The upcoming European Union (EU) digital law has alarmed Apple as the tech giant would be forced to allow users to install apps from outside the App Store.
In addition to allowing third-party stores, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) would also force Apple to allow users to install apps from third-party sources (also called sideloading), along with allowing developers to use the App Store without using Apple’s payment systems.
Apple told The Verge that – some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users while others will prohibit us from charging for intellectual property in which we invest a great deal”.
According to European Commission spokesperson Johannes Bahrke, the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it.
“This freedom includes being able to opt for alternative sources of apps on your smartphone. If a user so chooses, the DMA would allow a smartphone owner to also opt for other safe app stores,” he added.
The DMA could come into force as early as October this year.
Apple has always criticized sideloading on the iPhone.
“Allowing sideloading would degrade the security of the iOS platform and expose users to serious security risks not only on third-party app stores, but also on the App Store,” according to the company.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has argued that sideloading would “destroy the security of the iPhone”.
In sweeping reforms to limit the market powers of Big Tech, the EU has unveiled a new digital act that will allow smaller firms to compete with US-based tech giants.
The EU lawmakers agreed that the largest messaging services (such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Apple iMessage) will have to open up and interoperate with smaller messaging platforms if they so request.
To date, the EU has tackled antitrust issues on a case-by-case basis, but the DMA is aimed at introducing sweeping reforms that will address the whole digital market.