News hardware Thanks to the EU, Apple will be forced to open up its ecosystem
After warning Apple about the anti-competitive nature of the Apple Pay function, the European Union continues its offensives against Tim Cook. On the program of the day, the hegemony of the App Store called into question, and much more.
The App Store is too restrictive according to the EU
Since always on the iPhone, the only way to download applications is to launch the App Store, the Made in Apple app store. iOS prevents sideloading, which makes it possible to obtain applications via a third-party store or directly from the internet.
This option is of course available on Android, Google’s more open operating system. Apple is categorical on this point: allowing anyone to be able to create applications without them being sufficiently controlled constitutes a very big risk for the security of users.
It is true that security breaches and various scams are more numerous on Android smartphones, but it is obvious that Apple has an interest in keeping control over their Store, and over their OS in general. In effect, the Cupertino company recovers 30% for each transaction made in an application, and opening the external download would significantly reduce their income.
The European Parliament, already on Apple’s side on many fronts, intends to enforce rules forcing the brand to open up to the outside world.
The DMA (Digital Market Act) passed this week with 43 votes in favor and only 1 vote against. Concretely, a list will be created to bring together the “gatekeepers”, or the players dominating the market in the world of tech and granting themselves rights which, according to the parliament, stifle competition.
Apple restrictions by the EU
Apple will undoubtedly be part of this list of gatekeepers, and many services would be regulated:
- The App Store: Apple could be forced to authorize the downloading of applications and therefore payments outside the App Store.
- NFC: Apple keeps its NFC technology for Apple Pay, its contactless payment method via the iPhone. Impossible for a third party to launch their own wallet. The EU wants to change this, allowing developers to have access to NFC and any other necessary hardware technology such as processor information or means of authentication like FaceID or TouchID.
- iMessage, Facetime, Siri: these services are part of Apple’s bread and butter as they only work between iOS and macOS devices. This excludes people who are not in the ecosystem and who do not benefit from very practical features. The EU wants all messaging and calling apps to be interconnected.
For example, Apple does not integrate RCS technology into its iPhones, which offers more possibilities to the native Messages application of a smartphone. Thus, even via SMS, it is possible to react to a message with an emoji, respond to a specific message, or even send gifs.
Apple knows iMessage is too big and doesn’t want to add RCS, which is seen as anti-competitive.
To see the details on this agreement, here is the official page of the European Parliament
A final vote will take place in July to make this DMA official. In the meantime, Apple has to face a lot of other offensives like this, all over the world.