Apple to allow users in EU to download apps from third parties

  • Apple plans to make concessions in EU countries that will allow some developers to distribute their iOS apps directly from websites.
  • Developers need to adhere to some strict rules from Apple.
  • Apple will cut the commission it takes, but may charge additional fees.

Apple will finally allow iOS app downloads direct from websites in the EU. This will make it easier for users to download software, while allowing app developers willing to put up with Apple’s strict restrictions to avoid the additional requirements of third-party stores altogether. This has been a long-running feud, and hopefully, at least in Europe, brings closure to this issue. How it will play out in the rest of the world remains to be seen.
— Tuna Tu, BTW Reporter

Lifting of restrictions and addition of rules

Apple plans to allow users in EU to download softwares outside the Apple store, which gives developers a key new way to distribute iOS apps in the EU market without the need for a separate app store-as long as developers are willing to abide by Apple’s strict rules, including but not limited to joining the Apple Developer Program as an EU-registered organisation, being a member of the Apple Developer Program in good standing for two or more consecutive years.

Complicated process of installing

Installing these apps on iPhones in the EU is also not a simple process. “To install apps from the developer website, users first need to approve the developer to install apps in the iPhone’s Settings,” Apple said. “When you install an app, the system table will display information that the developer has submitted to Apple for review, such as the app name, developer name, app description, screen shots, and system age rating.”

Mutiple obstacles for developers to jump through

Not only are there a series of restrictions, but Apple is also making new demands in terms of fees. Apple currently allows developers to distribute their apps on third-party marketplaces in EU countries, but if those apps are installed more than 1 million times a year, they will need to pay 50 euro cents for each additional installation and update. Only EU non-profit organisations, selected educational institutions and government entities are exempt from the core technology fee.


Tuna Tu

Tuna Tu, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure and media. She graduated from The Communication University of Zhejiang and now works in Hangzhou. Send tips to

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