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Apple Sets to Permit App Downloads from Third-Party Sites

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Apple App Store application displayed on a screen
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Tech companies operating in the European Union have always faced strict regulations, making it imperative to make necessary changes to avoid fines or penalties.

Recently, Apple announced significant changes to its platform to comply with regulatory and compliance requirements.

In line with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple has outlined the changes that will affect iOS developer app upload and app distribution on the platform. These changes will help Apple align with the regulations and comply with all requirements.

Apple's new policy, inspired by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), is called web distribution. It gives developers more independence and direct communication with their users.

Apple said, “We’re providing more flexibility for developers who distribute apps in the European Union (EU), including introducing a new way to distribute apps directly from a developer’s website.” 

Overview of the Web Distribution Policy 

The new web distribution policy concerns developers abandoning Apple's guidelines or templates for discounts and promotions.

Furthermore, developers and institutions now have the right to set up their own marketplaces and distribute Apple apps downloaded for iPhone directly to users. 


Apple's new web distribution policy will be released alongside a software update in spring. However, Apple will still maintain some level of authority over the distribution process.

In fact, developers will be required to obtain access to Apple's APIs to facilitate the distribution of their web apps. But that's not all. Apple will also provide access to system functionality, enabling users to backup and restore their apps easily.

Also read: Apple Sets to Introduce 2 App Stores in Europe

Earlier Preparations for this New Policy 

The recent policy update was not unexpected. In fact, earlier this year, Apple had already announced a few measures that paved the way for the full implementation of web distribution.

As per the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations, big tech companies are required to open up their gateways to allow more competition. This move is intended to promote fair competition and create a level playing field for all market players.

This means that Apple no longer has a monopoly on app distribution. Alternative marketplaces will be introduced.

Apparently, this means that developers who release iOS apps will no longer need to follow Apple's App Store content policies. Subsequently, this implies that they won't participate in Apple's App Store revenue share model. 

Implications for Developers

Developers can still participate in the new policy, but they need to be eligible and enroll in the Apple Developer Program.

To qualify, developers should have been in "good standing" in the program for over two years. Moreover, their app must have had more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior year.

Developers who opt for independence will have to shoulder new responsibilities, such as dealing with government-related issues and addressing fraudulent concerns about their apps.

It is important to note, however, that this only applies to EU developers. All other developers must follow the standard process with Apple as the distributor.