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  • Writer's pictureDon Peter

Updates for iOS Developers in the EU: Introducing Web Distribution



Updates for iOS Developers in the EU: Introducing Web Distribution

Apple is bringing more options for distributing your apps in the EU due to Digital Markets Act (DMA). Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting out, these changes are positioned as a way to reach more users and enhance your app distribution strategies.


Developers have the option to stick with the existing App Store business terms or opt for the new terms tailored for iOS apps in the EU. Under the new EU business terms, developers can decide to distribute iOS apps within the EU through the App Store, other alternative app marketplaces or through own hosting.


Alternative distribution channels

Following are the two additional methods for developers to distribute iOS apps in EU along with App store distribution,

  1. Third party App Marketplaces: Now, third party marketplaces have the option to offer a catalog of apps. This opens up new avenues for app discovery and distribution.

  2. Linking out to Purchase: Developers can now choose how to design promotions, discounts, and other deals when directing users to complete a transaction for digital goods or services on an external webpage. The Apple-provided design templates are now optional, giving you more control over your promotional strategies.


Introducing Web Distribution for iOS

One of the most exciting updates is the introduction of Web Distribution, which allows authorized developers to distribute their iOS apps directly from their own website. Here’s what you need to know,

  • With Web Distribution, you can distribute your iOS apps to EU users directly from your website, giving you more control over the distribution process.

  • Apple will provide access to APIs that facilitate app distribution from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps.

  • Apps offered through Web Distribution must meet Notarization requirements just like in macOS apps to protect platform integrity, ensuring a secure experience for users. You can read more on notarization requirements here https://developer.apple.com/documentation/security/notarizing_macos_software_before_distribution


Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for Web Distribution, developers must meet specific criteria and commit to ongoing requirements to protect users. Here’s what you need to know,

  • Developers must be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program as an organization incorporated, domiciled, and/or registered in the EU.

  • Must be a member of Good Standing in the Apple Developer Program for Two Continuous Years or More,

    • This means that developers need to maintain their membership in the Apple Developer Program for at least two consecutive years without any significant issues or violations.

    • It ensures that developers have been actively engaged with the program and have adhered to its terms and conditions for a substantial period.

  • App with More Than One Million First Annual Installs on iOS in the EU in the Prior Calendar Year,

    • This refers to the number of initial installations (installs) of an app on iOS devices in the European Union during a single year. The app must have achieved more than one million first annual installs specifically within the EU region during the previous calendar year.

    • The requirement doesn't state that the app must consistently maintain one million installs each year to remain in the program.

  • Developers must agree to various terms, including offering apps only from their developer account, being responsive to communications from Apple, publishing transparent data collection policies, and following applicable laws.


Payments, Fees, and Taxes

We want to ensure that developers have clarity on payments, fees, and taxes associated with Web Distribution. Here’s what you need to know,

  • A Core Technology Fee (CTF) will be charged by apple.

    • What is the Core Technology Fee (CTF)?

      • It's a fee that developers pay to Apple.

      • It shows appreciation for the tools and support Apple offers to developers.

    • How is it calculated?

      • Developers pay €0.50 for first annual installs over one million in the past 12 months.

        • If a user has installed the app in multiple devices it will be treated as a single install only.

      • If your app has more than one million installs in a year, you pay this fee for each additional install beyond that.

    • Why does Apple charge this fee?

      • It helps Apple to cover the costs of maintaining and improving the tools and services that developers use.

      • It supports ongoing investments in technology to benefit developers and users alike.

  • Nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, or government entities based in the EU that have been approved for a fee waiver are exempt from the Apple Developer Program annual membership fee and the Core Technology Fee.

  • Developers are responsible for collecting, reporting, and remitting any required tax to the appropriate tax authorities for transactions that take place using Web Distribution.

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In this blog we talk about iOS and Android app development technologies, languages and frameworks like Java, Kotlin, Swift, Objective-C, Dart and Flutter that are used to build mobile apps. Read articles from Finotes team about good programming and software engineering practices, testing and QA practices, performance issues and bugs, concepts and techniques. 

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