TECH

Apple urges free EU app developers to 'stay tuned' over commission concerns

iPhone wouldn't be where it is today with free apps

Paying for core technologies as it exists today in the European Union could bankrupt a developer making free apps – but Apple has said it is working on a solution to prevent this.

The EU hopes to combat the perceived monopoly practice through the Digital Markets Act, which requires companies like Apple to allow developers to create alternative app marketplaces, use external payment methods, and many other changes.

Apple's compliance with the law is under scrutiny, especially in a part called the core technology levy. The worry is that Apple won't allow anyone who doesn't have millions in the bank to operate under the new EU laws.

Put simply, if a free app distributed under the new EU App Store rules goes viral, it could cost the developer a fortune. After 1 million downloads, the developer will have to pay half a euro per download.

Developer and creator of the Alt Store and apps like Delta Emulator, Riley Testut asked Apple about the problem with free apps, citing a personal example. He created an app, supposedly a GBA4iOS emulator, in high school, and under Apple's new rules he will have to pay five million euros for his free app.

The tester asked a simple question — whether Apple would really ask him and his family to pay five million euros for a high school project that would “probably ruin us financially.”

An Apple spokesperson responded by first explaining that the EU Digital Markets Act forced Apple to “break up a model that has been integrated for 15 years” . “The commissions paid by developers covered technology, distribution and payment processing, and everything was set up so that Apple only got paid if the developer did it.

This meant that any enterprising person who from a 10-year-old programmer to a grandparent trying a new hobby could develop and publish an app for very little money. It's part of what increased the number of apps in the App Store from 500 to 1.5 million.

Apple wants to encourage “dreamers” or entrepreneurs of all ages to continue creating independent apps. However, the current system under the EU Digital Markets Act does not take such creators into account.

“That's something we need to figure out, work on.” we're working,” an Apple spokesperson said. “Stay tuned.”

“Stay tuned” is good — but right now it doesn't help anyone. At the moment, any developer at risk of exceeding the 1 million threshold , receives a free exit card that allows them to return to Apple's original commission system — which means they won't have to pay a commission.

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