Science & Technology

Apple to Allow iPhone App Downloads From Websites in Europe

IPhone owners who live in European Union countries will be able to download apps for their smartphones from websites, instead of through the App Store or a competing virtual store of digital products.

Apple to Allow iPhone App Downloads From Websites in Europe

The technology giant, based in Cupertino, California, made the mentioned decision due to new regulations provided by the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act. It is worth noting that for Apple, providing users with an additional opportunity to download apps is a serious innovation that significantly differs from the standard concept of the company’s corporate policy.

For years, the tech giant has been fighting web downloads of software for its smartphones. Sometimes such downloads are called sideloading. In this case, the company justified its position with potential security risks and the right to implement the user experience strategy that it considers the most appropriate.

Apple announced the granting of the right to European iPhone owners to download apps from websites on Tuesday, March 12. This decision by the tech giant is an example of how the above-mentioned European law forces the company to make changes to the business processes of its online store of digital products. It is worth noting that for some iPhone owners the mentioned changes were long-awaited.

The Digital Markets Act is designed to ensure that large players in the digital technology sector provide access to their online platforms to smaller competitors.

Apple’s message indicates that the web download program will be launched before the end of spring. The tech giant also noted that developers must meet certain criteria to access its virtual platform, such as having an app with more than 1 million downloads in Europe. Apple will still collect a fee.

The tech giant said that companies can also offer an app store for iPhones in Europe, so long as it only offers access to one firm’s apps.
Apple notes that distributing digital products directly from the website requires responsibility and control over the user experience. The tech giant authorizes developers after meeting certain criteria and the current requirements designed to protect users.

Following the Digital Markets Act, Apple was forced to allow third-party online app stores in Europe.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission, said that the regulator is conducting checks with competitors of the technology giant, such as Spotify, who supported a $1.95 billion fine against the Cupertino company for using commercial practices that violate antitrust rules.

Apple still plans to charge fifty euro cents for downloading apps outside of its App Store, including downloads from websites. App Store fees are a source of profit for the tech giant. The sales volume of the company’s unit services in fiscal year 2023 amounted to $78 billion. Part of this amount is the income received as a result of charging fees. Europe accounts for about 7% of Apple App Store revenue.

On Tuesday, the technology giant’s share price showed an increase of 0.6%.

As we have reported earlier, Sales of Apple’s Smartphones Fall in China.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.