App Store (Photo: GettyImages)
If the report in the Bloomberg news agency is to be believed, with the launch of iOS 17 in September 2023, Apple will allow for the first time the download of third-party applications (outside AppStore) - for now only in Europe.
The reason: the requirements of the new EU law, which will enter into force in June 2024. The new legislation is expected to curb the power of big tech companies and oblige them to work with smaller companies.
Meanwhile, the technology giant did not respond to the report and it is not clear if it will manage to evade the law.
As you know, Apple's app store operates as a "locked garden" - developers who have not undergone a thorough review cannot be displayed in the store, and users cannot download apps to their devices that are not included in the store.
Thus, for the first time, the change will allow users to download applications without having to use the App Store, which also means that developers will not have to pay fees of up to 30 percent to Apple.
For the first time, the change will allow users to download apps without having to use the App Store (Photo: GettyImages)
If other countries introduce similar legislation, alternative app stores may expand beyond the EU.
In the past, Apple has argued that installing apps outside the AppStore would "undermine the privacy and security protections" that iPhone users rely on, leaving people vulnerable to malware, fraud, data tracking and other issues.
According to Bloomberg, it is unclear whether the changes will only be available in the European Union or whether Apple may eventually open its new App Store worldwide.
At the same time, the European Union has threatened to fine companies up to 20 percent of annual revenue for repeated violations of the new law, which could amount to $80 billion for Apple.
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And that's not all, as I remember Apple will comply with another decision of the European Parliament - and give up the Lightning connection on the iPhone.
As a reminder, starting in the fall of 2024, all smartphones sold in the Union will be required to be equipped with a USB-C socket as a universal standard.
For years, Apple insisted on keeping its proprietary Lightning plug, thus forcing its users to purchase compatible cables and chargers made by it.