Not long ago, Apple admitted that it should allow sideloading apps on the iPhone, at least in the European Union. This development reportedly frustrated Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture. Krstić says there is a “big misunderstanding” about side loading.
Last year, the European Commission passed the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires gatekeepers – like Apple – to offer alternative app stores and payment methods on their platforms. The DMA went into full effect on May 2, 2023, and Apple is expected to comply with the regulations by March 2024, according to financial filings.
Although the European Commission believes this will lead to fair competition, Apple and Krstic strongly disagree. In an interview with The independent, Krstić says the idea that sideloading gives users additional choice is false. According to Krstic:
This is a big misunderstanding – one that we have tried to explain many times. The reality of what alternative distribution requirements allow is that the software that users in Europe need – sometimes professional software, other times personal software, social software, things they want to use – cannot be available only outside the store, distributed alternatively. .
In this case, these users have no choice but to obtain this software from a distribution mechanism they trust. And so, in fact, it’s just not true that users will retain the choice they have today of getting all their software from the App Store.
In short, Krstić is not very happy about being forced to allow sideloading, because people will download apps from somewhere less secure than Apple’s platform.
This isn’t the only change Apple will undergo in the future, as it also plans to introduce RCS to iMessage in 2024. The move was likely a reaction to the European Commission’s plan to examine whether the DMA should apply to iMessage.
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