What you need to know
- A revenue platform for software companies has today released a new in-app purchase alternative for iOS.
- The company claims it will give iOS developers a choice when it comes to in-app payments as a direct response to the Epic Games ruling.
- However, one expert says the system would see developers' apps rejected by Apple.
A new in-app purchase alternative from software company Paddle will see developers have their apps rejected by Apple, according to one antitrust expert with knowledge of the matter.
Global revenue platform Paddle today announced a system it says is the first alternative in-app purchasing system for iOS developers, stating in a press release:
Paddle says the system is a "true like-for-like, drop-in replacement for Apple's IAP, allowing developers to maintain a seamless user experience, without having to pay Apple 30% of every sale". Commission is charged at just 10% on transactions of less than $10 and only 5% on those of more than $10. It also features subscription control tools.
Paddle says it has developed the system in "direct response" to the recent Apple vs Epic Games ruling, which secured an injunction against Apple limiting the company's anti-steering measures. One legal expert, however, says Paddle's new IAP system won't fly with Apple or the court.
Speaking to iMore, Florian Mueller stated "it does increasingly look like the injunction will indeed enter into force in December, but it doesn't have scope for this approach."
Mueller, a seasoned antitrust and patent litigation expert who has closely followed the trial, said "developers will presumably see their apps rejected when they incorporate the Paddle API, and rightly so." Mueller has developed his own game for iOS and Android and has an antitrust complaint filed against Apple, but states that Paddle's solution is sadly not the answer. He continued:
Mueller has previously noted that developers will not be allowed to implement IAP alternatives, even in WebView, in wake of the decision and that the ambiguous nature of the ruling favors Apple.
In a statement to iMore following Mueller's comments, Paddle said:
Legality aside, In response to today's announcement, some developers have expressed skepticism at using Paddle's IAP alternative. One stated:
Paddle has told us its system will incorporate Apple Pay, letting users pay via Face ID and Touch ID, as well as common methods such as PayPal.
Another noted they had used Paddle before and described them as trustworthy, handling licenses and refunds "effortlessly", but that they would have to compare costs on iOS to see if it was worth it. Others were less enthusiastic:
Would have to see it in action first. Pretty sure it’s a no from me. I don’t want my users to have to put in financial information into a phone they already has it.
Could mean bigger cut for me, but may also reduce number of IAP transactions overall.Would have to see it in action first. Pretty sure it’s a no from me. I don’t want my users to have to put in financial information into a phone they already has it.
Could mean bigger cut for me, but may also reduce number of IAP transactions overall.— Brad (@beeradmoore) October 7, 2021October 7, 2021
iMore has reached out to Apple for comment on the announcement.
In September a judge ruled mostly in favor of Apple following a lengthy court battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games. However, the developer did secure one injunction against the company designed to lessen Apple's anti-steering provisions, allowing developers to tell customers that they can get digital goods for less elsewhere, and even including links to such offerings:
Apple celebrated the ruling at the time and said "Today the Court has affirmed what we've known all along: the App Store is not in violation of antitrust law. As the Court recognized 'success is not illegal.' Apple faces rigorous competition in every segment in which we do business, and we believe customers and developers choose us because our products and services are the best in the world."
Apple did not acknowledge at the time the injunction or the changes it might foster, and we've yet to see anything public from the company about how the ruling might impact the App Store.
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
A payment service outside of the App Store will need to serve the files as well. It can't be expected that items on Apple's servers, for which they haven't been paid, will be served for free.
So payment AND FULFILLMENT must be from the same source.
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