Late on Friday, Apple announced that it will allow developers of iOS dating apps in the Netherlands to charge users via their own or third-party payment systems, rather than forcing them to use Apple’s own. This is to comply with recent rulings by Dutch authorities,
Despite implementing the change, Apple continues to appeal against the decision, arguing that it is not in the best interests of users.
By using alternative payment systems, developers may be hoping to escape the 15% or 30% revenue cut that Apple charges. The company, however, has insisted that it will still charge a commission for payments made outside the official channels. We don’t yet know how much it will charge.
Developers who wish to set up non-Apple payments will have to apply for one of two new entitlements, 9to5Mac reports: either the StoreKit External Link Entitlement (if they want to include a link to an external online payment system) or the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement (if they want to incorporate the payment system in the app itself).
Furthermore, devs who sell their apps in more than one country will need to create and maintain a separate binary (with the above entitlements) for the Netherlands, which may prove a deterrent.
Despite the obstacles to participation, and although for now this only applies to dating apps in the Netherlands, this is still a big step. For more than 13 years following the creation of the App Store, Apple obliged developers to use its own payment methods. But last week, the company opened up
third-payment systems in South Korea, and rivals will be keenly watching to see if these first two concessions pave the way for a wider relaxation of the App Store’s rules.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation (using
DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.