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Apple to Enable Sideloading on iOS Devices in the European Union

Apple Sideloading EU

Apple, the tech giant known for its closed ecosystem, is set to make a significant change for users in the European Union (EU). In response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple is preparing to enable sideloading on iOS devices within EU regions where the DMA applies. This means that users will have the option to install apps from third-party app stores, expanding their choices beyond the Apple App Store.

Sideloading is common among Firestick and Fire TV users who jailbreak their devices for unrestricted streaming access. However, Apple has been a major proponent of this technology claiming that doing so opens these devices to malware, spam, scams, and more.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, The App Store will be split into two versions: one for the EU and one for the rest of the world. The changes are expected to roll out before the March 7 deadline set by the EU to comply with the DMA. This move will allow Apple to meet the requirements of the EU’s antitrust legislation and provide users in Europe with more flexibility and freedom in-app installation.

Apple’s Plan to Comply with the EU’s DMA

According to reports, Apple is preparing to make significant changes to the App Store to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). These changes are expected to roll out in the coming weeks.

Under the EU DMA, Apple will be obligated to allow users in Europe to install third-party app stores and sideload apps on their iOS devices. This means that they will have the option to download apps from sources other than the official App Store, giving them more freedom and flexibility in choosing and accessing their favorite applications.

apple app store

In addition to enabling sideloading, Apple will also have to enable developers to promote their offers outside the App Store and use third-party payment systems. This will allow developers to have more flexibility in reaching their target audience and offering their products or services in ways that best suit their business models.

The changes introduced as part of Apple’s compliance with the EU’s DMA will have a significant impact on how the App Store, Siri, and FaceTime function in Europe. These changes aim to create a more competitive and open digital market, similar to that of Android devices.

Implications of Sideloading in the EU

The European Union is one of Apple’s biggest markets, and complying with the DMA was an inevitable step for the company. While Apple has opposed sideloading in the past due to privacy and security concerns, it will now make changes to adhere to this policy.

This move will enhance user choice and versatility in-app installation, while also meeting the requirements of the EU’s antitrust legislation.

By enabling sideloading, Apple opens the door for users to explore different app marketplaces, potentially leading to increased competition and innovation within the app ecosystem. Users will have the freedom to discover and choose from a wider range of apps and services, ultimately benefiting from a more diverse and competitive market.

Additionally, the split in the App Store allows Apple to comply with the EU DMA while still maintaining control and security over its global user base. The company can implement region-specific policies and regulations to ensure the safety and privacy of European users, addressing one of the main concerns raised by Apple.

However, the introduction of sideloading in the EU also raises some concerns. One of the primary issues is the potential increase in malware and fraudulent apps. With the App Store acting as a gatekeeper, Apple has been able to enforce strict review and approval processes to maintain a high level of user trust. The inclusion of third-party app stores introduces a level of uncertainty, as the responsibility for app verification and security will be shifted to multiple entities.

apple sideload open

Impact on Developers and App Economy

The introduction of sideloading in the EU will have significant implications for developers and the app economy. It opens up new avenues for app distribution and monetization, giving developers the opportunity to reach a broader audience and potentially reduce their reliance on the App Store.

Developers will have the freedom to explore alternative business models, such as offering apps directly through their websites or partnering with third-party app stores. This could lead to a more diverse app ecosystem and greater competition, ultimately benefiting both developers and consumers.

Overall, the implications of sideloading in the EU are significant. It marks a shift in Apple’s approach to app distribution and opens up new possibilities for users and developers alike. As the iOS ecosystem evolves under the EU DMA requirements, it will be interesting to see how Apple adapts and innovates to maintain its position as a leading player in the global app market.

Future Outlook and Global Impact

The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is not the only antitrust legislation that is pushing for sideloading on Apple devices. Japan is also preparing similar legislation that would require Apple to enable sideloading on iPhone and iPad. Additionally, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has shown a willingness to advocate for sideloading on Apple’s iOS devices.


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Given the increasing global focus on antitrust legislation and the push for more competition in the app distribution space, it is highly likely that Apple will eventually make sideloading available globally to comply with different countries’ requirements. This move would have significant implications and could potentially revolutionize the app distribution landscape on iPhone and iPad worldwide.

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for Kath Kath says:

    I would love to see this happen in the UK.
    I love my Apple devices but getting a bit sick of not being able to add 3rd party apps.

  2. they will prob make it as hard as they can to do it

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