Apple Inc. founded on April 1, 1976 is an American multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is also the world’s largest technology company by revenue and since January 2021, the world’s most valuable company and it has more than 30 million registered developers building iOS apps.
Apple has now reached a settlement with the Japanese regulator to allow developers of “reader” apps which is an app that allows people to read their favorite book on any smartphones or tablets to link to their own websites for users to manage their accounts. This change goes to effect in early 2022.
Reader apps include not just apps for reading, but any app that accesses “purchased” or subscribed media in the cloud for app users to consume. It also covers digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video, and the list includes the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Audible, and Dropbox.
The settlement in Japan, from the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), will mandate Apple in its latest development to make a change in its policies on the reader apps so that users purchase content.
Phill Schiller, an Apple fellow responsible for leading the Apple store and events said “I have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we have done together, which help developers of reader apps make it easier for users to set up and manage their apps and services while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust.”
According to its statement, Apple will continue to update its guidelines and review process for users of readers apps before the change goes into effect next year. It will also apply this change to all reader apps on the store globally.
Although developers and others have been crying foul for years over restrictive app store practices, the company has long maintained that as it puts its policies in place for the protection of consumers and to create more consistent user experiences.
As technology, payment systems, and consumer habits have evolved, those criticisms have only grown louder. In that regard, Asia and the US are not the only markets where lawmakers are finally starting to take more action around the issue. In Australia, the Competitions and Consumer Commission is also considering regulations around digital payment systems – rules that would impact not just Apple, but also other dominant players like Google, and WeChat.
Last week, Apple announced several updates that allow developers to be more flexible for their
customers, and the company also launched a News Partner Program to support local journalists which makes it seems Apple is taking the scrutiny it’s facing among lawmakers, developers, and the public on board.
South Korea became the first country to curb Apple and Google from imposing their own payment system on in-app purchases just this week.