According to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a source usually well reliable when it comes to Apple rumors, Apple may allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads. This move is designed to help the company comply with the strict European Union’s Digital Markets and Services Act requirements coming in 2024.
The Act requires the “gatekeeper companies” (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) to open up their markets, and allow users to sideload apps from the web. Though Apple has indicated that this move will pose a security threat, not to mention the negative implications it onboards in terms of privacy. On the flip side, developers may now be able to reap full benefits from their apps as they’ll no longer have to give Apple the 30% cut from their earnings.
Apple is preparing to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads, as part of a sweeping overhaul aimed at complying with strict EU requirements coming in 2024.@markgurman reports https://t.co/qtglfXsJFt pic.twitter.com/nsdlcrACRP
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) December 13, 2022
Towards the end of last year, there was a report that indicated that Microsoft was on the verge of bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming to the App Store. We already know that Apple updated its App Store terms of service to allow game streaming apps, though they have to undergo vigorous scrutiny first.
When Apple makes these changes, iOS users will be able to use browsers such as Chrome with other browser engines. At the moment, it is restricted to Apple’s WebKit. The Digital Markets Act also requires the company to grant third-party app access to the iPhone’s NFC chip because it is only available to Apple Wallet and Apple Pay currently.
That said, with this new development, if Microsoft manages to seal the Activision Blizzard deal, it could leverage this opportunity and also debut its ‘next-gen’ mobile games store on iOS.
However, according to the Bloomberg report, Apple is still planning to retain some of the security measures it has in place to establish a bit of control. This will ensure that the apps downloaded outside the App Store meet the set standard. The company also intends to retain the verification fee.
In related news, the European Parliament also passed a regulation that requires Apple to transition its tablets and phones sold in the area to USB-C by 2024. Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.