Title: Apple To Allow Sideloading of Apps on iPhone in the EU by 2024
In exciting news for iPhone users in the European Union (EU), a groundbreaking change is on the horizon that will revolutionize the way apps are downloaded on Apple devices. Starting in the first half of 2024, iPhone users in the EU will be able to download apps from sources outside of Apple’s official App Store, a practice known as sideloading.
With this transformative shift, users will have the freedom to download apps without having to rely solely on the App Store. Furthermore, sideloading will also eliminate the need for developers to pay Apple’s fees, offering them a more financially viable option to reach their target audience.
In response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires “gatekeeper” companies like Apple to allow third-party access to their platforms, Apple will introduce a “highly controlled system” for EU users to install apps from other sources. Industry insiders suggest that this system might be introduced through a localized update of iOS 17, Apple’s operating system.
Interestingly, this development contradicts a recent report that sideloading would be introduced through Apple’s iOS 17.2 software update, expected to launch next month. It now seems EU users will have to wait until 2024 to enjoy the benefits of sideloading.
Apple’s stance on sideloading centers around concerns related to privacy and security, arguing that it could undermine the current safeguards. However, failure to comply with the DMA could result in hefty fines of up to 20% of Apple’s global revenue, which has led the tech giant to reconsider its position.
To maintain security standards, Apple might require an additional layer of verification for sideloaded apps and could potentially charge a fee for this process. Although details are yet to be fully disclosed, the company is determined to strike a delicate balance between promoting app diversity and ensuring user safety.
The impact of this move in the EU could potentially extend beyond its borders. If other countries follow suit and introduce legislation similar to the DMA, alternate app stores may see exponential growth, ultimately lowering Apple’s monopoly in the global market. The United States, for instance, is already contemplating legislation to require Apple to allow sideloading.
As the world eagerly awaits the arrival of sideloading in the EU, Apple’s decision sets a significant precedent for the tech industry and the relationship between dominant platforms and developers. Undoubtedly, this development will be closely monitored and widely discussed in the coming months, with the potential to reshape the app landscape in the EU and beyond.
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