See How iPhone Apps Could Change If Apple Loses a DOJ Antitrust Fight

A new app store available on iPhones in the EU provides a preview of the changes iPhone users in the United States can expect if the Justice Department wins its antitrust case against Apple.

AltStore is a third-party app store that seeks to be an alternative to Apple’s default store. The rival comes after the EU this year introduced the Digital Markets Act, which aims to promote fair competition in the digital market – and which forced Apple to open its App Store in January and allow owners to iPhone from the region to use alternative stores. .

Users who want to use AltStore shouldn’t expect a massive change, however.

“Everything now works pretty much the same as the App Store,” AltStore developer Riley Testut told TechCrunch about his product.

One difference however, is that AltStore is designed with the goal of creating a marketplace that gives developers control over the deployment of their applications. While Apple must approve apps before putting them in its own store, AltStore allows developers to upload their mobile software without review for immediate distribution, according to the company.

Plus, it seems to cost developers less. Apple’s in-app subscriptions typically come with a 15-30% commission on sales paid to the tech giant. AltStore, however, says it doesn’t take a discount. Instead, developers can include a custom Patreon integration to market their apps directly to iPhone users. This way, developers can monetize their offerings without advertising, paid downloads or in-app purchases. They will also be able to use the same Patreon integration to distribute “paid” apps, Testut told TechCrunch.

Apple still needs to approve the AltStore before it is widely available in the EU, Testut told TechCrunch. And once that’s done, iPhone users in the region will be able to download apps like Delta, a Nintendo game emulator, and Dolphin, a GameCube and Wii emulator, among others, according to the AltStore website.

Delta, an application on AltStore

Delta, a Nintendo emulator, will be available on AltStore once launched.

Riley Testut/AltStore

The emergence of the AltStore after the launch of the DMA also hints at what potential changes to the US iPhone could look like if Apple loses its battle with the DOJ. US regulators are suing the tech giant, accusing it of using anticompetitive practices to dominate the smartphone market.

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll see entirely new iOS apps that can’t exist today due to Apple’s rules, especially from independent developers,” Testut previously said. , the developer behind AltStore, to Business Insider about the lawsuit. The DOJ accused Apple of not allowing cross-platform apps, thereby locking users into the company’s ecosystem.

Industry leaders say that if Apple loses to the DOJ, it could lead to lower prices, cheaper streaming subscription services, more pay-per-click options, smartwatch options and an experience of Improved Android-iPhone text messaging.

Not everyone thinks these changes to the iPhone would be good for consumers. Apple, which denies the allegations made in the lawsuit, says it would create a less secure user experience.

“This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that distinguish Apple products in fiercely competitive markets,” Apple told BI in March. “If successful, it would hamper our ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple, where hardware, software and services intersect.”

AltStore and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider before publication. Testut declined to comment.


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