The first alternative iOS App Store is confirmed as MacPaw's Setapp comes to iPhone as a mobile marketplace in the EU later this year

MacPaw for iPhone
(Image credit: MacPaw)

Less than a week after Apple announced a series of sweeping changes coming to its App Store in the EU, popular developer outfit MacPaw has announced its Setapp marketplace is coming to the iPhone later this year. 

In a press release, MacPaw said it was “feeling optimistic” about the changes announced and that it had been “eagerly anticipating” the move. While the company thinks that “it's clear that the journey towards a fully competitive iOS market is still ongoing,” it hasn’t stopped MacPaw from becoming the first company to confirm it will bring an alternative marketplace to iOS later this year. 

“Navigating the complexities of this evolving landscape, we are gearing up for an exciting venture this year: the launch of the Setapp mobile marketplace in the EU,” MacPaw stated. The company says its goal is “to establish a balanced app ecosystem where developers can thrive under a business model that promotes fairness and value, regardless of their size.” 

The first alternative app store for iPhone 

MacPaw says it's already in the “final stages of” creating a beta and that it should be ready in 2024. It also says it is engaging with some of the developers on its platform who offer cross-platform apps, presumably with the hope that many of the apps Setapp offers on Mac will also be available through its store on iPhone. 

MacPaw says it is also “collaborating with leading mobile app developers,” again presumably intending to bring even more iPhone apps to its marketplace. 

Last week, Apple confirmed that it would open up iOS app distribution on iPhone in the EU, allowing developers to offer their apps through alternative storefronts from third parties. The measures come in advance of the Digital Markets Act, which it must comply with by March 7. The changes also include loosening restrictions on browsers and Apple Pay, as well as a new policy that will allow game streaming apps such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce now on iPhone.

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

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