Key points:

  • According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will allow third-party app stores on iPhones and iPads in 2023. 
  • The motive behind the move is to comply with the new European Union (EU) competition regulation.
  • According to experts familiar with the matter, there could be a catch here like being available in the EU only. 

A Bloomberg report states that Apple is planning to welcome third-party app stores on iPhones and iPads. According to people who are aware of the matter, the motive behind the move is to comply with the new competition regulation in the EU. As things stand, we have no more details regarding Apple’s final decision. 

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Change of heart for Apple?

Has Apple bowed down in front of the EU’s new competition law? Well, it at least looks like that for now. Bloomberg reports Apple could allow third-party apps to feature on iPhone and iPad after the iOS 17 update next year. This means that users will now be able to install alternative app stores on their iOS devices. This could be the first time the company will officially allow iPhone users to download applications from other app stores apart from its native App store. 

While the reason behind this move is mentioned above, things will not be as straightforward as they seem. There are a few speculations around this news as some suggest that this capability may only be available in Europe as the company positions itself to comply with the upcoming competition laws in the EU. There have been instances in the past where users have jail breaked their way to download apps from other sources. However, Apple has always warned against doing that.  

Apple is apparently considering “mandating certain security requirements,” such as verifying applications and potentially even charging customers a charge before approving outside apps. A substantial amount of resources are being committed by the firm for this new endeavour. 

What is the EU competition law?

According to Bloomberg, the EU’s Digital Markets Act is for Apple’s change of heart (DMA). With new rules in effect, Apple will have to permit side-loading, which is how you install web-based applications, as well as third-party app stores. According to the EU, the deadline for compliance with the regulation by digital corporations, including Google, is March 2024.

The EU has established a fairly complicated timeline for enforcing the rule, which includes corporations that may be impacted by informing authorities and a commission deciding whether they will actually need to make adjustments.

At the moment, Apple is also concentrating its efforts on another huge change in the EU. The firm has officially confirmed that it will have to obey the EU rules that mandate the company to add USB-C to the iPhone by 2024. 

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Feature Image Source: Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash