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We reported three days ago that, for the first time, Apple has submitted to the court ruling and enabled Dutch dating apps to direct users to an external website to make payments or use a 3rd party payment service.
Apple has introduced two new optional “entitlements” to enable this, but Apple says when developers use these options Apple will not help users with refunds, payment issues or subscription management.
Apple will however not be offering their distribution service for free. In their developer documentation, Apple confirmed that transactions facilitated by these new entitlements will still be subject to a platform commission paid to Apple.
This is the same strategy Google is using in South Korea, where Google’s commission was 26%, meaning developers did not save anything significant by using third party providers.
Developers will also face a number of other challenges if they use alternate providers. They would need to submit a Dutch-only binary, and will only be able to offer a 3rd party in-app payment or link to an external website payment, but not both.
It seems likely Apple will be complying with the letter but not the spirit of the court order, which found Apple imposed unreasonable conditions on developers.
The danger of course for Apple is that a court may eventually force Apple to open up distribution competition on their platform via 3rd party app stores, to level the playing field.
Read more about the challenges developers using 3rd party payment providers will face at MobileDevMemo here.