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Digital start-ups: Apple deleting in-app buy clause a welcome move

The Indian digital start-up ecosystem has welcomed Apple’s deleting a clause that prevented developers from contacting users outside of in-app purchases.

On Saturday, Apple said it deleted clause 3.1.3 that said: “Developers cannot use information obtained within the app to target individual users outside of the app to use purchasing methods other than in-app purchase (such as sending an individual user an email about other purchasing met­hods, after that, individual signs up for an account within the app).”

The All India Digital Foundation (ADIF), a think tank for digital start-ups in India, called it an encouraging move, which it said was being used by Apple to maintain a stronghold on the developers in order to make them cough up hefty commissions. “This comes as a major victory for the developer and start-up community who have been vocal against the restrictive and anti-competitive practices of the two big firms through AppStore/PlayStore policies,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, executive director, ADIF.

“Having said that, practices that restrict app developers with their product and user experience choices still persist. For instance, Apple has still not relented on allowing alternative payments systems to be embedded directly in its apps. It is crucial now to ensure that the efforts towards making the app economy a fair marketplace are sustained,” he said.

Google, which owns a majority of the operating system market in India with its Android OS, has also been at the receiving end of developers’ ire. Its commissions have been a contentious issue for a long time, and given Apple’s deletion of the clause, ADIF feels more work needs to be done by Google to address developer concerns. Business Standard

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