Home News Third-Party iOS App Store Launches in Europe This Week

Third-Party iOS App Store Launches in Europe This Week

Third-Party iOS App Store Launches in Europe This Week

A significant change is coming to iPhone users in Europe as third-party iOS app stores are set to become available this week, in line with new European Union regulations. This move is expected to reshape the app distribution landscape for iOS devices, introducing more competition and potentially altering how developers and consumers interact with app marketplaces.

Key Highlights:

  • Third-party app stores are being introduced in response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act.
  • Apple has implemented a system to ensure apps from outside the App Store meet certain security and privacy standards through a process called “Notarization.”
  • Developers can now distribute their apps outside the App Store, with a revised commission structure from Apple.
  • Setapp, a popular app subscription service, announces plans to launch as an alternative app store for EU users, promising a new platform for developers and consumers.

Third-Party iOS App Store Launches in Europe This Week

Apple’s Adaptation to the Digital Markets Act

Apple has made significant adjustments to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, aiming to open up its ecosystem to third-party app stores while maintaining user privacy and security. The company has introduced a new “Notarization” process to review apps distributed outside of its App Store. This process involves automated checks and a baseline human review focusing on accuracy, functionality, safety, security, and privacy. Despite these efforts, Apple’s Phil Schiller expressed concerns over potential risks to user privacy and security due to these regulatory changes​​​​.

New Opportunities for Developers and Consumers

With the introduction of third-party app stores, developers gain new avenues for app distribution and monetization. Apple’s new commission structure offers more favorable terms for developers, with a reduction in subscription and in-app purchase fees after the first year. Moreover, developers now have the option to bypass the App Store entirely, distributing their apps through alternative marketplaces while avoiding Apple’s commission fees. This could lead to more diverse and competitive pricing for apps and services​​.

Setapp’s Entrance into the iOS App Store Market

Setapp, known for its subscription-based service offering access to a curated selection of Mac and iOS apps, is poised to become one of the first third-party app stores available to European users. The company has already announced plans to launch its alternative app store, betting on the EU’s new regulatory framework to provide a more open and competitive app market. Setapp’s model offers developers better revenue shares compared to traditional app stores, with a potential for developers to earn up to 90% of user fees through a combination of base revenue sharing and bonuses for bringing in new customers​​.

The introduction of third-party app stores in Europe represents a significant shift in the iOS app ecosystem, potentially providing users with more choices and better privacy controls. While Apple has taken steps to ensure the security and privacy of apps distributed outside its own App Store, the long-term impact on the app market and developer community remains to be seen. As Setapp and other companies enter the market, developers and consumers alike will have new opportunities to explore alternative platforms that could offer more favorable terms and a wider range of apps. This evolution in the app distribution landscape underscores the importance of adapting to regulatory changes and the ongoing efforts to balance innovation with user protection.