After feeling “surprised” over Australian developers’ concerns over its App Store policies, Apple recently told the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) that developers in Australia have several ways to reach iOS users. The company further claimed that developers are "far from limited" to simply using the App Store.
Apple has challenged the concerns presented in the recent ACCC report over the tech giant’s alleged exploitation due to its market power as an app distributor. Apple argued that there are multiple avenues that developers can take to reach customers.
Apple insisted that the entire web can be used as a means of distribution. It supported its claim by adding that iOS devices have "unrestricted and uncontrolled" access to the web, so users can download web apps. “One common approach is for users to purchase and consume digital content or services on a website,” said Apple.
Apple also specifically highlighted the role of "progressive web applications" (PWAs) in app distribution, saying that they “eliminate the need to download a developer's app through the App Store (or other means) at all.” The company also talked about the increasing availability of PWAs, saying that they are available “for and through mobile-based browsers and devices, including on iOS.”
Apple also did not hesitate to mention Google’s Play Store and said that alternate platforms for distribution, including web apps and developers' websites, pose a competitive threat to the App Store.
“Indeed, Apple competes vigorously to attract the best developers because a reduction in the quality of apps, or restricted availability of popular apps in the App Store, would diminish the user experience. Any action undermining the popularity of the App Store — including impeding developers from being successful on the App Store — would be economically irrational, as this would destroy the value of the ecosystem to the detriment of consumers, app developers, and Apple itself,” explained Apple.