Apple has agreed to allow the developers of iPhone apps to directly email users about less expensive ways to pay for digital subscriptions and media — circumventing a commission system that generates billions of dollars annually for the iPhone maker.
The concession was announced late Thursday by Apple in a background briefing with reporters. And it's part of a preliminary settlement included in a roughly 2-year-old lawsuit filed on behalf of iPhone app developers in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.
Under long-standing Apple rules, makers of iPhone apps were forbidden to email users with information on how to pay for services outside the app, which would circumvent Apple commissions of 15% to 30%.
Still, Apple still isn't allowing developers to use in-app notifications to get consumers to explore different payment options.
The concession also addresses concerns raised by a federal judge who's expected to rule soon on a separate case by Epic Games, maker of the Fortnite video game.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has repeatedly raised questions while presiding over the high-profile Epic-Apple trial. She has asked why Apple couldn't allow developers to display a range of payment options within their apps, much like brick-and-mortar retailers can show a range of different credit cards they accept in addition to cash, the wire service also reports.