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Apple App Store Major EU Compliance Changes: All Details

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The tech giant, facing pressure from the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), has significantly changed its regional App Store. As Per Apple:

“The changes we’re announcing today comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements in the European Union while helping to protect EU users from the unavoidable increased privacy and security threats this regulation brings. Our priority remains creating the best, most secure possible experience for our users in the EU and worldwide,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “Developers can now learn about the new tools and terms available for alternative app distribution and alternative payment processing, new capabilities for alternative browser engines and contactless payments, and more. Importantly, developers can remain on the same business terms in place today if they prefer.”

Effective March 2024, these adjustments aim to foster fairer competition and empower users with more choices. Let’s break down the key details:

Enhancing Developer Options and User Protections Under the Digital Markets Act

Enhancing Developer Options and User Protections Under the Digital Markets Act

Apple has announced iOS, Safari, and the App Store updates aimed at EU developers, aligning with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These changes introduce over 600 new APIs, enhanced app analytics, support for alternative browser engines, and app payment and distribution options.

Apple is implementing new safeguards to mitigate, though not eradicate, the risks posed by the DMA to EU users, prioritizing delivering a secure user experience. These safeguards include Notarization for iOS apps, authorization for marketplace developers, and disclosures on alternative payments.

The adjustments for EU apps align with the European Commission’s designation of iOS, Safari, and the App Store as “core platform services” under the DMA. Additionally, Apple announced new options for streaming games and over 50 forthcoming reports on various topics.

Revamping iOS 

Revamping iOS 

Apple is implementing several adjustments to iOS within the EU to adhere to the DMA. These modifications offer developers fresh avenues for distributing apps, including:

  • Introducing new options for distributing iOS apps through alternative app marketplaces, facilitated by innovative APIs and tools empowering developers to make their iOS apps available for download from such platforms.
  • They are rolling out new frameworks and APIs for developing alternative app marketplaces, allowing marketplace developers to install apps and manage updates on behalf of other developers via dedicated marketplace apps.
  • Providing new frameworks and APIs for alternative browser engines, enabling developers to utilize browser engines other than WebKit for browser apps and in-app browsing experiences.
  • They are introducing an interoperability request form, where developers can submit additional requests for interoperability with iPhone and iOS hardware and software features.
  • Additionally, Apple is sharing DMA-compliant changes impacting contactless payments, such as new APIs enabling developers to integrate NFC technology into their banking and wallet apps across the European Economic Area. 
  • Apple is implementing new controls in the EU, allowing users to designate a third-party contactless payment app or an alternative app marketplace as their default choice. While these new options for developers’ EU apps inevitably introduce new risks to Apple users and their devices, Apple is taking steps within the DMA’s constraints to mitigate these risks.
  • These safeguards, including Notarization for iOS apps and authorization for marketplace developers, aim to reduce privacy and security risks for iOS users in the EU, such as malware or malicious code threats. However, Apple acknowledges its limitations in addressing other risks, including scams, fraud, abuse, or exposure to illicit content, particularly with apps using alternative browser engines. Despite these challenges,
  • Apple remains committed to protecting the privacy, security, and quality of the iOS user experience in the EU as much as possible within the DMA’s constraints. 

Safari Revamped

Reflecting the DMA’s requirements, Apple is introducing a new choice screen for iOS users within the EU, prompting them to select a default browser from a list of options when they first open Safari in iOS 17.4 or later.

Embracing App Store Changes: 

Embracing App Store Changes

App Store Adjustments Apple is introducing several modifications to the App Store that impact developers with apps in the EU, affecting various operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. For developers, these changes are:

  • Fresh options for integrating payment service providers (PSPs) within their apps to handle payments for digital goods and services.
  • Alternatives for processing payments via link-out enable users to finalize digital goods and services transactions on the developer’s external website. Developers can notify EU users about promotions, discounts, and other offers outside their apps.
  • Business planning tools enable developers to estimate fees and comprehend metrics associated with Apple’s new business terms for EU apps.
  • Additionally, the modifications include new measures to safeguard and inform EU users, including App Store product page labels and alert users when an app they’re downloading utilizes alternative payment processing.
  • In-app disclosure sheets notifying users when transactions are no longer conducted with Apple and when developers direct them to transact using an alternative payment processor.
  • New App Review processes ensure developers accurately convey information about transactions involving alternative payment processors.
  • Expanded data portability on Apple’s Data & Privacy site, enabling EU users to access new data concerning their App Store usage and export it to an authorized third party. For apps utilizing alternative payment processing, Apple will be unable to issue refunds and will have limited capability to assist customers experiencing issues, scams, or fraud.

New Business Terms

The new terms include reduced commissions, payment processing fees, and a Core Technology Fee, allowing developers to distribute their iOS apps from the App Store and alternative app marketplaces and use alternative payment processors.

Under the new business terms for iOS apps in the EU, three key elements are mentioned:

  1.  iOS apps on the App Store will incur a commission of 10 percent (for most developers and subscriptions after the first year) or 17 percent on digital goods and services transactions.
  2.  iOS apps on the App Store can utilize the platform’s payment processing fee for an additional 3 percent. Developers can employ a payment service provider within their app or direct users to their website for payment processing at no extra cost to Apple.
  3.  iOS apps distributed from the App Store and alternative app marketplaces will be subject to a €0.50 fee for each first annual install per year exceeding a 1 million threshold.

End Note

Apple App Store Major EU Compliance Changes

Apple’s adjustments to iOS, Safari, and the App Store underscore its commitment to complying with EU regulations while striving to offer developers enhanced flexibility and users greater privacy and security protections under the Digital Markets Act.


Q: What are Apple’s significant changes in response to EU compliance regulations?

A: Apple is introducing significant changes to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union. These changes include adjustments to how payments are processed outside of the App Store and a new fee structure for developers.

Q: How will these changes impact app developers in EU countries?

A: App developers in EU countries will need to comply with the new regulations set forth by Apple to align with the DMA. This may involve adjusting their payment processes and adhering to the new fee structure.

Q: What is the significance of the preview feature being introduced by Apple?

A: The preview feature introduced by Apple allows users to see content from apps before downloading them, providing a more transparent and informative experience.

Q: How will these changes affect Spotify and other apps outside the App Store?

A: Spotify and other apps outside of the App Store will need to adjust their payment methods and fee structures to comply with the new regulations in the EU.

Q: How does Apple’s response reflect the company’s approach to EU compliance?

A: Apple’s response reflects the company’s commitment to meeting the requirements set forth by the European Commission and ensuring that its operations in the EU align with the DMA.

Q: Will Apple give any additional guidance to app developers regarding the changes?

A: Apple is expected to guide and support app developers to help them navigate the new requirements and make the necessary adjustments to comply with the EU regulations.

Q: What are some of the alternative app stores or platforms that developers can consider in light of these changes?

A: Developers may explore alternative app stores or platforms outside the Apple iOS App Store to distribute their applications while adhering to the new compliance regulations in the EU.

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