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Apple is apparently preparing for alternative app stores in iOS 17


The next major update to the iPhone operating system could bring a drastic change that Apple never wanted: apps from sources other than the App Store, at least for EU customers.

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iPhone 14: Will alternative app stores and side loading come in 2023?


For years, Apple had fought tooth and nail and described the step as a security risk for users, but now the time seems to have come for a significant conversion of the iOS operating system: According to a media report, the company is preparing to use iPhones and iPads in of the European Union (EU) also allow alternative app stores and the direct purchase of apps without a store at all.

It should start with iOS 17, which is expected next fall.

As part of the changes, customers could download third-party software onto their devices without using Apple's App Store, Bloomberg reported, citing insiders.

The background is new EU regulations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which are expected to come into force in 2024.

It could therefore be that the changes would only be visible in the EU.

It remains unclear in the report whether Apple also wants to implement other requirements, such as allowing alternative payment methods.

The company initially did not comment.

So far, only apps downloaded from the App Store can be installed on iPhones and iPads.

Apple argues that the company's security check ensures that no malware ends up on the devices.

According to Bloomberg, the group is therefore considering that even apps that do not get onto the devices via Apple's own app store should first be "verified", i.e. checked, by the company itself.

Experts expect minimal impact on Apple's business

Apple charges a commission of up to 30 percent on purchases of paid apps.

Industry service Sensor Tower estimates that the related deals were worth about $10 billion last year.

In theory, the DMA rules could jeopardize revenue in Apple's service division if corporations like Microsoft, Meta or Amazon were to join with their own app stores.

To do this, however, they would have to make customers attractive offers, i.e. sell the same apps for less money, or allow apps that are not available in the App Store.

However, because this business must also be worthwhile for the actual developers of the apps, it is difficult to foresee how strong the competing offers will ultimately be.

CFRA equity analyst Angelo Zino, like other industry experts, believes only a small portion of Apple's total revenue will be affected by direct competition from app stores in Europe.

"In the end, the impact will be minimal because most consumers are creatures of habit and very happy with the platform," he said.

»We assume that the majority of consumers will keep the status quo and use the existing app store.«

For years, Google's Android operating system has enabled so-called "side loading", in which apps can be installed from alternative app stores or directly from the providers.

However, as part of a lawsuit against Apple, the "Fortnite" manufacturer Epic Games had stated that 90 percent of all downloads went through the official Google App Store.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-12-14

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