EU will decrease: 10%-17% for payments via an alternative payment service and an additional 3% if you choose to use Apple’s payment service. Developers will have the option to use alternative browser engines in the EU (no longer restricted to WebKit).

Developers can request interoperability with iOS and iPhone features from Apple. Developers will have the option to link to payment methods outside the app and use alternative payment services.

Check HERE the announcement at Apple