Apple has agreed to make modest changes to relax its App Store rules after facing heat from regulators worldwide.
The change will allow developers of “reader” apps to link to external sites for payments to avoid paying Apple’s controversial fees for in-app purchases, as high as 30 per cent. The changes, due to come into effect next year, will do little for apps which feature in-app purchases for goods and services such as games.
Phil Schiller, an Apple Fellow who oversees the App Store, defended the company’s payment method which he said creates a “safe and secure experience for users while helping them find and use great apps on the devices they love.”
“Trust on the App Store is everything to us” Schiller added.
The concession was part of a settlement with Japan’s anti-trust regulator with the new rule bringing a five-year-long investigation to a close.
The tech behemoth may have seen off the challenge from Japan’s fair trade authority, but it faces law-suits in the US, European Union and India over its App Store fees which regulators say raise prices for customers and creates barriers to entry for new app developers.
A particularly high-profile case involving Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, is ongoing. Epic Games accused Apple of running a monopoly after Fortnite was kicked off the app store for instilling its own payments system.
Despite the pushback from regulators and app developers Apple saw record revenue of $81.4bn for the three months ending on June 26. Quarterly earnings per diluted share stood at $1.30.