The EU is building your next iPhone, it’s going to be fine
Your next iPhone may come with an Apple logo, but the EU is taking a more active hand in designing it than it has in the past. In the space of just a few months, the EU has made
some decisions aimed at repudiating select Apple design decisions. Some are small, some are large, and all will mean your iPhone is a little less Apple, and a little more flexible.
The first and most headline-grabbing one: Apple is being forced to open up the App Store in Europe. No, the company is not required to open up its app store to all and sundry.
Instead, it now has to allow the iPhone to host alternate app stores. This will create a state of affairs that exists on the Android platform where the Google Play Store exists,
and users are also able to install apps from the Amazon App Store or even places like APKMirror or direct from the app developer. It’s important to note that none of these app
environments are exclusive. An app developer could opt to build for some, all, or just one app distribution platform (though it’s incredibly hard to keep apps on Android away
from the open market.) Digital Trends A later report claimed that Apple will be making some of these changes, most notably the ones with the iPhone. It’ll be limiting them to
Europe, but with noises being made all around the world, it’s hard to see them remaining exclusive for too long. More importantly, it’ll demonstrate the weakness of Apple’s
security arguments in a live environment. On the other hand, they might end up meaning nothing. Even on Android phones, the existence of third-party app stores has not led to a
Play Store exodus, as some more fanciful takes have argued. “Realistically, third-party app stores are more about cutting Apple out of the revenue chain than an overwhelming
consumer demand. Sideloading certainly brings some additional security issues, though Apple may be allowed to put some guardrails there to mitigate the threat,” Avi Greengart of
Techsponential told Digital Trends in an emailed comment. “I don’t think the app store changes will make much difference since most consumers wouldn’t feel the need to
download third-party apps, and probably wouldn’t know how to side-load them anyway. As you say, the majority of users, both iOS and Android, just stick with defaults.”
Apple’s biggest concern here could see a more direct crack into iPhone exclusivity through iMessage. As Counterpoint’s Jan Stryzak pointed out, “The Digital Markets Act also
calls for interoperability between different messaging platforms, which may actually be a bad thing for Apple as it would allow those who currently stick with iOS because they are