September 24, 2023

Apple Plans to Allow App Installation from External Sources in Potential Boon for NFTs & Crypto

Apple’s closed ecosystem design allows the firm to take up to a 30% cut of iOS app and service sales, causing a disadvantage to creators and users. However, developing news suggests that the tech giant is seeking to open up its ecosystem. If it materializes, the move will enhance the ability to make crypto payments and also benefit apps built around NFTs.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s plans to allow the installation of apps not listed on the App Store is a response to European Union’s Digital Markets Act which requires tech firms to comply with the restrictions before 2024. Apple will roll out support for external apps only in Europe, but the functionality could be expanded to other countries adopting similar regulations.

Bloomberg reports that Apple is looking to allow third-party apps to use their payment systems rather than forcing developers to process payments through the firm’s payment setup. If the move gets implemented, iPhone users could easily spend their crypto through iOS apps.

Apple’s Changes Could Remove Tough Restrictions Imposed on Web3 Developers

The expected changes come amid increasing pushback to Apple’s closed ecosystem, which restricts how iOS apps utilize NFT assets. In October this year, Apple banned app developers from using NFTs to allow users access to features or content within their apps.

NFT buys are also subject to Apple’s 30% fee, forcing iOS apps for marketplaces like Magic Eden and OpenSea to only allow users to browse NFTs and not sell or buy them through the app. Recently, Coinbase disabled NFT transfers through its iOS app, following Apple’s rule to have users pay 30% of any network gas fee.

Apple’s upcoming plans for an open ecosystem could benefit the growing Web3 metaverse. Most Web3 developers are building toward a metaverse defined by interoperability between various platforms, using NFTs to represent ownership of assets used freely across spaces.

Epic Games CEO Wants Similar Regulations Adopted in United States

Web3 developers are not the only ones affected by Apple’s current model. Epic Games sued Apple after the tech firm blocked its Fortnite game following the addition of a third-party payment model. A previous court decision that could have seen Apple allow third-party payments got delayed, and the two firms are still involved in the legal battle.

Tim Sweeney, the Epic Games CEO, weighed in on today’s report, asking lawmakers in the United States to pass similar legislation to possibly force Apple to open up its ecosystem in the country. Sweeney says that if external apps are only allowed in Europe, it will leave American developers in serfdom in a country where the tech firm got founded.

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