Apple's tight control over the apps downloaded to its devices may soon be coming to an end.
The Cupertino company is preparing to allow other app stores to be available on its phones and tablets, according to Bloomberg.
This measure, which would only affect Europe, would allow users to download third-party applications, not controlled by Apple, and that developers would no longer have to pay commissions of up to 30% imposed by the apple company.
Company sources consulted by EL PAÍS point out that, for the moment, they have nothing to comment on the matter.
The decision is not part of a voluntary strategic shift.
Apple must take measures to adapt to the new European regulations approved this year that affect the activity of large technology companies and that will come into force in 2024. The Digital Services Regulation (DSA) obliges them to meet a series of technical requirements, such as open their algorithms and submit them to audits to verify that no group is discriminated against or quickly remove the illegal content that is disseminated through them.
The Digital Market Regulation (DMA), for its part, aims to end big tech monopolies.
The latter is specially designed so that seven large companies (Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, Google parent company, Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba and SAS) lose the ability to manage the market at will.
The Digital Markets Act #DMA officially became #law!
Here's 138 seconds to understand what's in it for all of us ⬇️😊 pic.twitter.com/nokXiMtQAE
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) October 13, 2022
Apple's model collides head-on with this approach.
iPhone users can only download the applications they find in the App Store, the Apple store.
Not all apps are there (the commission-free Android Play Store has many more).
Apple argues that the filter not only responds to the commission it charges developers for being in its bazaar: it also has to do with the curation of the apps it offers its customers, guaranteeing certain safety and quality standards, stopping apps that contain malware.
If Bloomberg's information is confirmed, Apple would be about to make a major turnaround in its historical strategy.
Its engineers, the American environment abounds, would also be preparing the ground to be able to apply these changes to other markets beyond Europe, anticipating the possibility that more countries approve regulations similar to the DSA and DMA.
Betting or not on a more open model has been a great topic of debate within Apple itself.
Steve Wozniak himself, the engineer who founded the company with Steve Jobs, has been advocating for years so that iPhones can run on Android or a free operating system.
The App Store and its commissions have been on the rise for some time.
Epic Games, the developer of the best-selling game Fortnite, took Apple to court to try not to have to pay the toll to appear on the iPhone.
The final sentence is expected by mid-2023.
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