Apple would be forced to allow sideloading and third-party app stores under new EU law

Apple would be forced to allow sideloading and third-party app stores under new EU law

According to new EU regulations, Apple must enable customers to install software from sources other than the App Store. This clause was included in the first draught for the EU’s comprehensive Digital Markets Act, or DMA, which moved closer to becoming legislation this week.

According to European Commission spokesman Johannes Bahrke via email, smartphone owners should be allowed to choose how to use their devices. “This independence includes choosing alternate app suppliers on your smartphone. With the DMA, smartphone users may still use the safe and secure default app store. Moreover, the DMA would let smartphone owners to chose alternative secure app stores.”

Apple would be forced to allow sideloading and third-party app stores under new EU law


In addition to allowing third-party shops on its platform, Apple would also be obliged to enable users to install programmes from third-party sources (a procedure known as sideloading) and to allow developers to utilise the App Store without utilising Apple’s payment methods.

The DMA has yet to be passed into law by the European Parliament, but it is likely to pass easily. That means the DMA might go into effect as early as October. The EU member states may then choose how to translate the EU statute into national legislation.

Apple has previously argued that sideloading on the iPhone compromises the platform’s security. The research said that allowing sideloading would compromise iOS security and expose consumers to major security threats not just on third-party software shops, but also on the App Store. Tim Cook claims sideloading compromises the iPhone’s security.

While the Mac has long permitted customers to download software from outside Apple’s official store, Apple claims the iPhone is different because it contains more sensitive data. Nonetheless, determined users can sideload apps onto an iPhone. Apple’s own corporate app programme enables organisations to load own applications. Apps that aren’t completely authorised for the App Store are often distributed through TestFlight.

The EU believes that allowing users to choose where they want to download apps from can help alleviate Apple’s security concerns. Similar toggles exist on Android, which must be explicitly disabled to allow third-party software downloads.

The DMA’s provisions would create needless privacy and security risks for our consumers, while others will prevent us from charging for intellectual property in which we have invested much, according to Apple spokeswoman Emma Wilson.