Apple's monopoly has suffered a severe setback in the European Union. Because when the Digital Markets Act comes into force in March, the iPhone company will also have to react. That's why Apple will allow alternative app stores, browsers and payment methods in the future.

This news would have been unthinkable for many years. But the Digital Markets Act (DMA) makes it possible in the European Union. Because when the EU regulation comes into force in March, there will also be innovations at Apple.

This week Meta had already announced that it wanted to react to the upcoming new regulations and that it wanted to separate the accounts on Facebook and Instagram in the future. Now Apple is following suit and announcing “changes to iOS, Safari and the App Store in the European Union”.

Apple must allow alternative app stores

With the Digital Markets Act, the European Union has set itself the goal of limiting the market power of large tech companies. This is now also bringing changes to Apple that many would probably never have thought possible.

From March, users in the EU will also be able to download alternative app stores on their Apple devices. Alternatives for payment systems are also permitted in Apple's own App Store.

The innovations – like the DMA – are due to come into force in March. Then Apple wants to release iOS 17.4, with which the updates will then reach European iPhones.

Is Apple losing a lucrative source of income?

The innovations could result in the loss of a lucrative source of income for Apple. Until now, developers had to pay commission to Apple for their apps. But this could be eliminated completely in the future, depending on how you want to distribute your apps in the future.

The iPhone company has also adjusted its fee structure in the App Store and for external apps. Apps that are offered in the App Store but offer an alternative payment system will in future only have to pay a commission of 17 percent instead of 30 percent.

Apple warns about alternative app stores

Of course, Apple isn't particularly happy about the upcoming changes. In its report on the innovations, the group emphasizes that the DMA exposes users in the EU to “new risks”. Apple “introduces new protective measures” for every change. However, these could only “reduce, but not eliminate” the upcoming risks.

The new options for processing payments and downloading apps on iOS open new avenues for malware, fraud and attempted fraud, illegal and harmful content, and other threats to privacy and security.

Apple therefore wants to introduce protective measures “to reduce the risks”. Alternative apps, for example, have to go through a new review process at Apple. However, according to the group, many risks still remain.

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