Reports are indicating that the iPhone maker intends to open a separate application hub in the EU.
According to widely publicized reports, Apple is getting ready to divide its App Store into two distinct marketplaces, though only in the European Union’s market.
The move will reportedly be made in order to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).
The DMA contains a requirement for Apple to allow alternative payment methods and app sideloading within the EU. This means that the company will need to launch another App Store in the EU in order to remain compliant with the DMA regulations. It isn’t clear whether the company intends to make similar moves in any other market outside the EU.
According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, Apple is required to make the changes to comply with the DMA’s regulation by a deadline of March 7, 2024. Once compliant, iPhone and other Apple device users will have access to application downloads from third-party platforms. Moreover, developers will be able to offer payment methods of their own.
The separate App Store will create a very different application environment for Apple device users.
By having a separate marketplace from which to obtain Applications, Apple device users will be able to install third-party sourced applications, which has never been allowed on iOS. Moreover, once developers can offer their own payment methods for purchases, it will make it possible for them to skip paying Apple’s commission on both the application purchases themselves, and any spending made within the applications.
Though this change will initially be limited to the European Union’s market, it is unknown if or when this change could expand into other regions as well.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently met with Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition. That said, the meeting that took place at Apple Park was unsuccessful in convincing Vestager to reconsider the regulations in the DMA. It was Apple’s argument that application sideloading and offering alternative methods of payment could expose iOS device users to security and privacy threats such as malware, data breaches and fraud.
That said, Vestager’s argument was that Apple’s App Store must abide by the EU’s regulations or face legal penalties.