Apple: Getting ready for Web Distribution in the EU

To be eligible for Web Distribution, you must:

  • Be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program as an organization incorporated, domiciled, and or registered in the EU (or have a subsidiary legal entity incorporated, domiciled, and or registered in the EU that’s listed in App Store Connect). [..]
  • Be a member of good standing in the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

Apple of 2024: asymptotically approaching reasonableness.

To be honest, the remaining requirements are not as terrible. Sideloading should mean completely open, completely allowed (including from an airgapped computer), for anyone, by anyone. But it's not the notarization that's the main issue as long as notarization is purely technical (which it is on Mac, but isn't on the current iOS DMA plan, where manual review is involved).

Let's list the additional changes that would make this offer something less than sideloading but still ultimately be somewhat palatable.

  • No "freedom is for rich, successful people". No limits on "2 continuous years of good standing", no requirements of "1 million annual installs of single app".

  • No Core Technology Fee.

    (Dude, you sell tens of millions of phones for $1,500+ and pride yourself on being the margin leader of the entire phone industry, millions of developer accounts for $99 and skim 30% (or sometimes 15%) off of the entire collective App Store revenue. And you operate the entire company on one Profit/Loss statement. You're good.

    No "business unit" will imminently capsize, except possibly PR or Developer Relations from how badly you're screwing all this up so far, but if that's financial, it's not from lack of Core Technology Fee income, it's from people getting fed up with your bullshit and not feeling quite so happy about shoveling money into your gaping maw while you treat them as degenerate freeloaders.)

  • A purely technical notarization process without manual review, or at least a shortened process past the first release or so.

...you know what, that's basically it. That still wouldn't make it DMA compliant, since rights in the regulation are still being held ransom, but it's helpful in plotting their movement across the spectrum of possible options.

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