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Apple Considering Allowing Use of Other App Stores In Europe

 |  December 14, 2022

Apple is reportedly preparing to allow other app stores to access its devices in Europe.

The effort comes in response to European Union (EU) rules that are to take effect in 2024, and it could serve as a test run for a similar change to its iPhones and iPads in other countries, should the need arise, Bloomberg reported Tuesday (Dec. 13).

This would change Apple’s long-standing policy of allowing apps only from its own App Store and would allow users of its devices to download third-party apps, avoid Apple’s restrictions and bypass the commission it charges on payments, according to the report.

The EU laws — particularly the Digital Markets Act — are aimed at boosting the competitiveness of third-party app developers and allowing greater choice to consumers, the report said.

The rules, which apply to technology companies of a certain size, also require that outside developers be able to access core features, per the report.

Apple has long opposed rules like these, saying that third-party apps delivered from outside its App Store could put users’ privacy at risk, according to the report.

The firm hasn’t decided whether to comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirement that tech companies allow third-party payment systems within apps, the report said.

It is, however, working on opening up its application programming interfaces (APIs), camera technologies and near-field communications (NFC) chip to third-party apps. The latter would enable other companies’ mobile wallets on the devices, per the report.