Apple was forced to loosen the grip it holds on its App Store payment system after a US judge ruled on Friday in a closely watched battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games.
The App Store acts as the lone gateway for mobile applications of any kind onto iPhones or other Apple devices.Apple requires developers to its rules for what apps can or can’t do, and makes them use the App Store payment system for all transactions there.
Apple takes a commission of up to 30 percent of app purchases or transactions, contending it is a fair fee for providing a safe, global platform for developers to hawk their creations.
Apple maintains that 85 percent of the approximately 1.8 million apps at the digital shop pay nothing to the Silicon Valley-based tech giant.
The ruling by US district court judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers said that Apple’s control of the App Store did not amount to a monopoly, but that it must let developers include links to other online venues for buying content or services.
App makers will be able to provide links that users can click on to take them to another website to buy content or otherwise interact.
Apple can still require its payment system to be used for in-app purcha
The biggest change lovers of Apple mobile gadgets might notice is that apps should start showcasing links enticing them to leave the App Store to spend money.
Apple representatives called the ruling a validation of the App Store business model.
The judge did not order Apple to let Fortnite back in the App Store, and studio’s CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted the game would only return “when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple.
Small developers likely see benefits to using Apple’s payment system and provided perks, such as promoting apps or handling refunds, the analyst reasoned.
Most of the offerings at the App Store are created by small developers who haven’t built their own payment systems the way Epic Games runs its own online shop, noted analyst Carolina Milanesi.
App users might also feel more comfortable trusting transactions on Apple’s platform rather than entering credit cards or other information on third-party website.
Apple may be planning to more than offset any lost revenue with its own advertising business, according to the analyst.