Apple has U-turned on its App Store payment policy, and will now allow developers to promote alternative payment options for their apps (via GI.biz).
Developers will now be able to promote alternative payment options via email, allowing them to offer them at reduced prices due to not having to pay Apple’s 30% cut.
Consumers will need to opt into these emails, and also have the ability to opt-out at any time.
This U-turn was made as part of several agreements to resolve a 2019 class Action lawsuit.
That’s a separate lawsuit to the Apple v Epic trial, which has now concluded with a verdict expected later this year. The Epic v Apple case relates to Apple not allowing third party payments within the AppStore itself, and these new concessions do not allow alternative payment options within the apps themselves.
In another part of the agreement in the class action suit, Apple will launch a $100 million small business fund in order to help small developers. To be eligible for the fund, companies must have earned a combined $1 million or less in the US storefront from any of its apps, in every calendar year from to June 4th, 2015 and April 26th, 2021.
Because it’s a US lawsuit, the fund is only available to US developers. However, Apple has said it is considering developing a similar fund in other markets.
Apple’s other concessions include that it will maintain the App Store Small Business Program for at least the next three years. The program sees companies earning under $1 million annually paying a reduced commission.
The iPhone giant will also expand the number of price points for subscriptions, in-app purchases and paid apps from under 100 to over 500.
Additionally, the App Store’s search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics’ such as text relevance and popularity, for at least the next three years.
Apple will also continue to allow developers to appeal the rejection of an app, and will add content to the App Review website to better explain the appeals process.
Finally, Apple will publish a ‘meaningful statistics about the app review process,’ as part of a transparency report. The company will provide the number of rejected and removed apps, the number of deactivated accounts, and objective data about search queries and results in the AppStore.