Apple To Let EU Users Download Apps From Websites

Apple has announced a significant change for users in the European Union (EU), allowing them to directly download iOS apps from developers’ websites. This move, set to roll out in a software update later this spring, enables users to bypass the App Store and its associated fees.

Apple revealed that the upcoming “Web Distribution” feature will permit authorized developers to distribute their iOS apps directly to EU users through their websites. However, developers must adhere to specific “Notarization requirements” to ensure platform integrity. Apps will only be installable from website domains registered in App Store Connect.

The tech giant’s decision follows recent modifications to its systems, including the App Store and Apple Pay, to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Under DMA regulations, Apple, alongside other gatekeepers, was mandated to implement changes set by the European Commission by March 7.

Before the DMA deadline, Apple faced a substantial fine of approximately $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) from the EU. The penalty was imposed for alleged “abusive App Store rules for music streaming providers,” with Apple contesting the decision and expressing intentions to appeal. The company argued that the EU’s ruling could further bolster the dominant position of competitors like Spotify.

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In response to the fine, Apple highlighted its success in facilitating the growth of platforms like Spotify through the App Store while emphasizing that it doesn’t collect commissions on purchases made outside the platform. Spotify, for instance, sells subscriptions on its website, circumventing Apple’s commission structure.

The implementation of Web Distribution offers developers an alternative route to distribute their apps and potentially avoid Apple’s commission fees. This move could pave the way for increased competition and choice in the digital marketplace while addressing concerns over app store regulations.

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