Apple extends online group in-app purchase commission reprieve to June 2021

Back in September Apple decided to stop charging its 30% commission for in-app purchases for

Back in September Apple decided to stop charging its 30% commission for in-app purchases for certain online events. That was set to end at the end of December this year. Now Apple is extending it until June of 2021 to help developers and businesses amid the pandemic.

Apple detailed the extension on its developer website today:

As the world fights COVID-19, we recognize that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority. Although apps are required to offer any paid online group event experiences (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime experiences) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review guideline 3.1.1, we temporarily deferred this requirement with an original deadline of December 2020. To allow additional time for developing in-app purchase solutions, this deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021.

Please note that guideline 3.1.3(d) allows apps offering realtime person-to-person experiences between two individuals (for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training) to use purchase methods other than in-app purchase.

Going back to August, Facebook initially asked Apple and Google to waive their 30% commission fees for small businesses, creators, etc. for online events booked through iOS and Android on the Facebook app. At the time, Apple said no and Google said yes (and Facebook started waiving its own fees).

A month later in September, Apple reconsidered not only Facebook’s request, but decided to waive its 30% commission for online group in-app purchases for all developers by not requiring iOS apps to use in-app purchase for these specific events. That’s likely why Apple took longer to make a call here as it wanted to make a more global decision and consider the whole community of developers rather than just agreeing to Facebook’s request.

And today’s news is wonderful ahead of the holidays that small businesses and creators can continue to offer online group events and services through iOS apps without the requirement of using in-app purchases until June 2021.

Very notably, last week Apple also cut its App Store commission rate to 15% for developers earning up to $1 million a year.

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