Apple has been surprisingly quiet on EU iPhone sideloading.
Smartphone sideloading has been lax for Apple. The firm has taken extraordinary measures to prevent it.
Regulatory pressure may have diminished its opposition in recent years. A 2022 EU ruling required Apple to allow iPhone users to download programs from outside the App Store with iOS 17.
The European Digital Markets Act required "gatekeeper" organizations to provide platforms & services to other corporations & developers. Apple CEO Tim Cook warned such U.S. actions would "undermine" user privacy & security.
It's odd it wasn't highlighted given WWDC's scheduling and Europe's March 2019 DMA enforcement. iPhones can sideload games. AltStore exploited Apple's free app installation.
Due to its large EU market, Apple must comply or appeal the injunction. Due to Apple's magnitude, DMA infractions might cost 20% of global turnover.
According to Mark Gurman, Apple was revamping iOS 17 to support third-party app stores, but the first beta did not.
Apple may have foreseen this issue as it has been developing. Apple may be pressured to allow sideloading.
The DMA may target Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, but Android cellphones have had third-party app shops for years. Spotify supported the "Time to Play Fair" initiative.
Larger companies know who they are and anticipate it. After the EU notifies companies by September 6, 2023, they have six months to comply with the DMA.
Google Play Billing app fees will likely be its biggest issue. Apple may need to provide alternative app store access.
The DMA says the EU prohibits "choose between different software applications from different distribution channels should be prohibited as unfair."
The DMA's bluntness suggests Apple may be a gatekeeper. Apple's WWDC silence on this is puzzling.
It may have had NDA sessions for company-close developers, but nothing was reported. Is app distribution EU-only?
Smaller developers may have missed these conversations. Despite U.S. regulatory pressure, Apple may fight to loosen these rules only when required.
Android does this, thus it may lift EU iOS build limitations. Many electronics comply with GDPR, and iPhones might too.