And so it begins: Payment platform shares timeline for alternative in-app purchase system on iOS
The Apple vs. Epic Games saga has been going on for over a year now. It first started when Epic Games, the company known for Fortnite, implemented its own in-app purchase (IAP) system on iOS last year. In response, Apple removed the game from the App Store and then terminated Epic’s developer account. Back in September, a year later, a court ruled in Epic’s favor and gave Apple 90 days to allow alternative in-app purchase systems on iOS. It appears like some platforms are already preparing for this change.
As per a MacRumors report, Paddle — a payment platform founded in 2012, has shared a timeline for its own alternative IAP system. App developers will be able to take advantage of it down the road. That is assuming Apple allows developers to implement and use their own payment systems in iOS apps. The website already allows developers to join the waitlist and express their interest in the platform. They’re planning to launch it on December 7th, three months after the recent court ruling.
Paddle’s selling point is its lower commission fee, compared to that of Apple, in addition to other perks. Apple currently charges developers 15-30% of payments made in the App Store or through their IAP system. Paddle is aiming for a 10% fee for purchases under $10 and a 5% + $0.5 fee for ones over $10. If Apple goes ahead and allows alternative payment systems, then Paddle’s rates put the Cupertino giant at a significant disadvantage.
It’s worth mentioning that some users, including me, would rather pay extra to use Apple’s IAP system instead of having our payment info stored on too many websites. Paddle advertises access to customer data, including email addresses, as a pro for businesses. But, in reality, it’s a major disadvantage to users who care about their privacy. Having user emails exposed to other companies will worsen the spam issue.
It’s yet to be seen whether Apple will allow alternative payment methods later this year or not. If they do, Paddle’s timeline could open the flood gates and start a domino effect that changes how users buy digital goods, particularly on Apple devices. However, Florian Mueller, a seasoned antitrust expert, told iMore that app developers that implement the Paddle payment API would see their apps rejected from the App Store. He explained:
There’s, unfortunately, an urban legend making the rounds about the injunction, but it irresponsibly ignores the detailed judgment as well as the legal principle that a defendant violates an injunction only by taking an unreasonably restrictive view. The injunction is merely meant to enable app developers to tell customers that, for example, they could make the same in-app purchase at a lower cost if they play the same game on a Samsung phone and download the app there via the Galaxy Store.
However, after iMore posted Mueller’s statement, Paddle reached out to Stephen Warwick, informing him that they believe their system will be permissible following the court ruling.
Paddle telling me in a statement its understanding is that its system is permissible following Epic vs Apple ruling but that it “would welcome Apple sharing its own interpretation on this to bring further clarity to an issue that will have a significant impact on iOS developers.. https://t.co/xyV4BwfOQ7
— Stephen Warwick (@StephenWarwick9) October 7, 2021
We will find out what Apple changes in its policies regarding third-party IAP systems on the App Store later this year.
What do you think of Paddle’s move? Are you willing to have your data shared with other businesses for a lower IAP fee? Let us know in the comments section below.