Apple today announced that it settled a lawsuit filed by US developers Donald Cameron and Illinois Pure Sweat Basketball in 2019 who accused the iPhone-maker of being anti-competitive for requiring developers to distribute iOS apps only through the App Store.
As part of the agreement which is still pending approval from the court, Apple announced that it will now allow developers to use communications such as email to inform their users about alternative payment methods outside the iOS ecosystem.
In its statement released today, Apple said it is ”clarifying that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app. As always, developers will not pay Apple a commission on any purchases taking place outside of their app or the App Store. Users must consent to the communication and have the right to opt out.’’
Last year, Apple lowered the 30% App Store fee to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year. As part of the agreement, the iPhone-maker will continue the program for at least three more years.
The tech giant will also expand the number of price points that developers are able to offer from fewer than 100 hundred to more than 500.
In addition, the company will add new content to its App Review website to make it easier for developers to understand its review process and will also publish a transparency report annually to share more statistics about the process, such as the number of apps rejected, the number of developer accounts deactivated, the number of apps removed from the App Store and more.
The company also announced that it will establish a $100 million fund to help small developers in the United States who earn less than $1 million per year and account for 99% of all the developers in America.
“From the beginning, the App Store has been an economic miracle; it is the safest and most trusted place for users to get apps, and an incredible business opportunity for developers to innovate, thrive, and grow,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow who leads the App Store and Apple Events. “We would like to thank the developers who worked with us to reach these agreements in support of the goals of the App Store and to the benefit of all of our users.’’