Thursday, October 7, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Paddle In-App Purchase for iOS

Paddle (Hacker News, MacRumors):

The Epic Games v. Apple verdict clears the way for app creators to choose an alternative to Apple’s payment system (and its 15-30% fee!). But choose the wrong provider and you’ll be burdened with managing payment and subscription logic, taxes, fraud, and buyer support.

Paddle In-App Purchase will let app creators replace Apple’s In-App Purchase without worrying about any of that.

Besides lower fees, they have a long list of features beyond what the App Store offers.

It’s not yet clear whether Apple will allow any sort of non-IAP in-app payments or try to extract a 30% IP licensing fee for external purchases.

Kif Leswing (via Michael Love):

Paddle built three different implementations of an iPhone payments product in the hope one will comply with the rules.

“We would love to hear from Apple, and get on-the-record a description of exactly what’s going to be allowed versus not,” Owens said.

[…]

RevenueCat, a company that builds tools for iOS developers to manage customer subscriptions, is also developing a browser-based payment system that developers can to apps add without having to build their own, CEO Jacob Eiting said.

[…]

“We’re operating under the assumption that developers will still be required to use Apple’s IAP inside of their apps but that you now will be allowed to reference and link to external paywalls,” Eiting said.

Previously:

Update (2021-10-20): FastSpring:

If and when the courts force Apple to allow third-party payment systems for in-app purchases, developers will be able to use FastSpring’s secure payment system to manage those purchases.

We’ll have much more to say on this topic in the coming weeks.

7 Comments

Beatrix Willius

Well, Paddle and RevenueCat must be dreaming. Apple will sue them forever.

Kevin Schumacher

@Beatrix Willius
For what, precisely, would Apple sue and why? Epic hid code, remotely activated it, implemented in-app third-party payments, all in direct violation of the App Store rules at the time, and then sued Apple essentially from removing Fortnite from the store. Apple did have some counterclaims that were pretty quickly dismissed, but the substance of it was always Epic's claims against Apple.

These companies are not hiding anything here. If an individual app developer is stupid enough to follow Epic's disastrous "how to find yourself without your cash cow on the highest revenue app store" plan in implementing this, they'll get booted from the store—and important to note, that's even if the rules change to ultimately allow what Paddle is proposing here, because the rule against hiding stuff from App Review sure as hell is not going to change, nor is anyone honestly arguing it should. But getting booted from the store is not being sued.

Should Apple change the rules per the Epic v Apple decision and Paddle or others feel they didn't go far enough, either they sue Apple directly (unclear if they could in these circumstances due to standing issues; also, again, this is them suing Apple, not the other way around), or more likely, they would need to get Epic to complain to the court that issued the decision about the situation.

"how to find yourself without your cash cow on the highest revenue app store"

Fortnite made 7% of its revenue on iOS, which made it the fifth-placed store in terms of revenue, not the highest-revenue one.

I would love to see Apple compete on a level playing field. They've been the underdog, and the platform owner, but never in between.

Why does everybody think that once they let their customer pay through an alternative payment system that they will not incur the 30% fee? That fee is not for handling the payment. It's for being in the app store to begin with. Y'all can bet your silly asses Apple will make you pay for that service.

Kevin Schumacher

@Plume
I was talking about the mobile app stores, and about revenue per user for the stores overall (not specifically for Fortnite), which is significantly higher on iOS than Android.

"I was talking about the mobile app stores, and about revenue per user for the stores overall (not specifically for Fortnite)"

Then I guess I'm not sure how that is in any way relevant in the context of your argument, which was specifically about Fortnite.

"That fee is not for handling the payment. It's for being in the app store to begin with."

Since Apple doesn't tell anyone what exactly the fee is for, how do you know that? And if you are correct, and developers are supposed to pay for being in the app store via the 30% fee, why are there also other fees in addition to that? And why don't free apps pay the fee for being in the store?

None of this makes any sense, so it's not clear to me that we can use this kind of logic to predict what Apple is going to do. In reality, they're going to do whatever their lawyers think they can get away with.

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