What you need to know
- Apple is making a huge change to its App Store in South Korea.
- Developers and users can now take advantage of alternative App Store payments.
- It means users can make purchases using systems other than in-app purchases.
Apple is making a huge change to the App Store in South Korea, and will now let developers offer alternative payment methods within apps for purchases.
The company announced Thursday:
Apple said that it has designed the App Store "to be a safe and trusted place to discover and download apps" and says that in-app purchases are integral to that system, clearly implying it is doing this against its will.
Developers will have to follow strict guidelines if they want to offer alternative in-app purchases, and some features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing will not be available to users "in part because (Apple) cannot validate payments that take place outside of the App Store's private and secure payment system."
Developers must request a special entitlement to use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement, and can only use one of four pre-approved processing systems:
Developers can ask Apple to consider other options.
As per Apple's dating app changes in Holland, you can't offer in-app purchases and alternative payments in the same app, they must be separate, so there's no chance of any Epic Games hotfix-style payment screens that offer Apple's in-app payment options next to an alternative method.
Most notably, Apple is still going to take a 26% commission on these sales. Previously, alternative payments have been positioned as a way for developers to avoid Apple's commission rates and keep more (or all of the) money from in-app purchases to themselves. From Apple:
Developers must also show screen warning users that the apps don't support Apple's own in-app payment system, which reads:
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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