Apple explains why third-party app stores will only reach the European Union

Last May 2023, the Digital Markets Law (LMD) of the European Union came into force, which has the objective of ensuring equitable and contestable markets within the digital sector. This law has affected thousands of companies and one of them is, without a doubt, Apple. However, those from Cupertino have not made a move until just a few hours ago when they released iOS 17.4 with a large handful of new features to comply with the DML. Between them, the introduction of third-party app stores or the opening of the NFC chip for payment systems other than Apple Pay. However, although Apple can expand all these functions to the rest of the world has decided not to and below we explain their arguments.

The EU and its LMD forces Apple to introduce drastic changes

The LMD is here to stay in the European Union and this is what Apple explained in a press release yesterday, when it also took the opportunity to launch the first beta of iOS 17.4 with all these new features related to the LMD application. in Europe. This law has forced Apple to design more than 600 new APIs, functionalities for alternative navigation engines, app payment processing option and app distribution through third-party app stores, which is one of the most important aspects for Apple.

App Store Awards 2021

However, This Law only applies to the 27 member states of the European Union. And although Apple could have taken the opportunity to expand all these new features to the rest of the countries in the world, it has decided not to do so for several reasons.

New options for processing payments and downloading apps on iOS open new avenues for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and harmful content, and other threats to privacy and security. That's why Apple is building protections, including iOS app logging, app store developer licensing, and alternative payment disclosures, to reduce risk and provide the most complete and secure experience possible for Apple users. EU. Even with these protections in place, there are still many risks.

iOS Safari App Store

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One of the fundamental reasons is the user protection against malware, fraud and scams, something it achieved by creating a bottleneck through its App Store. However, the introduction of new app stores opens a new avenue for bypass Apple's protection, although tools will be developed to warn the user of each of the steps taken within this new stage:

Inevitably, these new options for apps from EU developers create new risks for Apple users and their devices. Apple cannot eliminate these risks, but will do its best to reduce them within the framework of the DML. These protections will be implemented when users download iOS 17.4 or later, starting in March.

The tone of the press release is quite harsh and it is no wonder since it means a modification of the essence of Apple since its beginnings with iOS and iPadOS. However, the new LMD created to avoid monopolies and control of technology will force users residing in the European Union to adapt as will developers.