Apple To Divulge Cheaper Payment Options by Allowing App Developers To Contact Customers

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Apple will now allow iPhone app developers to email their users about alternative ways to pay for digital subscriptions. In the past, Apple prohibited app developers from emailing users about cheaper ways to pay for their products, which would circumvent Apple’s App Store fees ranging from 15% to 20%.

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“To give developers even more flexibility to reach their customers, Apple is also clarifying that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app,” Apple said in a press release. “As always, developers will not pay Apple a commission on any purchases taking place outside of their app or the App Store. Users must consent to the communication and have the right to opt out.”

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The policy change is due to a class-action lawsuit from U.S. developers, who alleged that Apple monopolized distribution for iOS apps and in-app purchases, leading to commission overcharges, CNBC reported. It was also noted that developers who made less than $1 million per year from 2015 through 2021 can claim between $250 and $30,000 from a fund into which Apple is paying $100 million. App developers will also get more flexibility to set different prices within the apps, according to AP News.

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Developers can now use the information obtained within their app, like an email address, to let customers know that paying directly can be cheaper. However, app developers will not be able to use in-app notifications to steer new users to pay outside of Apple’s App Store.

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Last updated: August 27, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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