Aptoide launches its alternative iOS game store on Thursday

Aptoide is set to make waves in the iOS ecosystem with the launch of a new third-party app store dedicated exclusively to gaming. This launch marks a significant milestone as the first iOS gaming app store in the European Union since the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Scheduled for a closed launch on Thursday, Aptoide’s iOS game store will initially be accessible only to users with invitation-only access codes. The company has already amassed a waiting list of 20,000 eager participants and plans to distribute between 500 to 1,000 access codes daily. This phased approach allows Aptoide to closely monitor user feedback and make necessary adjustments before a wider release.

At launch, the Aptoide iOS store will feature an initial lineup of seven games, including popular titles such as Solitaire, Charades, and Mahjong. However, Aptoide promises that this is just the beginning, with a broader range of content expected to follow. The company reports that over 100 iOS developers have shown interest in the platform, with 30 additional games currently in the integration process.

A unique aspect of Aptoide’s iOS store is its integration of an Apple-approved in-app purchase (IAP) solution. Developers will have access to this through a specialized IAP software development kit (SDK). This move positions Aptoide as the first third-party iOS marketplace in Europe to offer such a feature, potentially setting a new standard for similar platforms.

To address Apple’s 50 euro cents Core Technology Fee (CTF) per annual installation of the store, Aptoide has devised an innovative strategy. Instead of passing this cost directly to users via a subscription model, Aptoide will offset it by charging a fee to developers for in-app purchases. This approach aims to prioritize IAP-driven apps within the Aptoide iOS ecosystem. Trezentos expressed hope that if the CTF is ever eliminated, Aptoide would be able to support even more developers by improving the unit economics.

Other third-party iOS app stores in the EU have tackled the CTF in various ways. Setapp, for example, currently absorbs the fee but plans to incorporate it into its mobile subscription pricing in the future. AltStore PAL covers the fee through a €1.50 annual subscription fee for installing the app marketplace.

Since its launch in 2009, Aptoide has firmly established itself as a significant player in the app store market, catering to Android users with its versatile and user-friendly platform. Over the years, Aptoide has grown exponentially, and last year it celebrated a remarkable milestone: nearing half a billion downloads.

Written by Maya Robertson


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