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Europe's upcoming Digital Markets Act may change the way Apple handles its dealings with third-party apps on its devices.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 13, 2022

2 Min Read
Logo for Apple's App Store.

Beginning in 2024, Apple will allow third-party app stores to exist on its platform, reports Bloomberg. This only extends to Europe, and is part of a larger overhaul meant to follow the new law made by the European Union.

The Union's upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) was made with the goal of improving customers' digital lives, and part of that means removing Apple's restrictions. One of the rules of the DMA requires that companies now let third-party apps be installed on their devices.

Another DMA requirement says that users need to be allowed to install third-party payment systems. Apple is said to be discussing whether or not to comply with that component of the law.

For app developers, users being able to download third-party apps would be a handy way to get around the 30 percent cut Apple asks of in-app purchases. The tech giant has been notoriously stingy on allowing non-proprietary payment systems on its devices in the past.

Anonymous sources told Bloomberg that the DMA and Apple's participation opens up the possibility for other regions around the world to create similar laws. But again: this currently only applies for Europe.

Apple is using a "significant amount" of its resources to comply with the DMA, added Bloomberg, despite the law reportedly not being popular inside the company. Previously, Apple argued that the new law could potentially undermine user privacy.

Though it's going along with the DMA, Apple is allegedly exploring the idea of mandating security requirements for third-party apps, such as a verification process from Apple that developers would have to pay for.

Europe is giving until 2024 for companies to comply with the DMA. Apple is reportedly preparing to include this for next year's iOS 17 update.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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