Apple Aligns iPadOS with iOS for EU App Market Regulations

Apple has officially announced that iPadOS will receive the same app ecosystem modifications as iOS in the European Union this coming fall. This decision comes in the wake of the European Commission declaring that iPadOS qualifies as a gatekeeper platform under the stringent Digital Markets Act.

Key Changes to iPadOS

Starting this fall, EU developers will gain the ability to:

  • Distribute iPad apps through alternative app marketplaces or direct websites.
  • Apply the same operational terms across both iOS and iPadOS platforms.

This groundbreaking shift opens up new avenues for app distribution, significantly altering how iPad apps reach EU consumers.

Understanding the Core Technology Fee (CTF)

With the new changes, a Core Technology Fee will be imposed on apps distributed outside the App Store if they exceed one million first annual installs. However, Apple has carved out exceptions for:

  • Small developers, helping them avoid this fee under specified conditions.

This fee structure aims to balance the playing field while ensuring Apple’s technologies that facilitate these apps are compensated.

Impact on Developers and Users

For developers distributing the same app on both iOS and iPadOS within a 12-month period, only one install will count towards the first annual installs, aiding developers in maintaining their status beneath the CTF threshold. This policy should:

  • Reduce financial burdens on developers.
  • Encourage broader distribution across Apple’s platforms without the penalty of increased fees.

Geographical Limitations

It’s crucial to note that these changes are confined to the European Union. For developers and users outside the EU, the distribution of iPad and iPhone apps remains exclusive to the App Store, with no current plans for alteration.

MacReview Verdict

As Apple prepares to implement these significant changes in the EU, the landscape of app distribution for iPadOS and iOS is set to evolve. These adjustments, prompted by regulatory measures, promise to enhance flexibility for developers and provide more choices for consumers within the EU.

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