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Apple’s New Payment Option Sees Low Adoption Among Developers

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 13, 2024
Apple's New Payment Option Sees Low Adoption Among Developers

Apple’s New Payment Option Sees Low Adoption Among Developers

Apple’s recent initiative allowing App Store developers to use external payment methods has seen minimal uptake.

As revealed in a legal hearing on Friday, only 38 developers have chosen to apply for the inclusion of external payment links, a stark contrast to the approximately 65,000 eligible developers, according to a report by Bloomberg. This development is part of the ongoing lawsuit with Epic Games, highlighting the complexities and potential reluctance within the developer community to adopt this new option.

Introduced in January, the new policy mandates developers to seek Apple’s approval before incorporating alternative payment methods into their apps. Despite the allowance for external links, developers are still required to pay a commission to Apple, which can be as high as 27 percent. This commission is in addition to any payment processing fees, potentially making the new system more costly than the previous arrangement.

This adjustment was Apple’s response to a 2021 injunction by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, intended to increase competition and reduce the tech giant’s control over app payments. However, the response from both the market and the legal system has been tepid. Reuters reported that Epic Games criticized Apple’s implementation as “a sham” in a March complaint, indicating dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the policy change.

During the hearing, Judge Rogers expressed skepticism about Apple’s commitment to genuinely altering its business practices. She pointed out that the implementation seems to primarily aim at preserving the company’s existing revenue model rather than making substantial changes favorable to developers. “It sounds to me as if the goal was to then maintain the business model and revenue you had in the past,” Rogers remarked, as per Bloomberg’s account.

Moreover, the judge questioned the rationale behind the decision-making process at Apple, particularly concerning the economic impact on developers. She highlighted the extensive approval process that involved a thousand individuals, yet seemed to overlook significant cost considerations for developers.


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Featured Image courtesy of Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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