Apple to give developers more control over discounts in the App Store

Companies will have access to free or discounted subscription codes to offer potential customers.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
Apple App Store icon

Apple has faced criticism over its financial control of app developers.

Apple / illustration by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple plans to roll out free and discounted "offer codes" that app developers can use to woo new customers. These unique, one-time codes will give developers more control over initial app fees -- and how they ramp up to full payments over time.

Beyond the offer codes, the tech giant also announced on Wednesday a slew of new controls that will offer more granular control over subscription fees. For instance, Apple will allow developers to grandfather legacy subscribers into new models and offer subscriptions to groups of apps.

This decision comes amid developer concerns regarding Apple's control over its App Store. Epic, the developer of the megahit game Fortnite, has joined Facebook and other developers in criticizing Apple's level of financial control over third-party apps in Apple's digital store. Meanwhile, US congressional hearings and an ongoing EU inquiry into anti-competitive practices by tech giants in Europe have put even more pressure on Apple to address the 30% fee it charges developers for selling their apps, among other practices.

These new app controls seem to come as part of a push from Apple to improve its image as it faces increasing scrutiny.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.