Apple presented a settlement with disgruntled app makers on Friday morning. Apple is the big winner.
When it comes to App Store payments, Apple is notoriously strict. The choice is quite simple for makers who offer digital services and goods in their app: use Apple’s payment system, or remain silent. The attitude is a thorn in the side of Spotify, among others, which has complained to the European Commission.
The use of the system of the App Store costs money; 15 to 30 percent of the revenues go to Apple. Spotify, therefore, had three choices on the iPhone: hand in the income of iPhone users, make the subscription more expensive for those users or do not offer a paid subscription on the iPhone.
Like many other app makers, Spotify opted for the latter option – but no payment button. The chagrin is in the rule that referring to a proprietary payment method is prohibited by Apple. After all, users can subscribe directly to Spotify without Apple getting a share. But those users have to figure that out all by themselves: Spotify cannot link to its payment page and does not even describe that option exists. If they do, the app will be rejected.