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New Law Shakes Up App Market

A new law in the EU, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), is forcing big tech companies like Apple to open up their platforms to competition. For Apple, this means allowing “alternative marketplaces” to compete with its App Store on iPhones.

What’s Coming for iPhone Users in the EU

Currently, there’s only one alternative marketplace available in the EU, called Mobivention. But more are on the way:

  • Epic Games: Plans to launch its own marketplace and bring Fortnite back to iOS in the EU.
  • SetApp: A subscription service offering access to Mac apps, is bringing a similar service to iPhones.
  • AltStore: An existing “alternative marketplace” that’s leading the charge.

AltStore Leads the Way

AltStore has been around for years, allowing users to sideload apps onto their iPhones without going through the App Store. It’s currently under Apple’s review process and will be available for official download once approved.

  • At launch, AltStore will offer Delta, a game emulator, and Clip, a clipboard manager.
  • Clip will use a unique subscription model where users pay through Patreon.

Holdback: Apple’s New Fee

Despite the DMA, there’s been a slow rollout of alternative marketplaces. Apple has introduced a “Core Technology Fee” for developers using these marketplaces. This fee applies to all app installs over 1 million downloads, even for free apps.

EU Investigation

The EU is investigating Apple’s new terms and fees to determine if they violate the DMA. The outcome of this investigation will likely impact the number of alternative marketplaces that emerge in the EU.