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Apple to allow non-App Store downloads on iPhones in Europe

By NICK GARCIA Published Jan 26, 2024 4:00 pm

Apple will allow devices purchased in Europe to use other app stores starting March.

To date, iPhone users may only download apps from the tech giant's App Store.

According to a report by BBC, the move comes after the region’s new law, the Digital Markets Act, takes effect. The law aims to regulate the largest companies that are gatekeepers to services to make the market fairer.

Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly, with developers going through its channels and paying 30% commission.

Developers who fail to meet Apple’s App Store standards or who don’t wish to pay fees would get excluded from millions of users.

Reuters reported that despite the new law, developers would still have to submit apps to Apple for review for cybersecurity risks and obvious fraud. Apple will also charge a "core technology fee" to major app developers, despite not using Apple's payment services.

BBC reported that Apple would also further open up web browser choice, allowing users to choose browsers other than Safari.

Still, Apple said allowing alternative app stores would pose additional security risks for users. It has since pointed out that its rules protect them.

Apple is expected to share new resources so that EU users can understand the new changes better. These include "guidance to help EU users navigate complexities the DMA’s changes bring—including a less intuitive user experience—and best practices for approaching new risks associated with downloading apps and processing payments outside of the App Store."