Apple extends in-app purchase exemption for group events through 2021

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has extended its in-app purchase exemption program til the end of 2021.
  • Qualified apps will be able to use something other than Apple's in-app purchase service through 2021.

Apple is extending its program that lets certain apps sell digital in-person services without having to use the company's in-app purchase system. This allows those who have had to move physical in-person services online due to the pandemic a way around Apple's in-app purchase system, therefore avoiding its fees.

The company made the announcement on its Developer website, saying that it is extending the program until December 31, 2021.

The company also noted that services like tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training or some of the example services that are able to take part in the program.

Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we'd like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.As a reminder, guideline 3.1.3(d) allows apps offering realtime person-to-person services between two individuals (for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training) to use purchase methods other than in-app purchase.

The company has provided the following links for Developers to learn more about the program and if they qualify:

This will continue to help small businesses and others who have had to pivot their services online as the world continues to fight back against the pandemic.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.