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Bypass the App Store, Apple suggests, to iOS developers

Apple has responded to an Australian antitrust complaint by claiming that it is already possible for iOS developers to bypass the App Store.

The company says that developers can use the web to sell services such as subscriptions. Funny, the company continues to suggest that progressive web applications are a viable alternative to iOS apps …

Apple had already asked to stop an Australian lawsuit due to technical security.

The Epic Games versus the Apple dispute is not the David versus the Goliath match the game developer wants people to believe, the Cupertino company said: It is instead a match between two Goliaths.

Apple asked an Australian court to rule on a lawsuit in the country, claiming that Epic agreed to terms that clearly state that any legal challenges must be made in California.

ZDNet discovered a further archiving, in which Apple mapped a much more material defense.

Apple has further reacted to the Australian consumer watchdog̵

7;s survey of app marketplaces, and this time rejected the characterization that the Apple App Store is the most dominant app market and says that there are other options for iOS users, for example by going to a website.

“Apple recognizes and treats other distributors of apps, for platforms other than iOS, as key competitors whose pricing and policies limit Apple’s ability to exercise power over developers,” the iPhone maker said in a post. [PDF] to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)

“Apple is unable to disregard the environment in which the App Market operates, and does not accept the Commission’s characterization of the Apple App Store as” the most dominant app market by a large margin. “

In it, Apple suggests that developers who want to make apps available to iPhone owners can do so by creating what are called progressive web applications (PWAs).

Browsers are used not only as a distribution portal, but also as platforms themselves, which host “progressive web applications” (PWA) that completely eliminate the need to download a developer app through the App Store (or otherwise). .

PWA is increasingly available for and through mobile-based browsers and devices, including on iOS. PWAs are apps that are built using common web technology such as HTML 5, but have the look, feel and functionality of a native app. They may even have an app icon located on the device’s home screen.

Web apps are becoming more and more popular. Companies like Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Pinterest, Uber and FT use online apps. Amazon, for example, has just launched its Luna mobile gaming service as a web app. Microsoft and Google are also launching gaming apps on iOS via web apps. The developer of the messaging app Telegram has also recently stated that it is working on a rich web app for iOS devices.

This is a bit ironic since the whole reason for creating the App Store was that native apps provide a far better experience than web apps. With the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs originally saw developers create web apps, but quickly changed his mind – and the App Store was launched the following year.

As we explain in the antitrust guide, the problem at the heart of the dispute is the definition of the iOS apps market.

Apple claims that they do not have a dominant position in this market, as they consider the relevant market as either “smartphones” or “apps”. Since the company has a minority share of the smartphone market in most of the countries in which it operates, it believes that it cannot be considered to have a dominant position.

The Norwegian Competition Authority tends to assume that the relevant market is “iOS apps”, and here Apple has a 100% monopoly on sales and distribution. Edge matters aside, there is no way for a developer to bring an iOS app to market without selling it through the App Store.

Apple is facing antitrust pressure worldwide across the App Store, including the US Federal Government, a number of individual US states, the United Kingdom and a number of other European countries.

Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

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