The European Union’s heavy scrutiny of Apple’s operations has instilled many changes. For instance, the latest iPhone 15 series features a USB-C port instead of the outdated Lightning Port on older models. Now, the EU has directed the company to reduce the payment restrictions on the App Store and enable sideloading for users. Both the changes could arrive to users in the region in the coming weeks.
App Store To Split Into Two Versions
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple could split the App Store into two: one version available in the EU and the other available everywhere else. This change could take place in the coming weeks. The new App Store version will allow developers to add third-party payment gateways. Further, it should also promote valid offers outside the App Store. Currently, the company levies a huge platform fee for transactions.
iPhone Users In The EU Could Sideload Apps Soon
Under the Digital Markets Act put in place by the EU, users in the region can also sideload apps, enabling them to download applications from outside the Apple App Store. This is a massive development, considering that Apple hasn’t allowed users to download apps from non-verified sources since the beginning. However, Android users have been able to sideload apps by downloading and installing APK files from the internet.
Apple Must Meet The DMA’s March 7 Deadline
Although Gurman doesn’t mention a timeline for the sideloading change, Apple has no option but to comply with a DMA deadline of March 7, 2024, to allow sideloading. Hence, users in the EU should be able to download and install third-party apps before the stipulated date. It is important to mention that the changes will only come to the EU. Other regions like the USA or India will continue to have the restricted App Store and no option to sideload apps.
However, if other countries pass similar rulings, it could compel Apple to release the new App Store and the option to sideload apps in those regions. Most recently, reports suggested that the Indian government has urged Apple to introduce Type-C charging in its older iPhone models in circulation.
However, the company responded that this could hamper the local iPhone production targets. However, if the government insists or turns it into a law without which the company cannot sell iPhones in the region, we could see a USB-C port on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models.