Apple has been in the headlines lately due to controversies. Its ongoing debacle with Epic Games regarding its purported violations of App Store policies continues to draw criticism from the tech and gaming industry. After removing "Fortnite" from the platform, its most recent action was to deny developer access to the publisher until further notice. Now, the company just confirmed that iOS 14 will soon allow developers to generate codes that could provide discounts and free trials.
Details regarding these changes were officially announced by the company on their website. It noted: "Later this year, you'll be able to acquire, retain, and win back subscribers with subscription offer codes: unique, alphanumeric codes that provide free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions. Provide your one-time use codes digitally or offline at physical events, alongside products, and more."
The post continued: "Customers on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and later can redeem offer codes on the App Store, through a one-time code redemption URL, or within your app if you've implemented the presentCodeRedemptionSheet API." This is different from what developers were able to do before, and apparently allows publishers to distribute them electronically or physically. Additionally, it can be redeemed through multiple supported channels which makes it a little more versatile.
Another section explains: "Give existing or previous subscribers a free or discounted subscription for a specific duration. These offers provide the flexibility to create unique promotions to grow and retain your customer base. They can also help win back customers who cancelled their subscriptions or promote an upgrade to another subscription at a special price."
Some pointed out that this could be a marketing gimmick Apple thought of after its App Store guidelines have been called into question. In fact, in some countries, government regulators have reportedly accused the Cupertino-based tech group of antitrust practices. Moreover, Microsoft and Facebook seem to have taken the side of Epic Games and claim that App Store restrictions over game streaming are allegedly somewhat anti-competitive.
iOS 14 is speculated to launch this month along with a major hardware reveal that include the iPhone 12 series and other new products. Apple already confirmed that shipments of its smartphones will be delayed due to the pandemic. Finally, it remains to be seen if its latest App Store promotion would help boost its revenue from in-store purchases.