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Sideloading iPhone could soon become a reality in the US

I’ve recently pissed off both iPhone users who support sideloading and those who don’t. I have made it clear several times that I will not use sideloading, third party app stores, or third party payment systems on my iPhone. Some of our readers were not happy with my view.

I also suggested that Apple allow sideloading worldwide, not just in markets where regulators require it. This could help manage public concerns related to these issues.

While I don’t favor sideloading apps on my iPhone, Apple may need to enable this feature in more markets. Following the European Union’s decision, other regions such as Japan and the US are considering similar measures for Apple.

Japan is considering laws similar to the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA designated the App Store as a gatekeeper in Europe, allowing Apple to comply with the new rules by March. These regulations mandate iPhone to support sideloading, third-party app stores and third-party payment systems in the EU. Expect these features to be incorporated into iOS 17 soon

Reports suggest that Apple intends to limit sideloading and related features to the EU region. Even international users won’t be able to use VPN services to get Apple to enable sideloading on their iPhones.

Japan is considering laws to boost competition on the iPhone and Android, impacting companies such as Apple, Google and other operators of similar platforms.

Dynamic island iPhone 15 Plus

In the US, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an antitrust investigation into App Store concerns. According to The Financial Times (via 9to5Mac ), the case against Apple is proceeding vigorously.

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Jonathan Kanter, the head of the Department of Justice’s antitrust department since November 2021, has made no secret of his ambition to initiate proceedings against the largest American companies.

His department was investigating Apple’s App Store years and is now «firing on all cylinders,» according to Kanter. However, the window for him to present the case is closing as the US presidential election and a potential change in administration loom.

It is uncertain whether the Justice Department will succeed in its case against Apple, or when it might reach a conclusion. Still, there is precedent for such an outcome, with lawmakers pushing Apple to allow sideloading, third-party app stores and alternative payment systems on the iPhone.

Google recently settled a comparable antitrust case by agreeing to pay $700 million and make changes to how the Google Play Store works. Google is now required to allow Android users to install apps from any source, which essentially involves sideloading and using third-party app stores.

Google will now allow third party payment systems, but developers will still be charged a fee for each transaction. The potential savings for developers by offering apps through third-party repositories instead of the Play Store may be minimal or non-existent.

We can’t be sure that Apple will do what Google did. But regulators overseeing big tech is commonplace. With 2024 being a big election year worldwide, politicians can decide whether to support or oppose tech companies.

Antitrust case aside, I believe Apple should be proactive about this. Eventually, iPhones will support sideloading everywhere. Resisting it now only harms the company.

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Users ultimately decide whether to install third-party applications. I don’t believe the Apple App Store will be affected much in the long run if people like me avoid iPhone sideloading and the risks involved.

#Sideloading #iPhone #reality

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