Apple to allow alternative app stores on iPhones, iPads in response to EU law: report

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Apple is preparing to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads in the European Union as soon as late next year to comply with a new European competition law, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

As part of the changes, customers could ultimately install apps to their iPhones and iPads without using the company’s App Store, according to the report.

But Apple has not made decisions on whether to comply with other provisions of the law, such as allowing for alternative payment systems to its own.

Permitting its payment tool to be bypassed could cost Apple billions of dollars in revenue it collects from charging up to a 30% commission on App Store purchases.

The iPhone maker in the past has said allowing sideloading, or bypassing, of its App Store, exposes users to security and privacy dangers. But some regulators and critics, such as “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, have said those concerns are overblown.

Rival Google has allowed sideloading on phones powered by its Android operating system for years, and it provides warnings to users over security issues.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Apple’s software engineering and services employees are engaged in a major push to open up key elements of Apple’s platforms, the report said.

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