Apple to Add Flexibility for App Developers, Including in Web3

Apple Web3 policy may be affected if it allows third-party app stores on the iPhone


Robson90/ modified by Blockworks


Apple Inc. reportedly plans to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads next year in response to looming regulatory changes in the European Union. 

The move, reported by Bloomberg, would let iOS users download third-party software to their devices, bypassing Apple’s up-to-30% commission on in-app purchases — a policy that also affected NFT-related apps.

In September, the tech giant enabled developers of current apps to sell non-fungible tokens in-app and new apps to trade NFTs within them. 

Those developers who made over $1 million annually through the ‌App Store‌ were subject to Apple taking a 30% cut, while developers making less than that paide 15%. Additionally, Apple made it so that NFT-related transactions on an iPhone or iPad could only be made in US dollars and not cryptocurrency.

In less than a month, Apple ended up backtracking on its Web3 policy and restricting content and functions associated with license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets. NFT-related functions in-app, such as sales, mints, listings or transfers are still allowed.

The new shift for Apple to support external apps from third-party marketplaces may benefit Web3 developers and expand the use of NFT-related applications and mobile crypto payments. 

Apple would be complying with Europe Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA), an antitrust legislation approved by the EU parliament in July. While the new law takes effect in early 2023, companies aren’t required to fully comply until 2024. 

The company still has to decide whether to allow third-party developers to use their own payments infrastructure or make them use Apple’s payments setup, per Bloomberg.

Once in effect, the policy change would likely be featured in Apple’s iOS 17 software update, scheduled for next fall.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Data publishing costs have historically been a bottleneck for rollups, and as more rollups launch, interoperability will continue to be a major challenge. Avail presents a potential solution to rollup fragmentation through its three products: Avail DA, Nexus, and Fusion, which together aim to unify the web3 experience.


Following the halving, bitcoin’s hovering around $63,600


Bitcoin’s price was mostly unchanged following the event that occurs roughly every four years 


The Bitcoin halving is a spectacle that only comes round once every four years


The SEC alleges that Justin Sun spent nearly 400 days in the US from 2017 to 2019


Short-term “sell the news” reactions could follow new BTC price peaks months from now, industry watchers say — but only if history repeats itself


While crypto fundraising remains well off its bull market highs, Q1 data shows capital is returning to the space