If Apple’s lawyers do not find a way to change the court order, we will see new products in the App Store later this year.
There will be two novelties. The first will be to change the regulations, which none of the users will read anyway. The second, more visible one, will be the approval of alternative payment methods that will allow developers to skip the high commission that has always been going to Apple.
They are the result of a process between Apple and Epic Games that has been underway for over a year. Epic, wanting to keep all Fortnite revenues to itself, added links to the game that led the user to the store outside of the App Store. This was against the terms of the service, which resulted in Fortnite being banned from the Apple store and the Epic development account being banned.
The result was, in turn, a lawsuit brought by Epic, which ended in most cases positive for Apple. The manufacturer of the iPhone does not even have to restore the Epic account or admit Fortnite to the App Store. However, the latest court decision puts Apple in a very uncomfortable situation.
The order came in early September this year, but Apple’s lawyers have appealed against it, saying the move could cause huge losses for developers and users alike. Especially the latter could fall victim to frauds and extortions.
The court, however, did not accept Apple’s arguments and found the injunction binding, giving Apple time to implement the changes by … December 9 this year. So the giant has only a month to introduce changes unless the hired lawyers manage to persuade the court to change its decision.
Of course, it is already known that Apple will fight for this change because the loss of commission on the sale of content, add-ons, or subscriptions inside the App Store application is a gold mine. Last year alone, sales at the Apple store are estimated to have reached approximately $ 64 billion.
The court order does not require Apple to add alternative payment methods to the App Store mechanisms. However, it provides for the possibility for programmers to place links to their own stores or payment systems for selected functions within the application.
As a result, an option could appear where the user would have a choice – he could make a payment, e.g. for a monthly subscription or a skin for the game as now, i.e. using the App Store, but he could also go straight from the application to the manufacturer’s website and make a purchase there. In the latter case, it would probably be a bit cheaper – after all, the programmer would have room for maneuver at the level of several dozen percent, which with the current system he gives Apple back and does not earn them anyway.
Theoretically, on the part of Apple, it would be enough to change a few points of the regulations and simply allow the developers of games and applications to place links to their stores in the applications. Since Epic did it with Fortnite, it means that it is technically feasible now – only that it does not comply with the regulations.
In practice, however, it is difficult to assume that Apple will just agree to such a huge change in the rules of the game. Most likely, his lawyers are already working on a method that would at least extend the time allowed by the court to introduce new regulations to the regulations. And when it succeeds, they will probably look for another one to postpone it all in time.