New AltStore will let you download iPhone apps in the EU via Patreon — going around Apple’s App Store

App Store
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

iPhone users in the EU will soon be able to use crowd-funding site Patreon to directly pay for apps via third-party App Store AltStore, according to a TechCrunch interview with its developer, Riley Testut.

This option was added in the name of helping smaller developers cover Apple's Core Technology Fee. This fee comes as a part of Apple's compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) put in place by the EU. It makes it so that developers will pay €0.50 per annual installation for apps that manage over one million downloads annually through a third-party store. This has led to bankruptcy concerns for smaller developers, who may suddenly become a hit with users and find themselves owing Apple a huge amount of money.

However, AltStore plans to help smaller developers cover the cost of Apple's Core Technology Fee by allowing developers to use a Patreon integration feature to better market and monetize their apps directly to consumers. Testut took to Threads to share screenshots of the version of the App Store that will be offered in the EU.

Post by @rileytestut
View on Threads

AltStore will officially launch in the EU with two apps, the Nintendo emulator Delta, which will be available for free, and the clipboard manager Clip, which will require a pledge of $1 or more on Patreon. AltStore also plans to offer the Beta versions of both apps soon after the release, which will require a $3 a month pledge to use. 

Reportedly, the plan is to allow developers to distribute their apps through the storefront as soon as AltStore launches and works properly. Testut has claimed that this will create a new business model for apps that wouldn't be permitted without the DMA coming into effect. The benefit to smaller developers is that it offers a way to monetize their apps while avoiding Apple's 15% to 30% commission.

All iPhone 15 models shown together.

(Image credit: Future)

It should be noted that Apple is currently under pressure from the EU about the changes that it has made. There are reports that the EU is currently unhappy and is investigating the company to confirm the changes comply with the DMA. Apple is also fighting a court battle against the U.S. Department of Justice regarding an alleged iPhone monopoly.

According to Testut, AltStore is ready to go live, but is waiting on approval from Apple before it can do so.

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.