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Apple Allows iPhone To Use Other App Stores In the EU


Apple is said to be allowing iOS on the iPhone and iPad to third-party app stores. As reported by the US business portal Bloomberg, citing sources close to Apple, the US computer group wants to start restricting the use of third-party app stores on its iOS devices in advance of the introduction of corresponding EU directives in 2024. enable devices.

Apple’s golden cage is crumbling

Apple would thus take a step that many competitors have been pushing for years. In addition, there has also been growing pressure in Europe, the USA, and other regions for years for Apple to open its “golden cage”, which has always been defended against all attacks with its in-house app store.

Currently, Apple’s software and services teams are said to be working at a large scale to open up key elements of the company’s various platforms. As part of these measures, iPad and iPhone users may be able to download apps through third-party stores in the future. In the case of paid apps, the “Apple tax” in the form of the 30 percent commission for Apple on all sales would then also be eliminated.

EU Digital Markets Act makes it possible

Third-party stores will initially only be opened up in Europe, after all, the operating system providers must ensure that it is possible to install apps from third-party sources by 2024 at the latest. On top of that, the EU’s new “Digital Markets Act” (Digital Markets Act) requires that the messaging services of the various providers be networked with each other and that external developers have equal access to the core functions of apps and services.

Starts With iOS 17

According to Bloomberg’s report, iOS 17 aims to introduce changes needed to open iOS to third-party stores. In order to ensure protection against malware and unsafe apps, Apple could require a security check of the applications despite the opening – and charge money for it, they say.

It has also not yet been decided whether Apple will also allow in-app purchases and services to be billed via external payment services. Although the Digital Markets Act contains corresponding EU requirements, their implementation has not yet been definitively planned, according to the report. It is also being considered that the requirement that all browsers under iOS must always use Apple’s own WebKit engine should also be deleted.

So far, however, there are no plans to meet some other EU requirements. Although Apple increasingly wants to open core features of iOS to external developers, the fun seems to stop when it comes to messaging. It has not yet been decided whether iMessage will be opened for communication with other messengers, nor is it planned to support Rich Communications Services (RCS). 

All of Apple’s current planned changes, which have been entrusted to senior members of the management team, stem from pressure from the European Union. With the Digital Markets Act, the EU responded to numerous complaints from third-party providers, who for many years have accused Apple of massively impeding competition with its restrictive requirements for the way users access apps and services under iOS.