The next major version of the iPhone operating system iOS, which is expected in September 2023, could already introduce alternative app stores on Apple devices. This is how the company wants to counteract possible EU regulatory measures.
App store alternatives on Apple devices as early as 2023?
As Bloomberg reports, Apple is apparently already preparing options for alternative app stores on its devices. In the EU, it could thus be possible to obtain apps from alternative stores as early as iOS 17.
Apple had resisted these options for years, seeing them as a potential security risk for users. On the other hand, regulators and app developers have also criticized Apple’s supremacy as gatekeeper for its app store for years.
The monopoly allows Apple, for example, to significantly raise prices in the App Store – as last happened in October 2022. According to a report from Bloomberg, however, that could soon be the end of it.
For now, only within the EU?
The background to this is a potential regulation on the part of the European Union, which, according to the report, should come into force from 2024. In order to anticipate this, Apple is planning, according to internal sources, to offer alternative app stores that allow apps to be downloaded on iPhone and iPad devices that have not previously been checked by the manufacturer.
It is therefore possible that Apple will only release this feature for the EU region. At least until there is corresponding regulation in other markets as well. For app developers, however, this could mean the end of the so-called “Apple Tax”, with which Apple retains 30 percent commission from app sales for itself.
For Apple, at least, this would also be a major financial loss, after all, the Cupertino-based company takes in several billion US dollars in revenue per year through its supremacy… or let’s call it a monopoly… from services like app purchases, Apple Music or the like alone.
Opening up to alternative app stores would make the Apple ecosystem accessible to solutions from Amazon or Microsoft, for example. However, it remains to be seen whether and how Apple will ultimately implement this. And, of course, it also depends on how the regulation is ultimately implemented.