Apple May Divide App Store into Two for EU Regulations Compliance

What you should know

  • The European Union’s Digital Market Act (DMA) is designed to address concerns regarding the influence of big tech companies, and it will come into effect in March.
  • Apple is reportedly considering splitting its App Store into two versions—one for the EU and another for the US and the rest of the world—to comply with the DMA.
  • EU users will be able to download apps from places other than the App Store, use outside payment processors, and enjoy a smoother connection between first-party and third-party apps and features.
  • Other countries, like Japan, are also considering laws that would require Apple to allow sideloading on iOS, potentially leading to a global shift in the App Store’s operation.

Full Story

The Digital Market Act, or DMA, has been introduced by the European Union. This act aims to curb the influence of big tech companies. In response, these tech giants are scrambling to figure out how to comply with the new rules.

Whether they’ve figured it out or not, the DMA is kicking in this March. So, they’ve got to shake things up or face some hefty fines.

Apple, one of the companies required to comply with the DMA, has been tight-lipped about its plans. But, word on the street (specifically, from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman) is that Apple is considering splitting its App Store. The idea is to have one version for the EU and another for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

If you’re in the EU, here’s the scoop. You’ll be able to grab apps from places other than the App Store. You can pay for services using outside payment processors. Plus, you’ll enjoy a smoother connection between first-party and third-party apps and features.

Apple has tried a few tricks to convince the EU that its App Store doesn’t need to play by the DMA rules. They even claimed that they’re running not one, but five App Stores. But, the EU isn’t buying it and is ready to lay down the law on Apple.

Just the other day, Margrethe Vestager, the bigwig at the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, had a chat with Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook. They were reportedly discussing whether Apple should allow third-party alternatives to the App Store.

Apple is keeping its plans on the down-low. But stay tuned, because we’ll probably get more details in the weeks leading up to the March deadline. It’s likely that Apple will release a new software update to comply with the DMA rules.

If you’re not in the EU, the App Store remains your go-to for installing apps on your iPhone. But down the line, Apple might feel a pinch in the wallet due to a slowdown in cash flow from the App Store in Europe.

And guess what? The EU is just the beginning. Japan is also working on a new law that would require Apple to allow sideloading on iOS. It wouldn’t be surprising if other countries join in, all aiming to crack open the App Store, no matter where you are.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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