Apple: iOS developers multiple alternative channels to reach users and are not limited to the App Store

Apple has responded further to the Australian consumer watchdog’s probe of app marketplaces and rejected the characterization that the company’s App Store is the most dominant app marketplace, saying there are multiple alternative channels for iOS developers to reach users.

Apple App Store
Apple’s App Store

Asha Barbaschow for ZDNet:

“Apple perceives and treats other distributors of apps, for platforms other than iOS, as significant competitors whose pricing and policies constrain Apple’s ability to exercise power over developers,” the iPhone maker said in a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“Apple is not in a position to disregard the environment in which its app marketplace operates and does not accept the Commission’s characterization of the Apple App Store as ‘the most dominant app marketplace by a large margin.'”

“Apple faces competitive constraints from distribution alternatives within the iOS ecosystem (including developer websites and other outlets through which consumers may obtain third party apps and use them on their iOS devices) and outside iOS,” it said. “Even if a user only owns iOS-based devices, distribution is far from limited to the Apple App Store because developers have multiple alternative channels to reach that user… The whole web is available to them, and iOS devices have unrestricted and uncontrolled access to it. One common approach is for users to purchase and consume digital content or services on a website.”

MacDailyNews Note: In their ACCC submission, Apple states:

Apple is of the view that a sound market definition approach should encompass:

(a) native and internet (including web app) distribution to iOS users;
(b) online mobile app platforms such as Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and Amazon app stores for Android OS based devices;
(c) personal computers; and
(d) specialist platforms for particular app genres such as games from Sony Playstation Plus, Microsoft X Box Games Store, Nintendo eShop, Valve’s Steam and Epic Games; smart televisions and media streaming devices like Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire; wearables such as Fitbit, Garman, Samsung Watch; social media platforms; information and education services; and many other specialised genres.

All of these are sources of digital content and other goods and services that are available to consumers both on iOS devices and through other fixed and mobile hardware for consumers’ attention.

Apple’s full submission to the ACCC is here.


  1. On behalf of all Australians, please accept my apology for the ridiculous toothless tiger that is the ACCC.
    Unintelligent bureaucrats that go after big targets with wafer thin arguments.
    They have been asked multiple times if oil companies collude to adjust the price of petrol (gas for the US readers) and can’t find any evidence. Blind Freddy knows they do.

    So, rest easy Apple, even though you have nothing to defend in regards to the App Store, these morons won’t worry you.

  2. Those developers who pretend to be Capitalists but whine that they have unfair access need to form a corporate union: “Capitalists Rebel Against Paying.” (CRAP)

  3. Wait! One! Minute!

    a) Developers can sell their Apps directly to customers without Apple involvement?
    This should prove interesting, and let me save you from making arguments using the Enterprise License. Just don’t.

    b) Web Apps? Flash had Web Apps, Java has Web Apps, but how else can I run an App in native code if not from the App Store?

  4. Criticism of the App Store is only gathering pace across the world and it’s plain to see that Apple is trying its hardest to hold the door shut for as long as it can.

    Like with proposed rules around right to repair, expect things to move very quickly once the first domino falls.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.