Rumor has it that Apple will choose which markets will be loaded in iOS 17

App Store

    Rumor Score   🤯 Likely

New In A report from a trusted leaker states that sideloading may not even be mentioned at WWDC, and the company is rumored to be limiting the feature to regions that have laws requiring it.

The company is working on such features to allow users to install apps outside of the Apple App Store in iOS 17. However, Apple is doing this solely to comply with European regulations and may not implement unpublished download in other markets.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg sat down with MacRumors to discuss the features of the next generations of Apple's operating systems. Along with changes to the Wallet and Find My apps, they discussed the topic of sideloading.

“I think this will be a Europe-only feature,” Gurman said. “I think they're not going to shoot themselves in the foot and spread it all over the world if it's not necessary.”

“They are not going to do anything extraneous that will further undermine their influence on the App Store,” he continued. “They're really going to stick to the letter of the law here.”

Gurman believes that Apple can charge developers to participate in the App Download Program using a process based on configuration profiles. The company may also have a review process for these apps, even if they are installed outside of the App Store.

Digital Markets Act

Europe approved the rules of the Digital Markets Act in July 2022, and in November they entered into force. The rules will come into force on May 2, 2023.

The law aims to force companies like Apple to provide substitutes that allow third-party app stores on their platforms and alternative payment mechanisms.

“We expect the implications to be significant,” said Gerard de Graaf, the EU official who helped pass the DMA. “If you have an iPhone, you should be able to download apps not only from the App Store, but also from other app stores or from the web.”

The EU defines which businesses are significant and well-known enough to qualify as gatekeepers. De Graaf said he expects about a dozen companies will be affected, including Apple.

According to the European Parliament, a gatekeeper must offer browsers, messaging services or social networks and have at least 45 million EU end users per month. In addition, they must have a market capitalization of at least €75 billion ($82 billion), 10,000 business users per year or €7.5 billion ($8.2 billion) in annual revenue.

Because the law was created and passed in the EU, this is where Apple can restrict the download of unpublished apps and prevent them from being offered to customers in the US or other countries. Gourmand also expects Apple to downplay sideloading and not list it as a feature at WWDC.

Apple will announce the next versions of iOS and macOS in June. Rumors includes a logging app, a redesigned Control Center, and many more possible features.

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